Release Date: Sept. 23, 2003
As a blockbuster pop single, “Hey Ya!” is indeed The Love Below’s best foot forward, though it's just OutKast getting started. “A Life in the Day of Andre Benjamin” is the most surreal, engrossing bit of artist biography since Prince's "Ballad of Dorothy Parker." From Big Boi's half of the double-disc split, “GhettoMusick,” “The Rooster,” “Bust,” “Flip Flop Rock,” and “Last Call” are the collectively deafening bombast by which Speakerboxxx earns its name. Whereas albums like The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show (rightfully) max out on adolescence and blunt appeals to teen egos, Speakerboxxx and The Love Below are, together, a sort of grand musical experiment in which a band tests the bounds of its historical fluency. Here you have a rap album that's secretly a rock album, and not-so-secretly a feat of funk and R&B. In two parts, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is hip-hop’s Sign o’ the Times, with “Prototype” giving Prince a run for Andre’s advance. OutKast is the greatest American band of all time. Here's one album (among six) to prove it.