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Article Oct 24 2016 Written by

Classic Hip Hop: OutKast’s ATLiens

(Republished from DefineARevolution.com, By @TrueGodImmortal)

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Tracklist OutKast – ATLiens

  1. You May Die (Intro)
  2. Two Dope Boyz (In A Cadillac)
  3. ATLiens
  4. Wheelz Of Steel
  5. Jazzy Belle
  6. Elevators (Me & You)
  7. Ova Da Wudz
  8. Babylon
  9. Wailin
  10. Mainstream
  11. Decatur Psalm
  12. Millennium
  13. E.T. (Extraterrestrial)
  14. 13th Floor/ Growing Old
  15. Elevators (Me & You ONP Mix)

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Introduction:

I’ve stated on numerous occasions that I have two favorite Hip Hop albums of all time and they tend to be interchangeable in their order. One of those, which turned 20 this year, is Nas’ classic It Was Written, while the other is another album that’s just turned 20,

I’ve stated on numerous occasions that I have two favorite Hip Hop albums of all time and they tend to be interchangeable in their order. One of those, which turned 20 this year, is Nas’ classic It Was Written, while the other is another album that’s just turned 20, Outkast‘s ATLiens.

That’s right, it’s been 20 years since the sounds of “Elevators” first hit the airwaves and our ears. Remember the first time you heard the infectious hook of “Me and You…. your momma and your cousin too” or the opening drums and atmospheric production? I remember it vividly. I was sitting on the steps at my aunt’s house, and the radio played this song, and I was instantly drawn to it. It was the production backed by the catchiness of the hook itself. Then I would hear the verses and be extremely pleased by them. As I had already been aware of Outkast from their debut album, I think I was taken aback by the new sound employed on “Elevators”. I wasn’t expecting such a dark tone in the track, considering I had become used to hearing a more upbeat and completely southern vibe from them, especially on tracks like “Crumblin Erb”, but it was obvious they were taking a different direction this time out.

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I knew that the group seemed to be going through changes of sorts when I saw the 1995 Source Awards. After winning an award to the sounds of boos, Outkast took the stage and Andre firmly stated “the south got something to say”, which would become one of the most iconic statements of all time in Hip Hop. Perhaps there was something deeper in the whole context of that statement. Instead of just being a statement that the south is on the rise or coming up, perhaps that meant that Outkast was about to change the game and the perception of the south. Maybe Outkast knew that with their Dungeon Family team in the driver’s seat, especially following the classic Goodie Mob “Soul Food” album, that they could only take it higher. Whatever the case may be, after the Source Awards, Outkast set out to make something special on their sophomore album to avoid the dreaded sophomore curse. I don’t think anyone knew just exactly what would come from it, but if we thought their debut was going to establish them as Hip Hop forces, what they would deliver next might have solidified them as one of the greatest Hip Hop duos ever.

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The Album:

Andre and Big were going through changes here and I loved hearing the growth in them as artists. Whereas the debut sounded exactly like Atlanta and the South in the mid 90’s, the sophomore project sounded almost nothing like the South, ripe with intricate lyricism, boom bap heavy production, and a darker tone. After a trip to Jamaica, the always evolving duo seemed to take on a new image for themselves, becoming more self-aware and acquiring a desire for greater things while developing their confidence as artists. After their first tour, it’s been said that the group saw the power they possessed as artists and wanted to make music that reflected that belief. Personal changes would also influence the group, as Big became a father during the album process, and Andre ended his relationship, becoming single again. That part is significant because usually when an artist comes out of a relationship, or experiences a breakup for whatever reason, his art and music tends to benefit from a deeper perspective and the focus usually becomes stronger once again.

Andre and Big were going through changes here and I loved hearing the growth in them as artists. Whereas the debut sounded exactly like Atlanta and the South in the mid 90’s, the sophomore project sounded almost nothing like the South, ripe with intricate lyricism, boom bap heavy production, and a darker tone. After a trip to Jamaica, the always evolving duo seemed to take on a new image for themselves, becoming more self-aware and acquiring a desire for greater things while developing their confidence as artists. After their first tour, it’s been said that the group saw the power they possessed as artists and wanted to make music that reflected that belief. Personal changes would also influence the group, as Big became a father during the album process, and Andre ended his relationship, becoming single again. That part is significant because usually when an artist comes out of a relationship, or experiences a breakup for whatever reason, his art and music tends to benefit from a deeper perspective and the focus usually becomes stronger once again.

