Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
For me, it's Stankonia and it's not even close. I think it's impossible to mistake those beats for any other artist. It's rare that a group creates an album that's that imaginative and still be a massive pop and critical success. Easily one of my favorite records of all time.
Atliens is the right answer!
It's so close between Aquemini and Southernplayalistic.... I should have probably voted for the latter because it looks like Aquemini will win handily.
I don't even know anymore. Probably Southernplayalistic or Stankonia. Or The Love Below. Or Aquemini. Or ATLiens.
fuckin' with the lights on
The correct answer is Aquemini.
I love all of Outkast's albums, but that is their true masterpiece. I like Stankonia, but I can't understand how anyone who grew up listening to Outkast's earlier work can honestly tell me that's a better album than Aquemini. I'd honestly put Stankonia 4th, behind their first three albums.
Although I didn't grow up listening to the early albums. It's just a matter of the kind of groove you're looking for, Aquemini is better at the soulful, laid back Southern shit, Stankonia is better at the weird ass future space funk. It's some Sophie's Choice type shit really.
Aquemini easy!! cant go wrong with a little rosa parks.
You could even do the best of, Big Boi & Dre present . . . OutKast. I mean, yeah, it's a little sacrilegious to suggest a best of, especially of one of the best album artists in hip-hop, but their albums are really long and complex and a little daunting to absorb all at once. That way you get a good overview of their important songs and hits, which are as good as the deep cuts, and can figure out where to further explore from there if you like what you hear.
Aquemeni: "Return of the G", "Skew It On The Bar B", "Rosa Parks", "Aquemini", "Synthesizer", "West Savannah", "Da Art of Storytellin' Pt1", "Da Art of Storytellin' Pt2", "Mamacita", "SpottieOttieDopaliscious", "Liberation" and "Chonkyfire".
There really isn't a "winner" in this debate though. Outkast's 4th best album is better than most hip hop acts' #1. I just see Aquemini as a more emotional album and that side of it appeals to me more. It's probably Andre 3000's best work as an artist. The lyrics on "Return of the G", "Aquemini" and "Da Art of Storytellin' Pt1" are on another level that most emcees could never touch.
It definitely is more of an emotional album, to the point of being kind of a major downer in places, which makes it one of those albums I have to really be in the mood for, while Stankonia is more of an any time album for me. I'll definitely concede Aquemini as the better artistic statement, but Stankonia is more fun to listen to.
Also, the lack of love for their first album is a bit confusing. Perhaps it's just the younger generation simply not being exposed to it as much as the other albums.
It's an amazing debut album. It came in the golden era of rap / hip hop when albums like The Chronic, Doggystyle, Illmatic, Me Against The World, Strictly for my..., Ready To Die, Reasonable Doubt and a lot of other amazing hip hop albums were released and you can hear it in the sound. Love that album too.
I hadn't heard that track in ages to the point of forgetting about it, then Killer Mike performed some of it when opening for El-P in 2012 and it made me download that greatest hits album because I realized I didn't have all the OutKast I needed just by having the albums. /csb
There is nothing daunting about ATLiens and if you don't get it upon first listen, you need to fuck right off. That is their only true masterpiece. Unfortunately, Aquemini falls just short because of one horrendous track - "Mamacita". Now, I'd say that Stankonia is a great album - especially if you're shrooming - but it isn't their best.
fuckin' with the lights on
I've always gone back and forth with Aquemini and ATLiens on which I think is their best. Right now I'm going to vote for ATLiens because the only real skippable track on that album for me is "Mainstream," and it's really just the verses from the guys that aren't Andre and Big Boi that (only slightly) bother me.
Speakerboxx/The Love Below
I'd also like to add that I LOVE The Love Below and feel it is underrated as a whole.