OutKast :: Big Boi & Dre Present...
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
Well, it's not exactly a new album.
Sure, this CD was not available in stores until December 4th, but a majority
of what's on it already was. In fact, with the exception of the songs
"Funkin' Around", "The Whole World" f/ Killer Mike and "Movin' Cool (The
After Party)" the whole thing is a retrospective of their work to date.
The album includes such well-known hits as their songs "Rosa Parks" and
"Ms. Jackson" and older classics some recent converts may have missed,
such as "Player's Ball" and "Git Up, Git Out" from their debut LP
Who is this album for? This album is a great collection for anybody whose
only OutKast purchase to date was "Stankonia." It should in fact
provide the incentive for those who don't already own the back catalogue
of their LP's to revisit the record store to pick up "Aquemini" and
"ATLiens." Sadly the latter album is the least represented of all
their work - the only song included was that LP's lead single
"Elevators (Me & You)." Perhaps this was a necessary evil,
because any song that appears on that release is dope enough to
put on a retrospective of their work - but it's still insulting
not to see "Wheelz of Steel" or the title track included.
When examining this album it seems the biggest mistake
may in fact be that it was limited to one disc only. A two-disc
set could have easily comprised their 'greatest hits' on one LP
and included the brand new songs as well as some more obscure
OutKast tracks on the second. Why not give OutKast fans songs
like "Phobia" from the Higher Learning soundtrack, or the seminal
"Benz or Beamer" from New Jersey Drive? And what about an uncut
version of "Da Art of Storytellin' (Remix)" featuring Slick Rick?
In fact, why wasn't ANY version of this hit single included?
Scoring this album highly isn't that hard - any collection of
OutKast's best work paired with original material is a winner.
There isn't a single song herein that isn't worth repeated
replay in your Discman, but long-time OutKast fans may want to
pass on this one despite the new material. Big Boi & Dre are
presenting the OutKast vibe to people who don't know, but those
who do will only think of this CD as comparable to a "favorite
OutKast tracks" CD they could have burned themselves - with a
few more obscure tracks and songs from "ATLiens" that is. Far be
it from me to be so bold, but if I worked for Arista this album
would do a FAR better job of capturing the sound and style
of one of hip-hop's most consistantly fresh and innovative groups.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10
Originally posted: December 4, 2001