Brothers and sisters, welcome to the revolution. The world is
full, bursting at the seams with beautiful and amazing music,
yet the vast majority of our fellow citizens of this planet are
under the brutal oppression that is the modern music media money
My name is Clarence Baxter, and I'm a revolutionary. Many of
you know my story. If you don't, here's the rundown: many years
ago I was blind, like most of the world. After being accused of
a crime I didn't commit, and getting musical knowledge from a
mysterious stranger with vague ties to USOUNDS, I fled my former
confined existence, formed a group of music extremists, and began
to travel the world opening minds and busting experimental beats
out of gargantuan, super-customized ghetto blasters.
I've been just about everywhere on this earth with my core lineup
of comrades, and to be honest I was running out of places to go.
When you've been chased by drunken Russian
thugs, hassled by Singaporean thought police,
and generally harassed by a good percentage the brainwashed sheep
that run every corner of this sonically deprived earth, it's sometimes
hard to keep going. When you've been to the top of the mountain,
the lowlands seem benign and stale.
But the music always pulls me right back in. Sometimes it takes
a little time, a few listens... but other times it's like BAM.
When I got my advance copy of Outkast's Stankonia, the
BAM damn near knocked me to the ground. Outkast have always been
pioneers in hip hop, they're probably the best balancers of all
time in the game. Somehow they're underground and platinum, hard
and poetic, serious and funked up, all in the same slicksmoothrough
package. Every album of theirs has blown my mind, but Stankonia
did it the quickest.
Blame it on the B.O.B. The album's first single is my nomination
for best of the year 2000, best of the millennium so far. The
only thing I've heard in a long time that made me want to trade
in my blaster for a louder one... and my current unit when turned
up to 11 has the force of a Rolls Royce jet engine at about a
You can't say that the rest of the album is anything exactly
like B.O.B.-- and that's a good thing. BOB is like a source code,
a roadmap, an introduction to the land of Stankonia, "where
all funky things come from."
This isn't funk in the narrow sense. This isn't a genre record.
Instead this is an album that redefines funk to mean whatever
the hell spills out of the twisted and canny minds of Andre 3000
and Big Boi. This means that a track can be completely wacked
out on some drugs that haven't even reached earth yet, but can
still have a hook that's as catchy as anything you'll hear on
top 40 radio. That means that poets and playas can mingle in the
same space just cuz they know that music is energy, and energy
is power, and power is just about anything you want it to be.
Unlike the vast majority of hip hop, no song on this album sounds
like any other, and yet they are all so obviously 'brothers from
a different mother'. Any song on this record will cause a stir
when played at ungodly volumes through massive poertable speakers
in public places around the world...
So blast this shit out loud wherever you are. For all the talk
about the idea of "Stankonia," this is only a concept
album in the sense that wherever you take it, be it rural Mongolia
or downtown Karachi, you'll know exactly where it comes from:
the minds of two brothers who speak the truth in tongues from
7 light years below the oceans, in a land where playas, poets,
and just about everyone else is welcome to explore what funk means
Clarence Baxter, New York City, December 14, 2000