Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Outkast - Stankonia

A while back I loved this album.  Now, I find there are good bits in it, but it's not all great.  I absolutely adore Ms Jackson and So Fresh, So Clean, but the rest is a bit - meh - to me now.  Of course, Stankonia got a bit overshadowed by the raging success of Speakerboxx/The Love Below, and there was a time in late 2003 when I thought if I heard Hey Ya! one more time I would have to throttle someone.

I'm grateful to YourZ for introducing me to Outkast, but seriously they're not a patch on N.E.R.D. (which he also introduced me to) who I would place as their most influential contemporaries.



Ubiquitous is one of my favourite words.  Irrelevant is another.  But what do these words have in common, aside from me liking them as I do?  Both these words apply equally to Outkast, who, at one time, were ubiquitous but lately have proven to be, well, mostly irrelevant.  Okay, maybe irrelevant is a bit harsh but my point is they were everywhere a few years ago and now they've mostly disappeared from view (unlike Will.I.Am, who continues to pop up, like an ugly photo-bomber, annoying and badly dressed to boot).

But listening back to Stankonia, I understand why it was so popular and why it won the awards and accolades it did.  The songs (yes, these are songs, not strung together raps with hooks) are infectious, despite the predilection of the genre to write about 'gunz, ganstas and hoez' and the usual inane 'interludes'.

But the pure infectiousness of tracks such as B.O.B., So Fresh So Clean and Humble Mumble (featuring the wonderful Erykah Badu) make it easy to forgive and forget the more pedestrian tracks.  In fact, it is hard to believe this album is ten years old now as it still sounds fresh and sharp.  Makes me wonder why the hell we have to put up with a lot of the shit passed off today.

VERDICT: TURN IT UP, then turn it down, then turn it up again and repeat as necessary


  1. I'm a fan of Outkast and I do miss them being in the music scene. I loved Stankonia when I first heard it. I can't believe it's been 10 years already. ( All the albums I used to love seem like they are 10 years or older where have the years gone? )

    I haven't been listening to music much in the last few years. I used to listen to a few hours a day now it's like a few hours a week. I need to listen to more than a song here and there from a group I need to listen to their whole album. I need inspiration again to write. Like anything else you need to constantly be busy with what you want to do or you're gonna get rusty, and my friend I need lots and lots of oil. :)

    It's funny but just writing this has got me in the mood to hear some Roots. Stay warm, Mark and Toni.

  2. Chris, I wish they'd come back and show a few of the latest what it really is all about. I believe both Andre and Big Boi are great song writers, when they steer away from the obvious.

    Also, I do hope you get back to writing. I'd love it if you checked out some of my latest - go to http://abctales.com/user/dynamaso to see it all. Hopefully it will inspire you as I'd love to see you writing more.

    We're doing our best to stay warm - our two new kittens are helping as best they can too. Say hello to the lovely Rose for me.

    YourZ (Mark)