January 24, 2002

Test Spins: OutKast

Print More

Man, mainstream rap kicks the ass of mainstream rock right now. Think about it: rock radio is plagued by the Bizkits and Creeds of the world, while rap stations give time to progressive, interesting artists like Missy Elliott, Mystikal, and OutKast. The latter act shows off its considerable skills on a new greatest hits compilation, proving they deserve both the critical acclaim and commercial success they’ve received in recent years.

“Rosa Parks” features a laidback chorus and a smooth flow packed with clever couplets. The ubiquitous “Ms. Jackson,” meanwhile, is probably the most heartfelt rap song ever to hit #1 — its raw emotion and positive message are refreshing in the age of gangstas. And as if more proof of this group’s originality is needed, the rapid-fire “B.O.B.” incorporates drum n’ bass rhythms as MCs Dre and Big Boi impress by effortlessly keeping pace with the frantic beats. Though lacking the complete statement of the last two OutKast albums, this disc does provide a great introduction.

Archived article by Ed Howard