LaFace Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy


Ok, Atlanta chumped big time at the Super Bowl. Starting with Eugene Robinson's debacle with an undercover police officer and ending by the beginning of the second half of one of the most boring games in recent memory, Atlanta may need some cheering up. And it won't come way by reading Tom Wolfe's latest book, "A Man In Full", which depicts Atlanta in a semi-negative light, but no more negative than any big city.

No, if you want a quick pick-me up in regards to what Atlanta has to offer, look no further than my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Aquemini, the latest album by Outkast. The third album by Atlanta rappers Big Boi and Andre Benjamin is as inventive and out-there as their last album, Aliens.

The "which coast is better debate" is now ran its course for rap. And it looks like the south rose in 1998 with the rise of Master P's army at No Limit Records. However, the Outkast shine in their region far brighter than anyone in the No Limit arsenal (sorry, Snoop Dogg) for refusing to obey any set format. From the reliable old-school funk of the 70s funk bands to obscure as hell musical additions for rap (harmonica), Aquemini is full of diversity and more important, mad flow.

Yes, mad flow. Aquemini is so good in some areas, it makes a total white bread boy like myself use "mad flow" for the first time in any of my reviews. Highlights include the breathless word flow of songs like "Rosa Parks," "The Art Of Storytellin' (Pts 1 and 2) and "Skew It On The Bar-B." The entire album is so funky, I had trouble picking out when the great George Clinton dropped in for a cameo appearance ("Synthesizer").

But for all the fresh outlets that Aquemini offers, it does resort to the typical "playa" fantasy of many male-oriented rap albums released in the '90s. Makin' dough, gettin' the honeys and keepin' your game in check are all themes covered extensively in Aquemini.

But Outkast is not souly concerned with "makin' it." They want to enlighten your ignorant ass as well with different, mad beats, as they say in one of their interludes. Unfortunately, my car stereo is no more, so I only got a chance to listen to this album about three or four times. Which is all right, Aquemini is well worth the price of a CD, and I'll probably shell out my $15 as soon as my state refund comes in. Until then, I'll have to deal with the hooks of "Chonkyfire" and the chorus of "old school playas in new school fools/Say I be Got damn it the done change the rules" going through my head. Beleive it, the album is addictive, even for non-rap fans.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of LaFace Records, and is used for informational purposes only.