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throwback Aug 27 2016 Written by

Today In Hip Hop: 20 Years Ago

Released 20 years ago today: OutKastATLiens

OUTKAST 1996

ATLiens is the second studio album by OutKast, released on August 27, 1996, by LaFace Records. The duo wanted to improve on their 1994 debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and gain respect for their growing Southern Hip Hop scene. OutKast recorded ATLiens in sessions at several Atlanta studios—Bosstown Recording Studios, Doppler Recording Studios, PatchWerk Recording Studio, Purple Dragon Studios, and Studio LaCoCo—as well as Chung King Recording Studio and Sound On Sound Recording in New York City.

The record features outer space-inspired production sounds, with OutKast and producers Organized Noize incorporating elements of dub, reggae, and gospel into the compositions. Several songs feature the duo’s first attempts at producing music by themselves. Lyrically, the group discusses a wide range of topics including urban life as hustlers, existential introspection, and extraterrestrial life. The album’s title is a portmanteau of “ATL” (an abbreviation of Atlanta, Georgia) and “aliens”, which has been interpreted by critics as a commentary about the feeling of being isolated from American culture.

ATLiens debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, and it sold nearly 350,000 copies in its first two weeks of release. The album was very well received by music critics upon its release, who praised the record’s lyrical content. It has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of two million copies in the United States. The album spawned the singles “Elevators (Me & You)”, “ATLiens”, and “Jazzy Belle”. Since its release, ATLiens has been listed by several magazines and critics as one of the greatest Hip Hop albums of all time. (Wikipedia)

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