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That certainly would be the case in this album, and I honestly believe that this is the greatest period for Andre as a MC. I believe Big Boi would have greater moments as a rapper in later albums, but he was still great here. However, this would be the album that I always draw back to when I’m talking about Andre 3000 as an artist and why he is personally a top 5 rapper of all time, in my opinion. His focus lyrically was ahead of its time and I couldn’t help but be amazed and inspired by his showing here. You could tell the thought process was different, that he was on some form of spiritual journey. Notice that so far, there’s been more of a talk on a journey to the album rather than discussing the album and the songs right? That’s on purpose in a way. The journey is what makes this album such a monumental moment in hip hop. It was released in the greatest year in Hip Hop, 1996, and still managed to go double platinum and solidify Outkast as the force in southern Hip Hop. They were pioneers in that regard. Sure, Scarface, UGK, and a few others had been known as top tier southern artists, but if we’re being real, no one from Southern hip hop revolutionized the game and their style more than Kast. What also makes this album special? The sounds of the production weren’t solely of Organized Noize. Andre and Big had begun to look more into producing and after Andre went and got some equipment to work with, the production conglomerate known as Earthtone was born. This would play a big role in the album sounding much more organic and raw I believe.

From the outset of the intro, “You May Die”, it was clear what we were about to witness. There’s an epic feel on the intro, with the vocals provided by Joi, which are soothing yet also somehow alarming. The intro leads us into what I still think is the greatest opening track of an album, “Two Dope Boyz (In A Cadillac)”, which is one of the more influential songs of all time, I believe. It inspired a hip hop site, inspired a generation, and inspired rappers of all regions. It starts off so smooth too, with Big Boi kicking some of his trademark lyricism:

“From the bottom of my lungs a nigga be blowin, spittin his game

Comin up on ya from the South, the A-T-Liens aint changed

Cooler than most players claim to be

A nigga that’s from the A-Town see

The home of the Bankhead Bounce, Campbellton Road and other city streets

Enough of the verality, fallacy, butter we speak not fiction

Speakin of pullin yo’ girl, lookin at Jheri curls you bitches”

Andre comes with something solid to present his first showing, and though it’s not one of my favorite verses from him, it’s still somehow one of his more known couplets through his career. Check the first few lines:

“This ol sucka MC stepped up to me

Challenged Andre to a battle and I stood there patiently

As he spit and stumbled over cliches, so called freestyling

Whole purpose just to make me feel low, I guess you wilding

I say look boy, I ain’t for that fuck shit

So fuck this

Let me explain “only child” style so you don’t miss”

After this opening track, we get the title track and there’s so much I could say about this one. Where the production here was very earthy and booming, the lyricism was extremely deep in its own right. I didn’t expect to be so amazed at their lyrical composite, but I’m glad I was wrong. Big Boi came in to start off the track, and it was one of his better verses on the entire album (more on that verse later). His cool and calm demeanor, along with his playa style delivery makes his verse so quotable and of course, Andre coming in with his infamous classic verses here make this song one of the greatest Outkast tracks ever. The hook is simplistic, but in a great way, as the whole “throw your hands in the air” aspect was something that was so prevalent in Hip Hop at the time that it worked on this track. Once again, the fact that you can see such a distinct difference in the styles and lyrics of Big and Andre, but love them equally as much is what makes Outkast so great and that is on full display on this title track.

Now, when we get to “Wheelz Of Steel”, it’s obvious that the objective on this album is to pay homage to the true love of the culture and Hip Hop, along with give us something that we could listen to without skipping anything. They succeeded in paying homage to the culture early on, and “Wheelz Of Steel” is really a dope track. I think Big slightly gets the best of Andre on this track oddly enough, though Andre was great here too. Big just commands the track and flows so perfectly over the beat that it’s a work of art to listen to.

