Two Artists, Two Visions, Still OutKast

In a day where southern hip-hop has been overly concerned with getting “krunk”,saturated with simplistic chants and artist’s who’s best flow sounds more like amodified nursery rhyme; many look to OutKast to dethrone these so called “kings”and “princes” of the south. For the past decade the Andre “3000” Benjamin andAntwan “Big Boi” Patton have consistently outdone themselves, dropping 5 albumsall of which have  gone  platinum.  With the release of their new double album entitled  Speakerboxxx/ The LoveBelow the two embark on their individual efforts to create yet another OutKastclassic.

SpeakerboxxxBig Boi’s 19 track artistic contribution to the album  is discreetly as eclecticas his flamboyant partner Andre. The album is initiated with an “intro” thatwill unquestionably have trunks all over the south rattling,followed by thevivacious “Ghettomusick”.  The album also serves as an outlet  for the rapper todivulge his earlier family undertakings

“Graphiclanguage, mild violence and the silence of the fams”/ No members to remember, but I just know who I am.

The exceptional production however, is overshadowed by guest appearances thatmore often than not are mediocre at best.

The Love BelowThink George Clinton, Erykah Badu , Jimi Hendrix and the result will be Andre3000.  This is by far the most creative project undertaken by the artist.

The Love Below has a succession of superior tracks containing everything fromthe electric guitar to Norah Jones.

Despite only rapping on 3 of the 19 tracks, Andre still manages to take the cakeagain.  The disk incorporates a heavy 1960’s feel with modern day musical technology.  By emphasizing love instead of death and profanity, Andre’s rhyming technique sets him apart from most rappers even more than his platinum wigs and football helmets.

In the song ” Prototype” he sings about his search for love: / “I hope thatyou’re the one/ If not you are the prototype./ We’ll tip toe to the sun/  And tothings I know you’ll like/ I think I’m in love again!”/.

Speakerboxxx/ The Love BelowOutKast stays true to their legions of fans by not releasing the two works asindividual projects as theycould have easily done.  Other than frequentinterlude stops in the album, it lives up to its expectations asyet anotherinstant classic.

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is the breath of refreshing air that willhopefullyresuscitate a dying aspect of rap that is known as artistry.

Grade A-