I have been pretty much actively avoiding this write up since last week. Partly because by brain isnâ€™t functioning that well due to lack of sleep and partly because I just didnâ€™t know how to attack it. How many ways can you say â€œhey this thing here is greatâ€ without sounding redundant? With this album we are now 9 albums deep into our little Top Ten-est list, and like most top ten lists it seems like everything that needs to be said about an album has been said. Finding a new angle is increasingly difficult and at times pointless, but regardless I need to pull something out of my ass to finish strong.
When todayâ€™s album dropped, friends kept telling me I needed to check it, The Source gave it 5 mics, the world seemed geeked on it, but I just could not give it the respect it deserved because I my east coast bias was so strong. Their accents threw me as did their style. I loved SouthernPlaylisticCadillacMusic, when it dropped but there was still something decidedly familiar about that album, even the videos had a whole DPG meets Souls of Mischief vibe to them. Granted neither of those groups were east coast but they were familiar enough that I could get my head around it.
Atliens on the other hand turned me off completely, I hated the whole aesthetic. Of course now I can look back and see that there was some genuinely brilliant rap music on that album, but it was still an uneven effort and sounds incredibly dated. You can tell that they were on to something but it wasnâ€™t fully clicking.
After a few months of non-stop brow beating Aquemini finally clicked with me thanks to my friend Big Ben who played the album endless when we were driving around Manhattan and Brooklyn in his Nissan Pathfinder doing things we probably shouldnâ€™t have been while driving and messing with girls that could best be describe as â€œif she was your daughter you would feel ashamed of yourselfâ€.
It was in that car and in that altered state of mind that I really started to appreciate the album. The production was original, thick and layered. The drums patterns were unique and amorphous, and the lyrical performances were tremendous. Big Boi is easily the best second fiddle not named Prince Po and Andre is just brilliant. His patterns are some of the best ever and continue to amaze even today. His content managed to remain entertaining even when being, for lack of a better term, conscious. He draws you in where others come across as pretentious (see Mos Def) or semi retarded (see Dead Prez). He is also the only MC right now that if feel has a chance to make an honest and entertaining album well into his late 30s and 40s.
Outkast has 4 albums that you can claim as their best, however the only one they would be correct about would be Aquemini.