Moving on from this song however, we move into one of the best songs on the album and one of the most iconic Outkast songs ever (I’m going to say that a few times when speaking of songs on this album), “Jazzy Belle”. The production is ominous, ripe with Organized Noize keyboard sounds, instruments, and those ever familiar drums. While I won’t divulge into what makes the verses so special (keep reading), I have to speak on the mindset of this song itself. Andre and Big seem to create a tale about the women of the era and their mentality. It’s something to be said about their focus on this song as Andre truly kicks off with what I believe is a top 10 verse in his career, and his verse is still so relevant to this very day. Literally, if you listen to this first verse from Dre, it resonates entirely with today and the women we see and meet. “Jazzy Belle” will forever be an all-time gem.

We then arrive at the single. The knocking “Elevators (Me and You)”, which is a true coming of age style song in many ways, at least that how I felt hearing it. Andre and Big both write from their distinct perspectives and I don’t think that there has ever been more iconic opening lines from the duo than these:

“One for the money, yes sir two for the show

A couple years ago, on Headland and Delowe

Was the start of, something good

When me and my niggas rode the MARTA through the hood”

There was just something so free about those opening lines and sure enough every time I think about ATLiens, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. The song continues and ends with what I consider one of the craziest final verses from Andre. It’s more so just the dizzying pace he begins at and continues with throughout the verse. The verse is almost like a freestyle, but it’s just dope in the way it is executed. It’s another one of my favorite verses from Andre, but we’ll get to that a little later. Big Boi also delivers here and while I don’t think “Elevators” is a top 5 song on the album, it’s certainly a classic and one of the bigger Outkast singles of the early Dungeon Family era and the most successful from this album.

I have a love/hate relationship with “Ova Da Wudz” because I think it’s an amazing song, but have always slightly felt that both MCs were not supported enough by the production. Andre and Big brought great lyricism to the beat, but the beat falters just a tad bit, in my opinion. It’s very dark and has what sounds like a very nature/woods vibe, obviously with the title. The beat just doesn’t do it for me, and if I had any small quarrels with this album, this would be it. The production on maybe two tracks, this one being the main one.

As if “Jazzy Belle” wasn’t enough, Andre and Big give us another tale related to the female gender with “Babylon”, which can be perceived as a discussion of love and the tantric side of sex, along with the perception of what it truly brings to the participants. On the surface, it may seem like a traditional song, but it’s definitely got a greater meaning and while once again, I love what Big Boi brought to the table, Andre seemingly steals the show with two verses that are just profound and out of this world. His opening lines are very recognizable, and he starts rapping as soon as the song begins, leading in with a ton of momentum. Some of his lines in the first verse are so intricate and his lines in the 2nd verse are so direct, it’s quite the genius contrast, and it elevates the song, along with the smooth hook. After this amazing song, we move into the 2nd part of the album with the Cee-Lo assisted “Wailin”.

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Cee-Lo doesn’t rap on the track, but does provide the hook, which is really just some humming coupled with the title, but it works very well. Big Boi once again shows up and this time, he steals the show, as his verse is one of my favorites of his and there’s something about the ending line of “O.J., not guilty, that’s how they found he” that sticks out to me every time I think about this song. Andre also delivers, and I think that’s the story of the album. Both MCs deliver on each track, there are just going to be instances where one is better than the other. While Andre would have the better verse technically on paper here, Big’s delivery and presence on this track is what carried it in my opinion to the heights that it achieved from a quality standpoint.

Up until this point, we hadn’t really seen any other verses from other artists besides these two, but that was about to change for a moment. “Mainstream” has such a smooth laid back beat, and this one was provided by Earthtone, which saw a more melodic feel behind it. I truly can’t say enough about this track, and while Khujo and T-Mo do their thing here, it’s the true MVP of this album, Andre, smoking everyone with one of his more simple verses, but his flow and delivery was miles ahead of everyone else. This isn’t my favorite verse of Andre’s on the album, but he just proves why he’s the best MC in the Dungeon Family here, by out shining some of his DF brothers.

