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Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #22 OutKast - Stankonia

 

Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one album and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 album of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

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#22 OutKast - Stankonia

"The coolest motherfuckas on the planet," brags Dre on "So Fresh, So Clean," the first proper track on OutKast's 2000 funk-tastic album, Stankonia. Indeed that very well may be true, and was becoming more evident with each new OutKast release (or more likely, their growing success and back accounts). The Atlanta duo of Dre (Andre 3000 as he re-named himself as Stankonia was being released) and Big Boi struck gold with Stankonia, as the album went triple platinum in a few quick months. Although Stankonia is OutKast's most accessible and arguably boasts one of the best songs in their catalog ("Mrs. Jackson"), it's a distant departure from their humble beginnings. To be straight, though, a song like "Mrs Jackson" would never exist without the work they did on their previous three albums (Aquemini, ATLiens, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzick). Stankonia is like devouring a delicious complete Thanksgiving dinner, and their previous three albums are the prep-work leading up to it. Although the meal is enjoyable, sometimes all the work that goes into making it is even more full-filling. If "Mrs. Jackson" is the track that showcases what OutKast had become prior to Stankonia, then "B.O.B." is evidence of the new direction Andre 3000 and Big Boi were heading in, well Andre more so than Big Boi. "B.O.B." makes Stankonia the dividing line, like the Birth of Christ (if you will), their career can be divided into two halves, pre-Stankonia and post-Stankonia. There is no denying that many of the tracks off the massively successful Stankonia follow-up, Speakerboxxx/the Love Below are brilliant, but is it a true OutKast release? Although the double album made the two even more successful (my dad even bought the album), the joint-effort was really two solo works disguised under the OutKast name. That's not to say Stankonia doesn't deserve the #22 spot, because it does, but next time you are nodding along to "Mrs. Jackson" or "Spaghetti Junction", think about all that came before them. Afterall, OutKast is "still cooler than a polar bears toenails."

- Nicole Coxe

Check back tomorrow for the next album! To see the full list of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, click here.

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