19 years ago today (October 31, 2000), OutKast released their classic album Stankonia.
The album provided a critical yet playful take on modern America, while also pushing the musical expectations of what a hip-hop album can be – its experimental, rock-heavy, rave, drum ‘n’ bass, gospel, techno, psychedelia, and rock with a Dirty South-oriented Hip Hop sound on the record inspired a new generation of musicians, from Janelle Monae to Kanye West.
When OutKast first introduced audiences to Stankonia 19 years ago, the group made sure listeners knew exactly where they were. They were at "the center of the Earth, seven light-years below sea level," as Andre 3000 says in the opening words of the album —
"The place from which all funky things come."
Lyrically, the duo touches upon a wide range of subject matter, including politics, misogyny, sexuality, African-American culture, and personal introspection.
Stankonia received universal acclaim from music critics upon its release, and has since been regarded by many to be one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time.
The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling over 530,000 copies the first week. It produced three singles: 'B.O.B', 'Ms. Jackson', and 'So Fresh, So Clean'.
'Ms. Jackson' became the group's first single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
At the 2002 Grammy Awards, OutKast won Best Rap Album for Stankonia and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for 'Ms. Jackson'.
Listen to Stankonia below.