Another track with features is up next, on one of my favorite songs “Decatur Psalm”, where the hook gleefully states “it won’t be over til that big girl from Decatur sang” behind a smooth riff of vocals. Though I love Big Gipp and Big Boi’s verses (it’s the best verse on this song as expected), my favorite on this song is from Cool Breeze. He isn’t lyrical by any stretch, but the way he structured his verse and delivered it was top notch. It’s just written like a phone conversation, and for some reason that’s definitely enjoyable here. Cool Breeze was always one of the more slept on guys from the Dungeon Family and this is a reason why. His personality shines through on songs with the family and on “Decatur Psalm”, he does exactly what I hoped. Still, the best verse overall is easily Big Boi, and it’s one of his best verses on the album, I just had to show credit to what Cool Breeze did on this track. He killed it in his own way.

When we reach the track “Millennium”, we’re almost done with the album. This track is probably the only other track that the production was a bit off for me in some way, but it was still dope overall. The way that Andre and Big set up the production and their delivery makes it all work out, but I just felt if I had to pick a negative thing on this album, the production on this track left me wanting a bit more than I received. Lyrically however, both MCs are great, as is the story on this entire album. Big and Dre are equal on this particular song as they both present solid verses throughout the short track. This isn’t one of my favorites on the album, but it’s extremely dope regardless, and I absolutely love that it is sort of a lead-in to the dope “E.T. (Extraterrestrial)” track.

Speaking of that track, I’ll keep my words to a minimum here, as I truly think both of the verses here are two of the best on the album. If Dre and Big were looking to get ready to close out the album, they picked one hell of a one-two punch with the final two original tracks, and sure enough, the first shot of “E.T.” was just right. There’s one track left on this album and to be honest, I think it’s the best song on the entire project.

There are some songs that just resonate with you instantly. “13th Floor/ Growing Old” is definitely one of those. I remember hearing it for the first time and feeling blown away by the sounds. However, every time I listen to it, I get a greater appreciation for the song. Even to this day. It’s amazing. The focus is what I’ve stressed and here we come full circle with that. Looking into something deeper and learning that there is much more in the world than the simple trappings of the day to day. The reflective mindset and honest lyricism from both MCs was something really special to experience and this song is something that stands the test of time. The booming drums backed by the piano is almost heart wrenching and the background vocals and hook provided add a special element to it. It is truly one of the greatest achievements in the career of Outkast from a musical standpoint and while most turn to a “Elevators” or “Jazzy Belle” when talking the album, this song is the apex. There is of course one last remix of “Elevators”, but that doesn’t really count in the flow of the album. Top to bottom, this is truly one of the greatest albums ever and it is one of my top 2 albums of all time. Period. Now, I was vague on my favorite verses on the album. There’s a reason why. Let’s get into the best verses and my favorite verses on the album.

There is of course one last remix of “Elevators”, but that doesn’t really count in the flow of the album. Top to bottom, this is truly one of the greatest albums ever and it is one of my top 2 albums of all time. Period. Now, I was vague on my favorite verses on the album. There’s a reason why. Let’s get into the best verses and my favorite verses on the album.

Favorite Verses:

The album has a collection of all time classic verses and while Andre has more of those here than Big, there are just verses you have to marvel at in terms of quality and lyricism. Let’s get into some of my personal favorite verses and why.

*Big Boi’s Verse On ATLiens (Title Track)

“Well it’s the M-I-crooked letter

Ain’t no one better

And when I’m on the microphone you best to wear your sweater

Cause I’m cooler than a polar bear’s toenails

Oh hell

There he go again talking that shit

Bend, corner’s like I was a curve

I struck a nerve

And now you bout to see this Southern player serve

I heard it’s not where you’re from but where you pay rent

Then I heard it’s not what you make but how much you spent

You got me bent like elbows, amongst other things, but I’m not worried

Cause when we step up in the party, like I’m out-you-scurry

So go get your fuckin’ shine box, and your sack of nickles

It tickles to see you try to be like Mr. Pickles

Daddy fat sacks, B-I-G B-O-I

It’s that same motherfucker that took them knuckles to your eye

And I try, to warn you not to test but you don’t listen

Giving the shout out to my Uncle Donnel locked up in prison”

This verse is just a prime example of Big Boi at his absolute best during this era. There was no one spitting game quite like Big in his prime. While lyrically he wasn’t the juggernaut that he’s become since the Stankonia days, this verse is my 2nd personal favorite of his on this album.

