Aside from Frank Ocean's "Pink Matter" remix from the top of 2013, "Royal Flush" is the only song with verses from both members of OutKast in the past five years. Big Boi leaked the song in anticipation of Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, but label conflict kept the record off his debut solo album. That in no way lessens the impact of the song. Ten years after their Aquemini collaboration, "Skew It on the Bar-B," the same trio of MCs take up residence over a no nonsense Royal Flush production and gel almost as flawlessly as they did before.
Big Boi addresses nuclear warfare with a slick simile: "North Korea got that shit that make L.A. look like Japan." Raekwon goes for what sounds like an easy 12 bars, but a closer look at the way he holds the same rhyme for the entire verse heightens the appreciation. Then Andre 3000 steps to the plate, blacking out for more than double the length of both previous verses combined, and for all the greatness and necessity of Big Boi and Raekwon's contributions, 3 Stacks packs even more punch into his lyrics.
He analogizes himself with cooked cocaine: "Crack and I have a lot in common/We both come up in the 80's and we keep that bass pumping," interpolates the "Hokey Pokey" for the purpose of life lessons, and introduces the concept of hustling to score your daughter a Nintendo Wii, without missing a step. It's a brilliant undertaking, and makes you wish these three, or at least OutKast, would make more music together. —Ernest Baker
RELATED: Big Boi's 25 Favorite Albums