News Headlines (Part 2)
It's All Love . . . Below

33 and the Love Below

Andre 3000 Holding A Sweet Bitch

"God . . . [ Trent ] just needs a sweet bitch . . . you know, somebody not too . . not too fast, but not too slow. 'Cause I don't have it all my damn self. And LIFE ain't easy. You just want somebody by your side to help smooth that thang out. At this point . . . I mean, [ Trent's ] not being picky . . . she doesn't even have to have a big ol' ass. You know . . . just something well-proportioned to her body . . . you know a nice lil' tail . . ."
-- Taken from "God" by André 3000 (The Love Below)

I listened to OutKast's double-CD Speakerboxxx/The Love Below all weekend long.

What an exciting sonic trip. My assessment after several listens:

I totally love André 3000's The Love Below. Probably because, much like Dré, I also have been unlucky and lucky in love. So I know how Dré feels when you are totally in love (or in lust) and you can't get that girl out of your mind ("She Lives In My Lap"). And I know how it feels when your girlfriend dumps you for another nigga. The anger you have for that bitch can take over all of your emotions and your life. (Errrr!) On the scornful "Roses," a heated Dré reveals his resentment towards his ex-girl. ["I know you'd like to think your shit don't stank/ But lean a little bit closer/ See that roses really smell like boo-boo-ooo-ooo"]
I know that feeling . . . trust me. [Talking to my ex-girlfriend: fuck you bitch!]

Dré's Love Below is a psychedelic trip into those romantic pitfalls we often find ourselves in when it comes to love. Dré's music encompasses influences of Prince ("Happy Valentine's Day"), Earth, Wind & Fire ("Prototype"), Shuggie Otis ("Pink & Blue") and Beck ("Dracula's Wedding"). In addition, Dré's drum-n-bass reworking of John Coltrane's tune "My Favorite Things" should blow the roof off rave clubs nationwide. And "She's Alive" and "A Life in the Day of Benjamin Andre (Incomplete)" are pure hip-hop brilliance. Both of those songs are heartfelt autobiographical odes to Dré's life, which are introspective, retrospective and reflective all at the same time.

Not to say that Big Boi's Speakerboxxx is weak. Oh no, quite the opposite. Big Boi has put the "boom boom" back into hip-hop, and his side offers some of the funkiest (or "crunkiest") music I have ever heard in a while. The guest stars (Ludacris, Jay-Z, Lil' Jon, Killer Mike) are aplenty and they come through in a pinch -- since Dré is hardly heard of on the Speakerboxxx side, and vice versa. [Like my man, Paul Farber, said to me: "Speakerboxxx sounds like an OutKast album without Dré . . . and I'm fine with that!"]
None of the guest rappers outshine Big Boi -- they complement him. Not even Jigga's verses on "Flip Flop Rock" surpassed Big Boi's comprehensive lyrical flow.

Among the hot tracks are: the gospel-enriched "Church"; the crunk-meets-doo wop banger "The Way You Move"; the smooth soul grooves featured on "Reset"; and the club anthem "Last Call" (featuring Lil' Jon & the East Side Boyz and others), which will make the ladies (and fellas) "get low" from the window to the wall.

All around, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is just a great hip-hop CD and certainly one of the best albums of the year!

Now, the real question:
Is Speakerboxxx/The Love Below a hip-hop classic?

Hmmm . . .?

Who cares, it's a triumphant album --

Hip-hop is not dead . . . it's just in another spirit.

Oh . . . and today is my birthday.

I hope my birthday wish comes true . . .

God, are you listening?

Keep on stankin' . . .

"Word Association" time from Unconscious Mutterings
For Week 33 ::

  1. Savings :: account
  2. On :: and on
  3. Wire :: tap
  4. Word :: is bond
  5. Bladder :: control
  6. Missing :: link
  7. Side :: show
  8. Window :: seal
  9. Digit :: phone number
  10. Swirl :: ice cream