*Andre’s Verses On ATLiens

“Now, my oral illustration

Be like clitoral stimulation

To the female gender

Ain’t nothin better, let me know when it’s wet enough to enter

If not I’ll wait, because the future of the world depends on

If or if not the child we raise gon’ have that nigga syndrome

Or will it know to be the hard regardless of the skintone

I really feel that if we tune it, it just might get picked on

Or will it give a fuck about what others say and get gone

The alienators cause we different keep your hands to the sky

Like Sounds of Blackness when I practice what a preach ain’t no lie

I’ll be the baker and the maker of the piece of my pie

Now breaker, breaker 10-4 can I get some reply?

Now everybody say”

 

“Softly as if I played piano in the dark

Found a way to channel my anger, not to embark

The world’s a stage and everybody’s got to play their part

God works in mysterious ways so when he starts

The job of speaking through us we be so sincere with this here

No drugs or alcohol, so I can get the signal clear

As day

Put my glock away

I got a stronger weapon, that never runs out of ammunition, so I’m ready for war okay”

There’s a lot to be said for both verses, from the internal rhyme schemes to the focus (I stress this word severely), all the way down to the wordplay. This is Andre at his absolute best and this might be his strongest lyrical showing on the whole album.

*Andre’s Verse On Jazzy Belle

“Oh yes I love her like Egyptian

Want a description

My royal highness

So many plusses, when I bust that, there can’t be no minus

Went from yellin crickets and crows, bitches and hoes to queen thangs

Over the years I been up on my toes and yes I seen thangs

Like Kilroy, chill boy, because them folks might think you soft

talkin like that

Man fuck them niggas I’m goin off and comin right back

Like boomerangs when you throw em

With these old ghetto poems

Bankhead is better for em

When they can let they thumb

Down from hitchiking inviting niggas into the temple they call the body

Now everybody got it

Had it, talked about it amongst they friends

Comin around my crew lookin Jazzy, wanna pretend

Like you Ms. Goodie, Four-Shoes, even Bo knew, that you got poked

Like acupuncture patients while our nation is a boat

Straight sinking

I hate thinking

That these the future mommas

of our children, they fuckin a different nigga every time

they get the feeling

To, I’m willing to go the extra kilo

Meter, just to see my senorita get her pillow

on the side of my bed where no good ever stay

House and doctor was the games we used to play

But now it’s real Jazzy Belle…”

I mean come on now. From the opening line, Andre orbits into another planet with such a clear view on the women of that day and today even, where he searches for something deeper and real, but is unable to locate it. One would assume his breakup spawned some of these immaculate lyrics, and we can’t be mad at that.

*Andre’s Last Verse On Elevators

“Got stopped at the mall the other day

Heard a call from the other way

That I just came from

Some nigga was sayin something

Talking bout “Hey man, you remember me from school?”

Naw not really

But he kept smiling like a clown, facial expression lookin silly

And he kept asking me, what kind of car you drive, I know you paid

I know y’all got beaucoup of hoes from all them songs that y’all done made

And I replied that I had been goin through the same thing that he had

True I got more fans

Than the average man

But not enough loot to last me

to the end of the week, I live by the beat like you live check to check

If you don’t move yo’ foot then I don’t eat, so we like neck to neck

Yes we done come a long way like them Slim ass cigarettes

From Virginia

This ain’t gon stop so we just gonna continue”

Andre left earth yet again for this one. He just tells a simple story, and it resonates so strongly. The dizzying pace of his lyrics near the end of the track is what really makes this verse so special.

*Andre’s Verses On Babylon

“I came into this world high as a bird

From second hand cocaine powder, I know it sounds absurd

I never tooted but its in my veins

While the rest of the country bungies off bridges, without no snap back

And bitches they say they need that

To shake they fannies in the ass clubs

They go the other route

Turn each other out

Burn each other out

Where a bonafied nigga like me

can’t even get no back rub

These days, ain’t that bleak on they part

But let me hold it down, cause they shut you down, when you speak from your heart

Now that’s hard

While we ranting and raving bout gats

Nigga they made them gats

They got some shit that’ll blow out our backs

From where they stay at”

 

