Day 143 – #261. OutKast – Aquemini

OutKast - Aquemini Album Review

Okay, so every day with this thing, I try to take an angle, as I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’ve read… literally any of the previous 142 posts.

But with a ‘canon’ band like OutKast, who have such a deep catalogue, to say the very least, it’s difficult to contribute anything meaningful or worthy of other people reading it. And I wouldn’t be writing for this project if I didn’t want other people to read it. That would be a waste of my time, as well as the reader’s.

Which is to say that I was assisted in a big way last night by Google Images, who provided this gem whilst looking for this record’s cover art:

Rembert Browne's 2011 STANKOFF TOURNAMENT

Click to see the full bracket in high resolution.

I present to you the 2011 STANKOFF BRACKET, as chronicled by Grantland writer Rembert Browne.

Before I press on, I must also give props to Mr. Browne for his in-depth analysis and bracketing of the top 64 Chappelle’s Show sketches.

And though we disagree on the final result (I submit that Racial Draft is still worlds ahead of almost everything else that Comedy Central has since in the last decade), I am both in awe and inspired by Browne’s dedication and rationale. I may just end up attempting something like what he’s done in the future for a band that I listen to.

As it pertains to OutKast: because I’m not as big of a fan as Browne obviously is, it’s hard for me to make a judgment call as to his selections. From today’s record, Aquemini, I see a track that I quite enjoy (“SpottieOttieDopaliscious”) made it all the way to the Championship Match, only to lose to “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,” the title track of the group’s debut album.

Also of not on Browne’s bracket: “Rosa Parks,” another track from Aquemini, won the “College Park” region, and “Da Art of Storytellin’ (Part 1)” made it out as the champ of the “East Point International Players” region – which, if you’re counting at home, makes Aquemini responsible for three of the Final Four songs.

Now, granted, this is one man’s opinion. I’m sure that this has a lot to do with the fact that Browne is a resident of the Atlanta area, which automatically gives him credibility regarding OutKast. I hope the same credence would be afforded me as it pertains to Limp Bizkit (read: DUUUUUUUUUUUUVVAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL).

I suppose that makes me a fan of the group post-2000. Anything before then is such an acquired taste from that era – you really had to grow up listening to it. And since I didn’t, I don’t identify with it. Which is not to say that I can’t appreciate it, which I do.

But as an example of my disagreement with Browne, that “Hey Ya!” advanced as far as it did, and the freaking INTRO song from Speakerboxxx made it past “The Whole World”  is a travesty and a sham.

I’m almost tempted to listen to every one of these songs in order to get a better idea of what Browne was thinking, but I might just decide to channel that some creative energy into one of my own. Stay tuned, I guess?

Notable on Aquemini: appearances by the Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon (“Skew It on the Bar-B”) and a reeeeal early cameo by Cee-Lo Green (“Liberation”) along with Erykah Badu and the godfather, George freakin’ Clinton.

This album is good stuff, but difficult to digest if 2013 is your first time in listening to the whole thing, as it was with me.

I promise to, at some point this year, finally get into the “Rap was better in the 90s” argument and narrative, but for now… bracketology rules.

From Aquemini, which I used to pronounce aqua-meeny (it’s acqui-[like acquit]-men-I [long-I]) this is “Synthesizer” –

Standout tracks: “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” and “Liberation”
Weakest track: “Da Art Of Storytellin’ (Part 2)”

RIYL: When rap was important. The NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.




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