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 machine.

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Clarence Baxter

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 billion RPM.

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 to them.

Clarence Baxter, New York City, December 14, 2000

Check out Stankonia.com, know dat.


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Clarence Baxter around the world with:

Trans Am and more

Cornelius, Pastels, and more

Takako Minekawa Remixed Remix Review

Arling and Cameron

Other OutKast reviews:
Henrik X on Aquemini