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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 15 September 2003
Aquemini was an album I discovered in retrospect after hearing the commercial & critical hit follow-up Stankonia- which sent me hurtling for that Outkast back-catalogue. The debut Southernplayalisticcadillacmuzik had some great tracks on (Playa's Ball, Git Up/Out, the title track) but was a little indebted to Snoop Dogg; its follow-up Atliens (1996) was rather odd- Outkast stepping into a sonic maelstrom of Sun-Ra & synths. On Aquemini, Big Boi & Andre3000, produced a key Hip-hop album- one that advanced the genre and looked to the future, while at the same time aligning themselves with the best hip-hop, that which played with eclectic sources (samples/styles),eg Afrika Baambaata, De La Soul, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest.
Return of the 'G' is a brilliant opening track, the delivery of Dre & Big Boi is suitably lethal over samples from Giorgio Moroder's soundtrack to exploitative drug classic Midnight Express. For those who adored their Prince/Soul thang on hit Ms Jackson- here they try out this territory with Rosa Parks- that fuses "lacka lacka" with an amusing take on civil rights leader Rosa Parks. No pious soul-sister nonsense like Primal Scream's Star (which assumes RP is dead!), more of a statement saying, forget all that, let's get dirty! Rosa Parks is reportedly sueing at present...
There are some great guests- Wu-Tang's Raekwon on Skew It on the Bar-B, easily one of the great Wu-related tracks of recent years (when the albums became less enjoyable)- up there with Killah Priest's One Step Up, ODB's Recognize or Cappadonna's If It's Alright With You. The title track is a stoned-funk that opens with a mantra "Even the sun goes down, heroes eventually die/Horoscopes often lie and sometimes 'y'/Nothing is for sure, nothing is for certain, nothing lasts forever/But until they close the curtain, it's him and I, Aquemini". Legend George Clinton (Parliament/Funkadelic)assists on Synthesizer where GC spurts up that madgenius "Conceived under the influence of toxic wasted doctors/Computer bugging and debugging devices and vice versa, various viruses/Performing with laser light precision and verbal incision/For a linguistic ballistic lobotomy mind f-ing you of psycho sodomy/Of the medulla oblongata exit your mind down your spine and out your behind"!
West Savannah is like a futurist take on the sound of the first album, easily ranking up there with stuff by the Neptunes- notably the first version of the NERD album. Da Art of Storytellin Pt2 is a harsh semi-industrial assault, not far from the territory of Eric B & Rakim (Lyrics of Fury) & Wu Tang Clan (I Gotcha Back).
The album becomes even more adventerous as it moves toward the end- from the latin-dub-hip-hop inflections of Mamacita to epic tracks like SpottieOttieDopaliscous & Liberation - the former has brass reminiscent of The Specials 2nd album, while the latter has the joy of vocals by Erykah Badu). The album goes out on the best messed up beats/guitar combo this side of Prince's Black Album (there's even a Camille-style voice), Chonkyfire- which feels suitably apocalyptic and leads the way towards later tracks like Gasoline Dreams (play the two against each other to see how Outkast progress).
Aquemini remains one of the great hip-hop albums of the 1990s and is worth discovering at this budget price- there's not much between this and its popular follow-up and is proof that it may take a few albums for a great artist to produce a suitably great album. Listening to this record, all my usual gripes about music being dead or over in a morass of retroism are quelled; an album that looks backwards to move forward, or moves forward while looking back. Classic stuff-
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on 25 October 2000
This is the most origional, perfect piece of hip-hop that I have ever heard. It's so unconventional but they still manage to keep it good. I couldn't say a bad thing about this group, their lyrics are amazing and they never seems to get boring. For me, the best tracks are probably "Chonkyfire", "Da Art Of Storytellin' (Part II)" and "Rosa Parks" but any track from this album would be a standout on most others.
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on 13 October 2000
Outkast's third album "Aquemini" duly received "The Source's" much revered five mics, which they should already have got for "ATLiens" - but anyway. The reason for labelling this masterpiece the icing of the cake might be the fact that Dre and Big Boi stretch hip hop's boundaries even further than ever before on this one. They do this a) on the lyrical side of things, by coming up with songs consisting entirely of sung lyrics ("Liberation"), and b) by building up a musical landscape consisting of... well, almost everything. From the spaced-out, George Clinton-backed "Synthesizer" to the electric guitar/piano-driven "Chonkyfire", there's something in it for every one of you folks. This is music deserving the term "uplifting". And if originality is a criterion for calling an album a classic, you better make sure to add this to your record collection - whether you're NWA or Herbie Hancock, DMX or Earth Wind & Fire, whatever.
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on 17 May 2001
Very simply, this is definitely my album of the moment. Clever, laid back lyrics with a melodic beat I can't stop playing it. If I had any criticism it would be the talkovers between tracks. Much love to all those that feel this; and also to those that don't.
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on 27 November 2003
This is a work of pure genius! Musically this is one the finest albums in hip hop. Aquemini combines the poetic brilliance of Big Boi and Dre with the live band production of Organized Noise. The album begins with 'Return of the G' where Dre launches a scathing attack on all the critics who misunderstand his extravagant nature. This intro is followed by a succession of classic tracks including 'Rosa Parks','Skew it on the Bar B' and 'Aquemini' where they question the futility of modern technology. In fact despite the album's length (75 minutes) there is barely a weak track with the possible exception of the Goodie Mobb posse cut 'Y'All Scared'. Stand out tracks are difficult to name because there are so many good ones but 'Art of Storytellin Pt 1' (my favourite Kast track of all time) and the epic 'Liberation' featuring a quality verse from Erykah Badu are excellent. Musically and Lyrically this album is brilliant and shows the diverse talent that is Outkast
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on 13 May 2014
This album is, as we always expect with OutKast, a great one. The tunes are really cool and some songs really stand out such as "Synthesizer", "SpottieOttieDopaliscious" or both "Arts of Storytellin'". Try it and you won't be disappointed.
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on 21 June 2008
this album is fantastic it sounds like an album that came out this year, it doesnt sound like it was released in 1998 at all. the lyrics and rapping is just first class, the rap these days is just not worth listening to

this album will never be forgotten in hip hop history

i reccomend this album to any rap fan
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on 4 February 2007
I am one of those people that have slept on Outkast over the years, until i heard their album 'Stankonia' which was brilliant and said to myself i have to hear more from this group.... so in went the CD and i was blown away with how brilliantly put together this album was, lyrics and beats are perfect. it has a smooth, funky feel to this album and really RECCOMEND this album to absolutely everyone who just likes music, also if you are interested in Hip-Hop but the softer side then this is a MUST HAVE.
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on 3 April 2003
I bought this album not knowing much about outkast at all, I thought that I would give the album a chance and I definately made the right choice. Every song is different and perfected with great lyrics and beats. This album isn't in your face but great to sit back and chill to. My favorite song on the album has to be Aquemini, its just so dope.
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on 25 October 2015
Good album.
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