Review Summary: Staight From the center of the earth burst OutKast funky as ever.
At the turn of the decade Hip-Hop changed the focus from the East and West Coast to the South. Things had been bubbling there for years with artist such as the Goodie Mob, Three 6 Mafia, and even a young OutKast. Now OutKast isn't a stranger to excellence. They had all ready dropped the first southern 5 Mic (back when it meant something) album: Aquemini and the hit “Player's Ball”. It was only a matter of time before the whole world realized how good they were; and this was the album that did it. It had a little something for everyone, whether it was the bad love story "Ms. Jackson", the rap that showed how cool they are with "So Fresh, So Clean", or the political inspired "B.O.B.".
The Producers are Earthstone and Organized Noize. However Organized Noize only produced 3 tracks. I don't want to take anything away from Mr. DJ or OutKast but considering Organized Noize’s past, with other artists, I would’ve liked to see them produced a couple more tracks. However, that doesn’t mean Earthtone doesn’t make some incredible beats, such as the funky, up tempo “B.O.B”, the slow, calm “So Fresh, So Clean”, or the sick, electrical guitar “Gasoline Dreams”.
OutKast have had great lyrical skills from the beginning of their careers: “They can bite but cannot be us/They can come and pick a little slang, but cannot see us". One of the main things that makes OutKast so good is their ability to write well, thought out lyrics and deliver them with a sick flow that is easily makes you want to rewind the track and hear it again.
Now the two main problems with this album are the features and the skits. I wouldn’t mention the feature promblem if they never had a great artist with them. I’m not trying to take anything away from the Goodie Mob but, OutKast was able to get Chef Reakwon on their last album. So I only ask why didn't they go out and try to reach other great artists for this album. The last thing about this album which you will realize at the beginning and to the end is all the skits; just because they call them interludes doesn't make up for the fact that they’re still a waste of time. I mean 9 skits are 9 too many.
Most critics love it for its approach to different genres and tying it all back to Hip-Hop, but it still has its share of flaws. This album launched them straight into the public eye and had everybody wondering what they would do next. Many people may be able to look over the flaws, but I just kept coming up with the thought that they could’ve done better. The brilliant lyrics(“You livin for the lotto never hit it/I met a critic, I made her *** her drawers/She said she thought hip-hop was only guns and alcohol/I said "Oh hell naw!" But yet it's that too/You can't discrimi-hate cause you done read a book or two”) and their brilliant production make it a great album, but slips from being a classic with their sub-par features and their skits. I think anything OutKast is worth getting, but don’t expect a classic.