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Best album of 1998 | The rest of the Best of 1998
OUTKAST, Aquemini, LaFace
Even though these southern players dropped a classic album of cadillac music on their debut, Dre and Big Boi haven't been content to duplicate their success by simply cloning their previous efforts. Instead, Outkast continues their evolution with a deeper brand of hip-hop on their third platter that not only gets you open, but opens your mind. Dre tackles the critics of that consciousness on the first track, "Return of the G," but quickly refocuses his attacks on "Synthesizer," choosing to target those that use the advances of science to enhance their appearance or "make seven babies." (That's right, he's dissin' the septuplets.) But for those that still want a taste of that ol' playa sound, the duo brings plenty of that as well. In fact, "West Savannah" is a cut they left off the first album. The hit singles -- "Rosa Parks" and "Skew It on the Bar-B" -- are here, too. And right after the best cut, "Da Art of Storytellin' (Part 2)," when the cries of "Mamacita" seem to be taking the album in the wrong direction, Outkast recovers with a spoken word track, two cuts featuring Goodie Mob, and a truly grand finale called "Chonkyfire." Aquemini is 75 minutes of diversified styles and solid music. We'll chalk up that one minor misfire to exploring the international flavor of hip-hop and grant the atliens a 50.
Click here to find out how to buy this album.

-- Mason Storm

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