Outkast was one of the first hip-hop acts to gain national attention. In 1996, all eyes were on the East and West coast. The regional beef between the two coast was at its peak and artists from those coasts was releasing, what are now, monumental albums. Meanwhile, in the south artists were trying their hardest to be heard outside of their city or state. Outkast was one group that broke out of the stigma that southern artists couldn’t rap. Their first album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was a hit and went platinum, but it was their second album that turned heads. Big Boi predicted the rise of Outkast with the line:
“'96 gon' be that year that all y'all playa haters can bite me.”
OutKast’s early work placed the American South squarely and inextricably on the hip-hop map, proving that the genre was not destined to be exclusively bicoastal forever. ATLiens was the album that represented ATL and gave the music industry a proper introduction to the city that would soon take over the national hip-hop scene.
Listen to ATLiens down below.