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100 Albums: "Stankonia" by OutKast

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: OutKast
Title: Stankonia
Released: 2000
Genre: southern hip-hop


Born out of the Dungeon Family collective in the early 90s, OutKast was the group that broke the "Dirty South" sound into the mainstream. They paved the way for acts like Ludacris and T.I. and emerged at a time when the rap community was focused on a rivalry between the East and West coasts. The duo's sound was a blend of Antwan "Big Boi" Patton's more traditional MC style and André "André 3000" Benjamin's observational lyrics and funk-rock instrumentation.

Stankonia marked a stylistic change for the duo. It's more up-tempo and driving than previous records. The lead single B.O.B. (embedded above) is a six-minute anthem that runs at a break-neck pace with touches of techno, funk, and even a church choir. The album spawned additional singles in So Fresh, So Clean and Ms. Jackson. In the 90s hip-hop mode, the album is also laden with skits and interludes that are... okay, I guess. But there are a couple of other spectacular tracks, including the opener Gasoline and mid-album groove Humble Mumble.

Further Listening: It's hit-or-miss and supremely overwritten, but there's a lot of good stuff on the two-part Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

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