Saturday, November 13, 2010

359. Stankonia. Make my rap the p-funk.

Album: Stankonia.
Artist: Outkast
Year: 2000
Genre: Rap

1. Intro
2. Gasoline Dreams
3. I'm Cool (Interlude)
4. So Fresh, So Clean
5. Ms. Jackson
6. Snappin' & Trappin'
7. D.F. (Interlude)
8. Spaghetti Junction
9. Kim & Cookie (Interlude)
10. I'll Call Before I Come
11. B.O.B.
12. Xplosion
13. Good Hair (Interlude)
14. We Luv Deez Hoez
15. Humble Mumble
16. Drinkin' Again (Interlude)
17. Red Velvet
18. Cruisin' In The ATL (Interlude)
19. Gangsta Sh*t
20. Toilet Tisha
21. Slum Beautiful
22. Pre-Nump (Interlude)
23. Stankonia (Stanklove)

Stankonia is a rap album. It's hip hop all the way but unlike other albums in the genre... it's actually not so bad. I know I've said this before but this is my favourite Hip Hop album. It's not going to knock any of my favourite albums off my own personal list but if I was forced to listen to Rap this is the album that I'd take.

I felt predisposed towards this release from the first track which is called Intro. It features some weird backing before a voice announces a journey to Stankonia a place "7 light years below the surface of the earth where all funky things come." My immediate thought was- someone has been listening to Parliament/Funkadelic. As far as I'm concerned a lot more people need to listen to P-funk and should be forced to incorporate their influence into their musical output. Outkast want to bring the Funk into their work which is what Rap has always been lacking as far as I'm concerned. Stankonia is a long way from being a true funk release but it's rap by people who have been to at least one George Clinton concert and have definitely been listening to his albums. There are more tunes and catchy hooks in Stankonia than on all the other rap albums I've heard combined.

The standout track is definitely B.O.B. which stands for Bombs Over Baghdad. As far as I've been able to tell it's got nothing to do with the Iraq war but then I couldn't tell that from hearing the song because the lyrics are so fast. The rhymes on B.O.B. don't just flow they're torrential. It's incredibly rapid stuff and if they can pull it off live then I'm hugely impressed. Most Hip Hop seems to have a fairly steady rhythm but this is the thrash metal of rap. There's also a catchy backing vocal which is arguably overused but still something to latch onto. The Eddie Hazel like guitar is nice as well and the overall effect makes it my favourite Hip Hop song of all time.

Stankonia has added elements (funk mainly) to the traditional Hip Hop mix and it's also taken away some the more objectionable elements (misogyny, a gun obsession and endless ego-trips). It does however feel the need to encorporate spoken work skits and pointlessness in amongst the tracks. There are 23 songs on Stankonia, eight of which are under or around a minute and contain no actual music. Does anyone listen to these things more than once?

Either way its encouraging that each new rap album I encounter as I move up the countdown is better than what went before.

Influenced by: Rap and George Clinton
Influenced: I'm not sure but if it his has influenced any modern rap it can only be a good thing.

Highlight: B.O.B.
Lowlight: Any of the spoken word stuff or Ms Jackson which was a hit single but is incredibly annoying.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "this album is stupid with no point no good songs. Its just about 2 men going on about nothing the songs are boring if i was you id buy eminem's album there is no point in buying this album its the worst album i have ever heard im very dissapointed i this album very poor i wouldnt even waste 5 cents on this album"

-sometimes your feelings are too important for punctuation.

So are you with the outkast or would you rather cast them out? Let me know below.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite magazines, the now defunct Blenderr, listed "B.O.B." as the 2nd best song since you were born (as a response to Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Ever). I.. rather love the song too.

    Also, for some reason I feel the urge to tell you. Rolling Stone just reviewed Kanye West's new album and gave it a 5 out of 5. It has nothing to do with OutKast other than the genre, but it's very rare for anything modern to get over 4 stars. 5 stars? Forget about it.

    I'm not sure if you'd like it as it's a double album AND a hip-hop album, but the group OutKast has another album called "Speakerboxx/xThe Love Below." Each disc is one of the two's sort of solo disc, but they released it under one title as a group. The hit single "Hey Ya!" was released then, and as you'd imagine was an impossibly huge hit.