OutKast: Aquemini (1998). "Until They Close The Curtain..."
B. Cox and J. Owe look back at OutKast's classic third album Aquemini as it turns 25. After the success of their sophomore album, 1996's ATLiens, Andre and Big Boi both had major life events that affected their outlooks and artistry, included breakups and the start of fatherhood. Given more creative license, the group sought to take even more control of the production of their third album.
The album was largely self-produced along with contributions from Mr. DJ and their mentors Organized Noize. It featured guest appearances from Raekwon, George Clinton, fellow Dungeon Family members from Goodie Mob, Sleepy Brown, Cool Breeze, Witchdoctor, Big Rube and Erykah Badu. The album explored themes of the duality of the two emcees through their respective Zodiac signs (Big Boi's Aquarius and Andre's Gemini) and how they interpreted the same set of circumstances in everyday life. Both emcees were heavily influenced by music of their predecessors in Motwon and Stax Records as well as progressive rock and soul.
The album was backed by three singles, the most successful being the funky, yet controversial "Rosa Parks". It was praised for its intricate and cutting lyricism, storytelling and imagery along with its vivid production. The album received the coveted 5-Mic rating in The Source and has been certified double platinum, cited as the duo's best work and one of the best albums of the decade regardless of region.
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