How Classic Is OutKast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik Album? | 1994 Reviews

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CLASSIC RATING: 5 OUT OF 6

Producers: Organized Noize

"Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" is Outkast's debut album and it was released on April 26, 1994, by LaFace. It peaked at #20 (#2 R&B) on the Billboard 200 and was able to distinguish Southern hip-hop as a credible scene in an east-coast/west-coast dominated market. It also showed an honesty, and down to earth quality which was rare in this era of gangsta rap showing that OutKast were truly something special from their debut and on.

 From the Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik's CD inlay (1994)

From the Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik's CD inlay (1994)

Andre 3000 and Big Boi met in '92 at the Lenox Square shopping mall when they were both 16. They also lived in the same East Point section of Atlanta and attended the same High School where they would engage in rap battles in the cafeteria. Andre 3000 would drop out of High School at age 17 to work a variety of jobs before returning to night school after the release of «spcm» to earn his GED. It was around this time that they were spending time at the now famous «Dungeon» where the Organized Noize production team developed their signature sound. It was after the several local productions that Organized Noize was hired by LaFace Records to produce remixes of songs from female R&B group TLC's 1992 album «Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip». Organized Noize then had Outkast rap over the remixes, which then led to a recording deal with LaFace for both Organized Noize and OutKast.

 From the Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik's CD inlay (1994)

From the Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik's CD inlay (1994)

In 1993 they received a $15,000 advance from LaFace and began recording the album at «the Dungeon» together with Organized Noize. The studio consisted of mostly second-hand equipment and most of the recording was done on a Roland TR-808. In addition, they included a host of live instruments such as bass, keyboards, guitar and organ in conjunction with conventional hip-hop techniques such as scratching and sampling. This was done to create a more organic and «down-home» vibe which would celebrate their Atlanta upbringing. 

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The album kicks off with Myintrotoletuknow which is a droning, funky and uptempo track about smoking dimes and slanging lyrics southern style. Next 'Ain't No Thang' has a slow west coast gangsta beat and is more standard (less original) than the previous track. After a short interlude, we find ourselves on a flight to Atlanta with the captain speaking to us giving a tour of Atlanta ending up in East Point Atlanta where you can find "the home of the muthafuckin' OutKast" as the boys launch into the title track where they show us some true southern hospitality full of Cadillac's, L-Dogs, pimps, players, and marijuana. The track is quite organic and features live bass, guitar, and keyboard, and it's quite slick, similar to Souls Of Mischief's '93  'till Infinity' track which was a hit the previous year. Indeed it seems as though OutKast have borrowed some their stylistics from said group, as their flows can be comparable at times. 

'Call of the Wild' features Goodie Mob and is a slow and hard track with dramatic stabs, similar to Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" from '92. Next up is 'Player's Ball' which was the lead single which reached #1 on the US Rap chart and is one of the best songs on the album with its snappy beat, laid-back keyboard work and guitar licks and catchy chorus.

On 'Git Up, Git Out', Goodie Mob and OutKast lay down some of their most poignant coming-of-age lyrics on the album which focus primarily on completing their education versus "playing around and suffer later". In fact, Andre enrolled in night school after the release of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik to earn his GED, which shows that their concerns regarding their education was very real and not just a topic to rap about. 'Git Up, Git Out' is another classic track which captures the working class dilemmas in the life of a teenager growing up in Atlanta circa '94 with a flair, originality, and quality which constitutes to make this an outstanding album.

 The CD backcover of OutKast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994)

The CD backcover of OutKast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994)

How Classic Is southernplayalisticadillacmuzik?

CLASSIC: Myintrotoletuknow, Southernplayaliticadillacmuzik, Player's Ball, Git Up, Git Out | DOPE: Crumblin' Erb | SOLID: Ain't No Thang, Call of da Wild, Claimin' True, Funky Ride | OKAY: Hootie Hoo, D.E.E.P. | SUBPAR: None | Wack: None

How does the rating system work?

  • Each song gets a rating from 1-6 which gets averaged out by the number of songs

Alexander Ramalho