Aquemini Was OutKast's Last Album With An Authentic Hip-Hop Feel | Review
CLASSIC'NES: 5 OUT OF 6
Released: September 29, 1998
Back in '94 when Big Boi and Andre were just 18 they released their debut album southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and eventually went platinum. After that success, the record label handed over more money to Outkast which emboldened them to take more creative risks. The music and presentation changed a bit with the boys adopting more futuristic sci-fi personas and they took more responsibility for the music production as well.
However, their “maturing” was most evident in their physical appearance, more specifically Andre's appearance. Likely inspired by his relationship with Erykah Badu (who he had a son with) he started to wear large glasses, blond wigs, and marching band uniforms whilst performing on stage. This gave the impression of OutKast as very different and alternative rap group. When looking at them objectively it's clear that the image of them being different was on a mostly superficial level. Although they are definitely two of the most talented artists in the game, they just weren't that different or “spacey”. Oh, how appearances deceive.
It wasn't until OutKast basically played into the stereotype on their subsequent albums that they started to become truly “different” than most rap groups. Whether you think that change was a good one or not depends on your taste and sensibilities, but it definitely was good in the sense of commercial success.
The rating for Aquemini is notable for being one track short of making this album a 6 out of 6. It's also an album which received zero ''classic'' song ratings which make the fact that it fell just short of classic absolutely fine. These 13 (excluding the dud) songs range from hardcore, dance-oriented, southern funk, futuristic, soulful, boom bap, dramatic, retro, emotional, and even rocking. Everything is solid on the release and quite competent so choosing standout songs is somewhat of an oxymoron. And since Classic Hip-Hop Magazine's reviews only injects an opinion on what are standout tracks, we would like to just refer you to the Wikipedia article for Aquemini if you want an ''opinion'' this time around.
Aquemini is only OutKast's third album and it's the last album to have an authentic hip-hop ''feel'' before they went ''experimental'' and became the mainstreams favorite pet rap group. They had a great run and released three albums that stand as some of the best hip-hop released during hip-hop's second golden age. Aquemini is great through and through but lacks the classic songs needed to push it to a 6 out of 6 rating.