Considered by many to be the last Outkast record really worth listening to, Big Boi and Dre's whopping 2003 double album (2CD / 4LP; also damn, cannot believe this is almost 20 years old 😓) is back in print. Peep the O.G. Blu Jemz review from when we first carried the album:
Andre and Big Boi seem determined to keep their careers separate but equal, releasing two solo albums here as an Outkast double album. But even walking on solo paths, it seems like these guys can do nothing to fall off. Speakerboxxx is Big Boi's record and he pulls no punches, delivering straight futuristic, playa theme music. Maybe it's cause I'm a New Yorker, but the hottest joint to me is his collabo with Jay-Z, "Flip Flop Rock." It's one of the illest beats I've ever heard Young Hov on - classical piano slides into a heavy bass sample at a tempo that only an Organized Noize protege could program. Other standouts on his disc are the moody "Unhappy," and the lead single "The Way You Move," but I didn't skip a single song on the Speakerboxxx. Big Boi enlists guest appearances from all of your favorite Dungeon Family characters as well as Lil Jon and Luda, and shares the production duties with the usual Organized Noize / Earth-Tone folks. On the other hand, André handles almost all the production on his half and it's as experimental as you would imagine: over-flowing with emotional chords, weird sound effects and drums programmed in unknown patterns. It's all him singing (well, rapping sometimes too), almost exclusively about love. But don't be mistaken, this is not the kind of record you chill with your lady and eat grapes to. Subject matter touches on the search for love on "Behold A Lady," falling in on "Prototype," being in on "Hey Ya!," making on "Spread," loving an older woman on "Pink and Blue," hating on "Roses"... you get the picture. Considering the theme of the album, Andre fittingly saves the guests appearances for the ladies, inviting Kelis, Norah Jones and Rosario Dawson to make cameos. In the end, Andre and Big Boi's decision to take roads is our gain because you get the pure distillation of styles from two of hip hop's most distinct characters. With four records and 40 songs, this should keep you bumpin' for at least a couple months.
- black 4xLP vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve
- music label: Arista 2003
reviewed by jms 12/2003