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Aquemini: Funky, Futuristic Ear Food, Turns 20

Ethereal, otherworldly and down right funky are but some of the adjectives that come to mind when describing Aquemini, the third studio album from the Southern Playerlistic, Cadillac-driving duo from Atlanta, Georgia known as Outkast.

Released on this day in 1998, Aquemini’s title was gleaned from the zodiac signs of members Big Boi (Aquarius) and Andre 3000 (Gemini). The balanced dualism of the Andre and Big Boi’s respective personalities is distinct and telling, sonically.

According to chaos theory, within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, and self-organization that make the seemingly chaotic, uniform and ultimately complete.

The underlying pattern for Aquemini is hip-hop, the way-out beats provide the feedback loops and repetition, the creative love is the self-similarity, their overall catalog is indicative of self-organization.

Andre 3000 Crushes Our Dreams Of An OutKast Reunion

Hip-Hop fans have been salivating for an OutKast album almost as long as they’ve been itching for Dr. Dre to drop “Detox”. Those fans got a little bit of a teaser when Frank Ocean released a remix of “Pink Matter” with Big Boi adding a verse between Ocean and 3 Stacks.

Aquemini incorporated live musicians on a scale most hip-hop offerings historically would not dare to attempt. This provided for a sound that encapsulates and enraptures the listener. Most of the tracks are self-produced.

It only took two months for the set to go platinum. Aquemini went double platinum in July of the following year and peaked on the BIllboard 200 at number 2. The record also received rave reviews from music critics, who praised the album’s musicality and unique lyrical themes. It was ranked at number 500 in the book version of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, though I would argue that distinction is a bit low.

Thematically, hood stories, party tracks, modernism, futuristic funk, lots of pianos and synthesizers define this classic offering.

Here are some of the hottest tracks from this classic album.

Outkast – Liberation

Aquemini 1998 LaFace Records

Outkast – Synthesizer

Aquemini 1998 LaFace Records

Outkast – Rosa Parks

Aquemini 1998 LaFace Records

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