What do you prefer between OutKast’s Albums ATLiens or Aquemini?
Here at Southsiders we like to finish our interview with a common question. If anything, just to help settle debates within our own ranks.
As with our previous run of interviews where we posed the choice between GZA and Raekwon’s classic albums (Liquid Swords and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx respectively) we set an equally divisive question putting OutKast’s ATLiens and Aquemini head to head.
Read on to see what these artist had to say on the matter.
And if you need more OutKast discussion in your life (and who doesn’t?) be sure to check out our Madness Bracket pitting 64 ‘Kast tracks against one another.
ATLiens: 4 | Aquemini: 4
Damu the Fudgemunk
I mean, OutKast in my opinion, it goes without saying, are one of the greatest hip-hop groups ever and definitely one of the greatest groups of the last 30 years of any genre. Very, very important and very influential.
Hmm… I guess as far as debating those albums I would say they are both great records… I guess I would have to go with Aquemini. And mainly because what they were able to accomplish and from their first album, their trajectory to Aquemini, you can listen and hear the evolution. But by the time they got to Aquemini they introduced so many different sounds and rhythms and were able to incorporate some older ideas but incorporate a whole new approach. Not only from their demographic in the US but also globally.
But then consider their demographic, they were able to make something that really transcended where they were from but also the climate in the hip-hop community at the time. Right now, Atlanta or the South is still pretty much at the top of the food chain, but maybe during that time the west-coast had it’s time. Outkast were among the few artists from the area that was really able to open the doors to today’s artists. So not only from a business impact but sonically, so many of those ideas became normal, especially by today’s standards. You can look at someone like a Kendrick Lamar that has a wide range of ideas and feels throughout his albums or even other artists embracing different genres, different rhythms. Just creating a whole different listening experience that isn’t just a generic hip-hop record. I think Aquemini was definitely a very important album to do that. It still to this day is influencing today’s music and what we consider normal.
Yeah that’s pretty comprehensive. It’s a tough one but that’s why we throw them in at the end as well, a bit unexpected.
Cool. Definitely throughout my career I’ve used a lot of Outkast scratches. Actually if you listen to the Blu album on the very first song, the intro, I scratch a cut from elevators “One for the money/ the start of something good.” That’s the way the Blu album starts. Here goes a collaboration that people weren’t really expecting but it’s the start of something great so brace yourself. On the Flex Matthews’s album I use “Da Art of Storytelling” on the very last song “Dreaming”. “Get the hump off your back” and the vocals were in tune with the music so the scratch really lent itself well to that.
Oooooooh yo! Look! [laughs] Okay… wait. I’ve already been down this list before and I know my answer but what did you go for?
I went with ATLiens.
The reason I chose ATLiens, it’s the production on that album as well as the rhyming of course – Andre & Big Boi are never going to let you down. But sonically, that album took me somewhere else, it sounds so ahead of its time, very minimal too.
It’s so good dude! You’re right. The production quality, I mean it’s before Aquemini but the production quality was as good as it was in ‘98.
I could put ‘Elevators’ on any day of the week and it sounds like it was made yesterday.
Yeah, from that level I see where you’re coming from but undeniably, for me, I’m going to have to go with Aquemini for sure. Lyrically, oh my god bro… I had never heard songs like this! ‘Liberation’?! That brings tears to my eyes. That’s like my anthem. ATLiens, like the production, I could listen to the instrumentals and lose my mind but if I listened to the Aquemini instrumentals it would just be cool you know? But lyrically Aquemini, nah, I can’t even begin bro. I got to listen to that album at least once every month, front to back.
I prefer Aquemini because of Return of the Gangsta and Spottieottie and Liberation and Chonkyfire but love Wheelz of Steel and Elevators and Jazzy Belle too. But I personally find Aquemini a bit more experimental which I’m into particularly because of how well everything was executed
ATLiens all day!
Yeah, why ATLiens?
Thats coming with me! Thats like one of my desert island records, I think its just where I was when I was younger and how I was discovering hip hop and that record was fucking huge! Not to take anything away from any of the other Outkast records because…..WHOOO! But just that record is….
Its a difficult discography to pick anything out of, but I think everybody has that one that they kinda go into and it sticks with them and ATLiens is obviously the one for you, what is it about the sound, obviously its a very psychedelic, space-oriented sound, what kinda gets you about that?
Yeah, well, its also kinda boom-bappy too, that was back when HIP-HOP was on the radio you know? So, just the production, the rhyming, everything is super nostalgic to me, I can think about hearing it for the first time and how exciting it was….I’m actually thinking I’m gonna bump that record today! I’m downloading it right now!
Nice! So, I’ve influenced the rest of your day, that’s good to know! Anyway, thanks very much, it’s been a pleasure to chat and we look forward to meeting you when you come across.
Oh hell yeah!
Too Many T’s
Aliens was the first one right?
ATLiens was first yeah. Well the first of the two but not Outkast’s…
I can’t remember the tracks…your going to have to…
ATLiens was like Elevators (Me & You)…
I think personally for me it would be Aquemini.
Yeah I think so. Well that had the Rosa Parks track on it didn’t it?
Yeah, Yeah. Aye. I think I was swaying towards ATLiens but they are always so close.
Yeah. It’s a difficult one mate. It’s been a while. I’d have to go back and…
…And revisit. I was the same. In my head I thought one and then revisited them and I’ve probably switched back and forth multiple times. It’s not easy.
But Outkast are sick though. Definitely one of our favourite groups.
Aw, man, I’ve been—first of all, I’m an enormous OutKast fan. My favourite rapper’s André. They have my favourite discography ever, beside Radiohead. But… [sighs] you asked me, like, that’s the rap question that I’ve been torturing myself with forever, but the answer is ATLiens. And this is weird but I think Aquemini is a better album but I like ATLiens more. ATLiens is my favourite rap album.
woods – This is how I live my life… The issue, and I like this, but as a person who practices these sort of questions, the issue with ATLiens or Aquemini is that there isn’t a wrong answer… People say that a lot but it’s kinda like Ironman/ Supreme Clientele, like depending on the day of the week and I wouldn’t feel strongly if you felt the other way. For me, I’m probably going to go for ATLiens.
Elucid – Yeah, I play ATLiens a lot more than I play Aquemini but Aquemini is a fantastic album.
woods – And I feel like if I put Aquemini on I might possibly change my mind depending on the day.