“I’m fascinated by the way your

nipples peak at me through your blouse

Freaky me, freaky you, can’t help but be aroused

Excuse me lord lustful thinking

but that’s the way we was brought up

Sneaking to watch playboy at night, we all must be caught up

In worldly ways, chemistry between boys and girls

Is a lot like when we went to the woods and laid with the squirrels

During P.E., we’d be, exploring each others privates

Hunching with all our clothes on

until we felt excited then

Aaaah, Oh now its on from here on out

Put yo hands in the atmosphere

If you know what I’m talking bout

Now if too harsh done walk on out

And I see you on the next song

They call it horny, because its devilish, now see we dead wrong”

I definitely want to make note of the style in Andre’s verses here. He literally paints a number of pictures in these two verses, and the substance within is undeniable. This is where Andre shines brightest.

*Big Boi’s Verse On Wailin

“In the zone like Keyser Soze, always the Usual Suspect

No check, all I got in this game is my respect

And Southern pride I be, checkin my fuckin head

Scared, lookin up in your face, boy I see dead

If you test like SAT

Then I guess that we may be/ Enemies, in the P’s, freestyles be freebies

I be that wrong nigga to fuck with, wouldn’t I

Wouldn’t I be the wrong one to try

Never eating chicken thighs

Only the twenty piece mojo

Flow zone like Flo Jo

I wanted to figure out, just how low could yo’ hoe go

The beat hit like Beat Street, Krush Groove and Breakin

Never baking

Rebuking Satan, we had you waiting

For the Second Coming, funny how time flies when you’re rhyming

La-Fa-Ce records, I think they got that perfect timing

To be doper than Sadaam

Believe the Nation of Islam

Fuck the police and the dogs/ Sniffin that dope up out your car

I think they overstep they boundaries

O.J., not guilty, that’s how they found he”

One of the best verses from Big on this album and probably his most quotable one on this album,  especially for the last line on the verse. Big was in another zone here.

*Cool Breeze’s Verse On Decatur Psalm

“I call da crib they say “Breeze you ain’t know?

I say what, Big Time got popped in his Benzo

I said damn man, I’m riding in his Lexus

I’m bout to dump this nigga’s shit in New Dimensions

Get to the crib so I can call Big Slate up

And tell em da money man done slipped and got his throat cut

And everything that we took from the warehouse

I heard somebody talkin ’bout it at the White House

Man I thought you said that this job was for me and you

I ain’t know that Bill Clampett wanted some too

You tell his folks that I’m sorry bout that Lexus

I’m ’bout to dip and see my sister up in… naaah!

Can’t even tell you where I put my extra playa card

Cause them Red Dog police know we homeboys

Just tell everybody who owe us a dime

It’s the Great Hoe Round Up Yo’ Money time

I got to HAVE MINE, then I’m OUTTA HERE

Take a loss, come back up just like Coco Grier

Ain’t got to worry bout yo’ partner gettin caught like a lame

It won’t be over til that big girl from Decatur sang”

This verse lyrically is nothing special. It’s just the words within it and the straightforward style of Cool Breeze that really drives this verse home as something amazing. He flows smoothly and even employs some humor within this verse in a way.

*Big Boi’s Verse On Decatur Psalm

“Can you see what I be hearing talking to spirits when I sleep

Peep this out real quick slick, we gets on this beat and speak

About that pimp shit

That walk with dat limp shit

That hemp shit

Looking up in your face I see a coward and a dimwit

Looking to run up in my private home just like you was the folks

Serving a warrant to a baby daddy, who do they come to quote?

On a Tuesday, April Fool’s Day, don’t get caught slipping

Leaving the keys off in the ignition

Making me guilty by suspicion

Penny pinchers tryin to stack for ninety-six

Buying another Fleetwood, Diamond took it, so know we’s in the mix

I need to take my ass to the crib and drop the baby off

Cause them niggas at the corner store been lookin at me for too long

Staring like accidents on highways, high days, are better than sober ones

Don’t be biased, but I know it has to come

So I put two in the sky to let them know I’m babysitting

Y’all don’t know nothin bout Big Boi cause that nigga steady dipping

It ain’t over… till the bitch open her mouth up and sang…”

This verse is all style. Big just jumps on the beat and smoothly spits his verse and kills it. Lyrically, he kills both Breeze and Gipp and the way he ends his verses off on this album is really his greatest strength here.

