Today, eighteen years ago the amazing Atlanta duo, Outkast released what is now one of my favorite albums of all time.
Now I am only twenty years old so it’s not like I have any remote memories connected to this body of work like waiting on Halloween Day in 2000 for school to let out so I can rush to the nearest Rasputin, Amoeba Music, or Best Buy to get it. Or even having my parents put it into the home stereo system, they were not on that. It wasn’t until my high school years that I realized that André 3000 and Big Boi actually snapped outside of what KMEL has been playing for years on end.
I have memories of being a toddler in 2001 listening to the radio while my mom dropped my brother and sister off at school and knowing that Sir Lucious had gator belts and patty melts. At 16 I knew that his Cadillac had a boom boom in it also that I did indeed want to know about gangsta shit from Outkast, Goodie Mob, and the Dungeon Click.
“So Fresh and So Clean came on a family reunion and me and my cousins had a dance off. I was like 4 or 5, they didn’t crown a winner, but everybody knew I was killing them niggas.” –@WarrenSellsMid
Fast forward to me being a junior and senior in high school, I had a newfound obsession. I was starting my mornings off with listening to FatManKey while I was brushing my teeth, but when I entered the building, Stankonia was pretty much the only thing I was playing and wearing for real.
At the same time, I was going through what I felt was the hardest point in my life so far. At this time those problems seem minuscule, like crying everytime that I got rejected from almost all of the schools that I wanted to go to. This album really showed me that it wasn’t that bad at all.
“I remember them [Outkast] being everywhere at the time. I wasn’t able to walk down the hall without hearing somebody singing So Fresh, So Clean.” –@BriMalandro of @InsomniaRevenue
Stankonia turned into my bible at this time, another album still has yet to replace it. I don’t think another album ever will.
Songs like ‘Slum Beautiful’ and ‘Humble Mumble’ let me know that it wasn’t all that bad. While songs like ‘Call B4 U Cum’ gave me life advice and let me know what Gangsta Boo and Eco were on. The other songs like ‘We Luv Deez Hoez’ make me feel loved and seen by making sure I’m ready to be on 10 at any time.
This album puts me in the best mood whenever I hit play.
I had yet to identify with music in any way besides being a normal listener. This album hit me right where I needed it to when I was at that stage of my life.
From their visuals, singles and all of the previous bodies of work that led up to the 2000 release of Stankonia, it all was just so amazing. When you are watching the video for B.O.B, directed by Dave Meyers, it is like you are in an entirely different world of sidewalks paved with gold, streets paved in the color green, purple grass and you are on a tour bus with strippers and Big Boi.
Watching the So Fresh, So Clean video, directed by Dave Meyers as well, it is almost as if you want to be in the life they have in the video. Seeing André, Big Boi, and Sleepy dance in the palm of the same painted lady from the album packaging is a fantasy that anyone would want. Who doesn’t want to go to The Spot and sit front row with Outkast and Goodie Mob?
“The Ms. Jackson video was the first song I remember hearing from them and Stankonia was the first Kast CD I bought from them. I remember my cousin had this DVD with chopped and screwed versions of music videos and Ms. Jackson was on there. I listened to Stankonia a lot growing up. I used to want to rap as fast as André. Seeing Black people doing what they were doing seemed normal, but in retrospect, it was real pioneers at work. I remember they recreated the B.O.B video at the BET Awards, choirs, low riders, and twerking. It was like a paradise of Blackness.” – @Jesuisponge
The south had something to say and niggas finally listened. From being that toddler hearing their music for the first time to being that junior in high school who wore her Outkast shirt every single week. They really changed my life with their music. Thank you to two of my favorite people to exist for an amazing album, amazing memories associated with this album and an amazing life because of it.