For a while Outkast, Big Boi and Andre 3000, have been on the cutting edge of rap and hip hop music. Thier previous effort was widely lauded as a rap masterpiece. And now they bring us eager muthaf***ers a new project.
For some reason (and no, I’m not going to research why because it’s not relevant to this review) Andre and Big Boi decided to fly solo and release two cds. “The Love Below” belongs to Andre 3000 and “Speakerboxxx” is Big Boi’s creation. One package, two cds.
On what is traditionally the cd cover you have a picture of Big Boi sitting in a woven chair with peacock feathers. He’s wearing a white, furry pimping coat. In the rear tray insert is the second cover, Andre 3000 sporting a smoking gun. The cd booklet follows the same split theme. The one half is for Big Boi. Flip the booklet over and the other half is for Andre. The biggest split, however, is in the sound of each cd.
The Love Below
Andre 3000′s disc is what ventures most from the Outkast sound. Previous fans will probably find this cd the least accessable. There isn’t too much rapping. Instead Andre discovers his R&B soul and sings for all he’s worth. The first two tracks are probably my favorite, as they utilize a marvelous lounge feel to them.
The current single from the joint set is “Hey Ya”, and that song is being appriciated by rap and non-rap fans alike. Even indie rock fans are salivating at the mouth over it. I personally found the song to be kind of boring. It’s not bad, but no where near song of the year as many critics are hailing it.
There are a lot of interludes, postludes, and skits. “God (Interlude)” is a prayer of sorts. It’s spoken word over a backing piano. It gets kind of boring and is obviously sarcastic.
If you enjoy R&B “The Love Below” is a fine collection. It’s just kind of dissapointing for those of us who want to hear rapping.
Big Boi stays truer to the Outkast sound. Big, loud, rap ditties fill this disc. It’s all (more or less) quality stuff.
“Ghettomusick” has an almost techno feel to the instrumentation while Big Boi weaves his rap magic. The song immediately grabs the listener and refuses to let go. This song should be big as a radio single.
My favorite tracks (four and six) feature horn parts. They remind me of something early Chicago (the band) would do. I am a sucker for a good horn part. Especially when used as tastefully as that.
This cd also features a lot of interludes, postlues, and so forth. The one that really annoys me on this cd is track 10, “Bamboo (Interlude)”, that features what I believe is Big Boi’s son. Father and son talk a bit, then Big Boi’s son sings a song. Afterword the son says “motherfucker” and everyone bursts out laughing. C’mon. The kid is, like, 4 years old. I feel sorry for any of his future teachers.
All in all, this is a worthwhile release to pickup if you’re fond of the rap/r&b genres. You can pick up up relatively cheap at Circuit City rather than shelling out the $20+ at places like Barnes and Noble.