*Big Boi’s Verse On E.T. (Extraterrestrial)

“Peep what I say

Everyday–the sun sets just like clockwork

Put the glock to work

And putting the body to standstills, man it kills me

Taking that life is like taking a shit

Hit or miss

Niggas are playing God, trying to rob and steal

That’s why ya gotta guard ya grill

Like a barbecue

Cause them harming you

Are just like honeybees swarming you

Vocally arming you

Was my responsibility

It’s killing me

Thinking that all these niggas

See they fly shit, thinking they Steven Seagal and

Balling

Falling to the wayside when ya try to call em

I’ve fallen

When we was little nappy headed niggas in the projects

But now they carjacks, wait on income tax and unsafe sex

They get the tecs to flex

Like solo for tha low-low

Smoke same thing, no, no

Not this time

Niggas around my way can rhyme

So fuck that country shit

We done a bunch of shit

And yes ya heard of this

Out of this world like E.T.

Coming across ya T.V.

Extraterrestrial

Straight from ATL”

One of his most profound verses on the entire album, Big truly brings it here and shines the brightest from a lyrical standpoint overall. I love this verse and it’s truly a perfect beginning to the song.

*Andre’s Verse On E.T. (Extraterrestrial)

“Right now I’m smiling, taking advantage of this moment, cause there might not be another soon

Holding on to memories like roller coaster handle bars

tightly cause I’m slightly off my rocker–But to you

I may appear to be your average Joe

But little do you know

That even Joe got problems that he gots to joust with

Floating in this game of life

Despite how out of place you may feel, in this race, oh you just can’t quit

Ain’t that a bitch

That be in heat, I’m on the beat like cops

Only cultivate the stable dirt when I skeet my drops

No concentrating knocking other niggas out the box

Why?

Cause in a sense

See we all be kind of fly

Just can’t be scared to spread your wings

Head to better things

Maybe the mockingbird and nightengale, they want to sing

Keeping this thing alive, to the table’s what we bring

We like hailstorms and blizzards in the middle of the spring

Extraterrestrial….”

Andre was certainly in an abstract mode with his verses here and this one was no different. Look at the internal rhyme schemes and the structure of the verse itself. This is greatness.

*Andre’s Verse On 13th Floor/ Growing Old

“I bet you never heard of a player with no game

Told the truth to get what I want, but shot it with no shame

Take this music dead serious while others entertain

I see they making they paper so I guess I can’t complain…

Or can I, I feel they disrespecting the whole thang

Them hooks like selling dope to black folks

And I choke when the food they serve ain’t tasting right

My stomach can’t digest it

Even when I bless it

I’m confessing one mo’ lesson/ From the South we in the house tonight

Now hootie who wants to oppose?

Suppose

We rolls through Headland and Delowe

Where me and my niggas surpassed the flow

And got down for ours like hind catchers

My mind catches

Flashbacks

To the black past, while my close niggas laugh at

The Southern slang

Fingerwaves and mojo, chicken wangs

I grew up on booty shake, we did not know no better thang

So go ‘head and, diss it

While real hop-hippers listen

Started by Afrika Bambaata, so you and your partner gather your thoughts….”

Andre just goes into his abstract mode, but also gives a middle finger to all detractors and those who don’t appreciate what they do. It’s one of his shining moments on the album, which speaks volumes considering the fact that most of his verses here are classics.

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The Legacy: 20 years later, this album stands the test of time. Unlike a lot of other projects, this album never loses its replay value and that’s beyond rare in the music world these days. ATLiens is a reminder of the legend that Outkast brought in their youth, as they were just really entering adulthood. They were still fairly young artists on the search for themselves and their path. This album is reflective of that and reflective of where they would continue to grow as men and artists. ATLiens is simply the greatest Hip Hop album released by a southern Hip Hop act. And I mean that sincerely.

True

Written by

#TEAMDAR Created By @TrueGodImmortal Assisted by @SpeedontheBeat SR3. TSL. DAR Radio. Jelly. Nate. Erika. Porsha. Joe. Ax. Apollo. Sony. Melvin. Daniel. Etc.…

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