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.
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.
I’ve been thinking a lot about sampling lately. I’ve always been very much against the idea of sampling, as epitomized by what Puff Daddy did with ‘Every Breath You Take’ or even what Vanilla Ice did with ‘Under Pressure’ way back when. When the most memorable part of your song belongs to somebody else entirely, how is that ok? I don’t mean financially, because I know the writers of the source material are paid, but artistically.