Award-winning DJ and producer J. Period is back at it with one another mega-mix masterpiece dedicated to one musical act, this time the southern hip-hop dynamic duo Outkast. In the past, J. Period has released projects chronicling the lives and music of superstars like Michael Jackson, James Brown, Nas, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West and many more. This time though the spotlight hits Andre 3000 and Big Boi…and deservingly so.
Recorded at the party jam live at Art Of Storytellin’: Brooklyn, J. Period takes hits like Desiigner’s “Panda” and contorts it with ‘Kast’s “B.O.B.”. Young Money’s “Truffle Butter” finds its way on Outkast’s “Skew It on the BBQ” in a fantastical flow way. The artwork for the project stays inline with the creative mash up of themes from Outkast’s most detailed album work. Designed by the legend, Dan Lish, this cover takes the Alice In Wonderland time concept and twists it’s back out. Check the rhymes and the rhythms below.
Being straight up, I wasn’t even checking for Atlanta natives Outkast when their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik dropped on April 26, 1994. I was a senior in high school and way to consumed with being a Nike head and getting chains that would excite the Feds, ‘cus like most New York teens at the time, Nasty Nas ruled our world. Plus, the young God soloist had just released his instant classic, Illmatic, on April 19th a week before. So looking out for some down south, almost bizzaro world version of hardcore rappers Das Efx wasn’t my immediate flow.
Yet, the video for the album’s single “Player’s Ball” was dope and reminded me of my South Carolina cousins. The Souls of Mischief flows were riding the beat right and the visuals of the ATL hoods showed their realness. Yet, I still didn’t consume the album until weeks later. I respected it. But there were so many ill ass albums that dropped in 1994 (look ‘em up), so I didn’t connect fully with ‘Kast’s first project until at least the winter of ‘94. You can thank the good thick grits groove and message of “Git Up, Git Out” (which introduced Goodie Mob) for that.
Shame on me for that long a** wait between listens. Even more shame on me for not realizing the incredible talents they possessed until the next album, ATLiens, in 1996. “Elevators” alone is probably the basis for all breaking the mold hip-hop soul at the time. They then followed with Aquemini in ‘98, Stankonia in 2000 and the greatest set, in my opinion Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2003. But none of this would be possible without the initial groundbreaking impact of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. It is so important to the fabric of Hip-Hop that Timothy Anne Burnside, Curatorial Museum Specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture included it at the heralded preserve and had this to say about it:
“When thinking about what objects to display in the music exhibition, it was important to tell stories from multiple genres, regions, and time periods. Outkast’s Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik helps to tell a much larger story of hip-hop in the south, and includes narratives around southern culture and identity that connect with themes and topics explored in other exhibitions in the museum. The sonic construction of the album features so many genres, and the production – especially the inclusion of live instrumentation – combined with the lyrics and styles of Big Boi and Andre created something that was not yet really present in hip hop. Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik simultaneously explored the past, present, and future of music and culture, and established Outkast’s authenticity as unapologetically Southern.”
When an album like Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik makes historians flip like that, it means the DJs/Producers like J. Period start to brainstorm and come up with mixtape ideas like OutKast: ReFixed. Taking the many classics that the Atlanta duo has cooked up and adding new musical spice to them was J. Period’s aim. Here are his thoughts on ‘Kast and their career:
“Twenty-three years ago today, an album came out that changed the course of hip-hop history forever. Before Outkast put Atlanta on the map, hip-hop was East and West; Outkast opened a bridge to a whole new world in the South, and paved the way for other cities — Houston, Miami, New Orleans — to brand their own distinct styles of hip hop. It’s an honor to take part in Vibe’s celebration of this milestone and pay tribute to Outkast’s catalog with this new mixtape. Remixing Dre and Big Boi verses over new and classic beats is my way of showing the timelessness of their catalog, and the greatness of these two visionary artists. Plus: hearing Andre verses back to back over new beats tunes your ears in a new way to really dissect his lyrics. No question: 3 Stacks is one of the greatest MCs of all time.”
Now here we are, 23 years later still listening to them country boys. Just two nights ago, Big Boi sat holding court before the media elite in New York’s Electric Lady Studios, playing the ElectroFunkPopTrap selections from his new album Boomiverse, which should be out this June. Taking a moment to enjoy the historic milestone of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and Outkast’s impact, Big Boi said this:
“[Outkast is] two years away from being eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! The foundation of southern Hip-Hop, a global statement of what the South has to offer.”