Today in Hip Hop History: September 29, 1998
In these hard and trying days, we must always remember to hold on and be strong; for 3 Stacks and Lucious Left Foot will always be there to solace us. In fact, today is quite the anniversary for the Atlanta based duo known as OutKast.
19 years ago today, they released their third studio album, Aquemini, through LaFace Records. The album title is a linguistic blend of Aquarius and Gemini, Andre 3000 and Big Boi‘s respective Zodiac signs. The conceptual Aquemini represents the two extremely different personalities of the duo.
OutKast recorded Aquemini in both Bobby Brown‘s Bosston Recording Studios and Doppler Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It featured contributions from Raekwon, George Clinton, Sleepy Brown, Big Gipp, Erykah Badu, Cee-Lo Green and several others. The duo took their time, recording for over two years, to put out their best work possible. And they did not disappoint one bit.
The album has a classic feel to it with several live instrumentation acts. Many revered Aquemini for its experimental elements, at the peak of the group’s extra-terrestrial-like symbolism following the similarly conceptual ATL-iens. Most of the album contains lyrical content switching from science-fictional stories to urban struggle raps. On one hand of the album, Andre represents the eccentric poet, and the other Big Boi encompasses the player/rapper. Big Boi envelops much of the conventionally hip hop aspects of the album. Andre represents the experimental parts of the album with his unorthodox themes and lyricism. Together, the two perfectly compliment each other and continue to portray their unapologetically southern hip hop style with pride.
Interestingly enough, the duo originally planned to create a film alongside Aquemini but scrapped the idea when MTV attempted to re-cast their movie.
Regardless, Aquemini is a bonafide hip hop classic. The album peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200, right behind Jay-Z‘s Vol 2…Hard Knock Life. It achieved RIAA Certified Double Platinum status by selling over 2 million total copies. The album also received phenomenal reviews after its release. Aquemini has been included on several publications’ list of greatest album of all time. It represents an interesting facet to the group’s legendary career, and is personally one of my favorite albums of all time.
Stream Aquemini below, and for all things hip hop keep reading at True Too.