The South Got Somethin’ To Say: An Ode to ‘ATLiens’

OUTKAST-HHGARecently, it seems as though everybody has a foul opinion about the city of Atlanta. Whether it’s the people, the events, or the overall vibe of the city, many out-of-towners, despite the fact that Atlanta is their new home, continue to slander the A for various reasons, including its music. Regardless of the several influences that Atlanta has had on the world of pop culture, many people fail to completely appreciate the greatness that various Southern artists have contributed to us. From artists such as hip-hop act Goodie Mob to the King of the South himself, T.I., the city of Atlanta has created a vast variety of musical acts for the rap game to share. Unfortunately, Atlanta is often bashed and defamed for the multiple DJ Unks and Crime Mobs that the industry has also continuously produced from here. Throughout the history of Atlanta music, there is one project that continues to not only be one of the greatest albums to ever come out of the south, but also encompasses Atlanta culture and style: ATLiens.

Over 15 years ago on August 27th, 1996, hip-hop duo Outkast dropped their second studio album ATLiens and from then, it was history. From the intro “You May Die”, which features Big Gipp’s wife Joi, to the ONP 86 Mix of “Elevators”, the double platinum album contains timeless classics with lyrical ecstasy on hypnotizing beats. Primarily composed by Organized Noize, the album was produced ahead of its time as the Atlanta duo adopted a more futuristic feel compared to their first album Southerplayalisticadillacmuzik. If the drowning, spacey production wasn’t enough, lyricists Andre 3000 and Big Boi melodically float on tracks such as “Two Dope Boyz”, “Babylon” and single, “Jazzy Belle.” The appropriately titled album portrays the maturity of Outkast from their first album and their symbolism as castaways from the hip-hop community.

While the entire album provides something for everybody, there is one track that sums up not only the album, but the duo themselves: “ATLiens”. The overly catchy track accurately epitomizes the Southern lifestyle that can be found in the heart of Georgia. With a hook as simple as “now throw your hands in the air, and wave ’em like you just don’t care, and if you like fish and grits and all that pimp sh*t, everybody let me hear you say, o-yea-yer,” the title track can easily be described as not only one of the best songs on the album, but one of Kast’s best songs.

Although ATLiens is one of the more memorable albums out of the A, Atlanta has also produced other great projects such as Ludacris’ Chicken-n-Beer, Young Jeezy’s Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition, and even Goodie Mob’s debut album Soul Food, not to mention all the other Outkast albums. Fortunately, the greatest thing about music is that there is something for everyone, no matter what style or genre. While you do not necessarily have to enjoy the rap music that has been produced out of Atlanta, hip-hop fans around the world cannot help but to respect it as they should.

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