8.15.2006

"Idlewild" reflections


I consider myself a huge Outkast fan (with them coming a very close second to ATCQ as my favorite hip-hop group), but after listening to the new album/soundtrack, I would have to say my sentiments regarding Idlewild fall pretty close to Tom Brehain's (although I enjoyed The Love Below).

After hearing that they would indeed be releasing a follow up to their last effort (which cannot be legitimately called a real Outkast album), I was actually anxiously waiting to hear what new shit they'd be bringing. My hopes would be that this would be the hip-hop album to look for come summer time. Mighty O was leaked/released, and the first thought that came to me was, "Fuck yeah, Dre is actually rapping." And then came Morris Brown (I dug it) , then Idlewild Blues (eh), and then half the album became readily available to anyone that frequents various hip-hop blogs. I became greatly disgusted by the high expectations that I placed Outkast, and am now with the consensus out there thats pleading with Andre to stop his poor excuse of a Prince impersonation.

I was one of those fans that dismissed the cries for Outkast's return back to that Southern ATL slumpish style as conservative calls for their music to be non-progressive. One thing that I have always appreciated from the duo has been their progression with each new album. Though it appears over time that they chose to create and abuse a formula for what they had been doing. Folks can blame Badu for Andre's transformation, but Common was able to make Be after the release of Electric Circus. Thus, I see what has happened to Outkast as more of a conforming to non-conformity attitude towards making music.

Don't get it all twisted though, there were a few enjoyable selections in Idlewild, particularly Big Boi's contributions. Whenever Dre is able to drop a verse, its almost always pleasurable. Atleast half of the album is listenable. My personal favorites include: Mighty-O, Morris Brown, N2U, In Your Dreams, and my personal favorite, Hollywood Divorce. Hollywood Divorce is easily the best track out of the entire album, though controversey is rife in the song with folks claiming Lil' Weezy used a ghost-writer.

Its all good though, I'm just a single blogger... Just because I don't like something, it don't mean that I'm hating. And Big Boi and Andre have nothing to worry about because they've reached a point that only a select few in the music industry (and even less in hip-hop) ever reach. They can take a shit on a record, call it experimentation, and every hipster out there that doesn't listen to hip-hop, except for Outkast and maybe Kanye West, will go out and buy the album the day it comes it.

Alls not lost with summer 2006 hip-hop music though, there is still Game Theory, which is is arguably the best Roots release since Things Fall Apart.

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