parodies by nacrowe
its hard to believe that its been something like seventeen years since the LEGENDARY SOUTHERN HIP HOP duo OUTKAST last decided to put out an album.
that may be in part due to the fact that the ATLANTA HIP HOP scene in the intervening years has long since emerged as a VERITABLE MECCA of cultural activity that has rivaled (along with HOUSTON) the traditional powerhouses that are LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK CITY. look no further than all the local artists out of ATLANTA that haven risen alongside OUTKAST or thereafter to national prominence such as CHILDISH GAMBINO, LIL JOHN, SOULJA BOY, GUCCI MANE, LIL BABY, 2 CHAINZ, KILLER MIKE, T.I., YOUNG THUG, WACKA FLOCKA FLAME, 21 SAVAGE and MIGOS. in many ways it feels like we are very much living in a COMPLEX musical world that is decidedly influenced with a UNIQUE SOUTHERN flavor and seemingly GENRE-LESS AESTHETIC that OUTKAST played an INSTRUMENTAL role in creating.
rappers BIG BOI and ANDRE 3000 are DISTINCT to one another. not exactly opposites per se but more DISPARATE CONCEPTIONS of what a HIP HOP artist should that somehow paradoxically complement one another. BIG BOI is definitely from the HARD-HITTING mold of celebrated STREETWISE lyricists like ICE CUBE, NAS, 2PAC, MOBB DEEP and RAKIM whose CRAFTSMANSHIP and preternatural ability to evoke the GRITTY and UNFILTERED ETHOS of daily URBAN BLACK life to the mic are stuff of absolute legend. ANDRE 3000 is likewise a TALENTED lyricist but seemingly more focused on EXPERIMENTAL WORDPLAY and expanding the boundaries of the FORM, writing more OPAQUE CONCEPTUAL NARRATIVES over time in the tradition of artists like Q-TIP, MADLIB, TRUGOY THE DOVE, MF DOOM, TALIB KWELI and even GEORGE CLINTON and SLY STONE. in my mind OUTKAST married those two strains of HIP HOP in a SEAMLESS fashion and the culture itself has been following that lead ever since.
i remember getting to see OUTKAST on tour in support of their STANKONIA (ARISTA, 2000) album as part of MOBY's ECLECTIC AREA:ONE tour back in 2001 and just being amazed that this dude wearing blonde wigs with football shoulder pads and feather boas was part of the same group with his more traditionally attired ATLANTA FALCONS jersey, low-brim baseball cap-wearing counterpart. of course in rap this dichotomy was nothing new at the time, just look back at PUBLIC ENEMY with the ECCENTRIC clock-adorned FLAVOR FLAV grabbing attention or WU-TANG CLAN's OL DIRTY BASTARD evading police at industry award shows and taking trophies on stage from others with MEMORABLE impromptu, heartfelt speeches like "WU-TANG is for the children." look at KANYE WEST, INSANE CLOWN POSSE, TYLER THE CREATOR, DANNY BROWN or BIZ MARKIE (RIP) for that matter. i feel like the difference with ANDRE 3000 is that his IDIOSYNCRATIC presentation was less of a calculated conceit for generating attention and more an expression of an ALTERNATIVE ARTISTIC VIEWPOINT, complete with an EXPANDED LEXICON of what constitutes MASCULINITY in HIP HOP culture. himself an acolyte of Q-TIP, i see his lineage in peers and EXPANSIVE-MINDED, THOUGHTFUL and SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS artists like FRANK OCEAN, CHILDISH GAMBINO, KENDRICK LAMAR, RUN THE JEWELS, J. COLE, AB-SOUL, LOGIC and CHANCE THE RAPPER.
seeing the sometimes intermingling manifestations of those two DISTINCT STRAINS and TRAJECTORIES of HIP HOP is endlessly FASCINATING and part of the allure of paying attention to how emerging artists RE-CONTEXTUALIZE the form itself, which is in a constant state of rebirth. unlike their ROCK AND ROLL counterparts, HIP HOP as a musical FORM is always EVOLVING and giving away to new permutations and EXPERIMENTAL SONIC JUXTAPOSITIONS that is NOVEL and EXCITING for those who choose to participate and i give some credit to OUTKAST for helping spur such, especially in the somewhat more artistically conservative 1990s.
embedded below is a recent DEER GOD RADIO episode on nonprofit internet radio station MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC that includes a playlist celebrating the career of the ICONIC ATLANTA HIP HOP duo OUTKAST. enjoy!
parodies by nacrowe
check out HERE this recent streaming video episode of DEER GOD RADIO celebrating the iconic SOUTHERN HIP HOP duo OUTKAST!
past episodes of DEER GOD RADIO are available here at the DEER GOD website as well as in the MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC archives.
and if you haven't done so already get the FREE PHONE APP for IOS/ANDROID and enjoy listening to MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC 24/7 at your convenience!