MUSIC WORLD: Take It Back Tuesdays: Outkast "Aquemini"
Back for another Take it Back Tuesday!
This time I’m showing love to my boys from Outkast and their album Aquemini. Considering I was born in 1986, this is the first exposure to Outkast I remember. My brother listened to the album frequently.
Released September 29, 1998 as Outkast’s third studio album, Aquemini represented a merging of Big Boi (the Aquarius) with the ideas of Andre 3000 (the Gemini) to form a soul-filled hip-hop album. The album went platinum by November 1998, a feat even in the time when people were actually still buying music.
Much of the album was produced by Oukast and included features from members of Goodie Mob. The lost art of an album interlude is prominently displayed in Aquemini.
Some of my favorite tracks are (with listen/download links):
Return of the “G”
“Every time I try to get a peace of mind/ Niggaz try to get a piece of mine/ so I gotta grab my piece…”
I look at this song as a sneak diss to all the Outkast naysayers. Andre 3000 uses his verse to come at the “gangsta rap” that was very prominent during this era in music. He even pokes fun at people questioning his sexuality.
“Me & my nigga we roll together like Batman & Robin/ We prayed together through hard times/ and swung hard when it was fitting/ But now we tappin’ the brakes from all them corners…”
The title track is used to lyrically display the unconditional love Big Boi and Andre 3000 have for one another, no homo. They use the chorus to say, “But until they close the curtain/it’s him & I Aquemini.” The smoothness of the track is infectious and representative of the entire album.
Da Art of Storytellin’ Pt. 1
“We just shoot game in the form of story raps now/ It’s like that now/ it’s like that now…”
If I had to chose one “Da Art of Storytellin'” (from this album or otherwise), I would of course choose the original. It’s a cautionary tale. Hearkening back to the stories I would read as a child, this song plays off the idea of imagination. I have a personal vision of what Sasha Thumper and Susie Screw look like. Good music leaves some room for interpretation like all good art. Peep the video below.
“I walked up on her & was almost paralyzed, her neck was smelling sweeter than a plate of yams with extra syrup…”
A seven-minute ode to Southern life and beautiful women. This track uses spoken word prominently, a common theme for the album. It’s nice to hear musicality in hip-hop, even 10 year old hip-hop. The horns in this song alone make the song worth vibin to.
Aquemini is noticeably missing many materialistic references. If you take a careful listen to the album, it can easily be interpreted as an album with life advice and cautionary stories.
What are your favorites?
If you are STILL sleeping on Aquemini, cop it HERE.