I’m continuing my Decades series over the next two weeks, writing about some of the 2003 albums that didn’t crack my top ten. Most of these records are completely new to me. A few are in my music library but neglected enough that I’m treating them as new.
Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below falls into the latter category. I know the big songs from this album very well (‘Hey Ya,’ ‘The Rooster,’ ‘The Way You Move‘) but the rest haven’t stuck with me. And listening to it again this week, that didn’t really change.
In contrast to my last three selections, Outkast is a band I’ve featured on the blog several times already. And today’s 2000 album, Stankonia, is at least somewhat familiar to me.
Stankonia is the Atlanta rap duo’s fourth studio album. They would follow it up with 2003’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (essentially two solo albums packaged as a double album under the band’s name) and 2006’s Idlewild (a soundtrack album to a film Big Boi and Andre 3000 starred in). Then they split up.
After a couple of weeks dominated by ugly rap songs, it’s refreshing to hear a cut from Outkast’s excelent 2003 double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
This track is from Andre 3000’s half of the record (The Love Below) and, like most of that song cycle, concerns the many splendors of the fairer sex.
If there’s one genre I’ve given short shrift over nearly 1,300 Songs of the Day, it’s rap. OK, heavy metal as well, but that’s never gonna happen.
But if I can dedicate a week to opera, surely I can dedicate a week to rap. So to paraphrase my mother, that’s what I’ll do.
Starting things off is a track from the Speakerboxxx half of Outkast’s smash 2003 release Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. That record, which won the Album of the Year Grammy and sold more than 5.5 million copies (of a double album), marked the peak of the band’s career. Their only subsequent release was the mostly ignored soundtrack album to a film they conceived, 2006’s Idlewild.
A few weeks ago I went to a going-away party for a former student of my wife’s who is joining the Coast Guard. The music, served up from an iPod as I suppose most music is these days, was a mix of hip-hop and pop songs from the past decade.
At one point, Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’ came on and a surge of excited recognition washed over the room (ok, over the five or six people left in the room who were paying attention to the music). My 4-year-old daughter launched into one of her trademark dance moves.