Outkast: Stankonia

By Russell Baillie


Herald rating: * * * *

(Arista)

Review: Russell Baillie


Caught in the rush of releases at the end of last year, this fourth album by the Atlantan hip-hop duo of Andre 3000 and Big Boi (alias Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton) deserves all the belated attention it can get. And not just because track B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad) has a worryingly prescient chorus (though a bit too hard and funky and plain weird for that CNN footage).

This is also one prolonged ear-raid, its nutty fireworks fired by a fusion of Sly Stone, Funkadelic/Parliament, Prince, Afrika Bambaataa combined with a tongue-trippingly lyrical approach that is as eccentric and dazzling as its production.

Something of a hip-hop psychedelic epic with its 73-minute duration, Stankonia’s highlights include the boudoir So Fresh, So Clean and I’ll Call Before I Come, the domestic drama of Ms Jackson, and the bubbling funk (with guest star Erykah Badu) on Humble
Mumble.

Essential.

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