On this day, October 31, in hip-hop history…
2000: Following the success of their third studio album, Aquemini, OutKast worked on their follow up, Stankonia. A combination of the word “stank” for funky and “Plutonia,” a futuristic city from a poster in Andre 3000’s home. Stankonia was also the name of the studio that Outkast purchased and recorded the album. By having their own studio, Big Boi and Andre 3000 did not have the constraints that come with sharing a studio. With this freedom, they had more time to record the album and to experiment with different sounds and instruments. While recording, they refrained from listening to hip-hop and instead listened to artists like Prince, Little Richard, and Jimi Hendrix.
Stankonia differed from OutKast’s previous work. Instead of the laid back sound listeners were used to, these songs had a faster, more chaotic pace to reflect the state of hip hop and youth culture. OutKast was also influenced by raves which were popular during the late 1990s. Andre 3000 also combined rapping with a more melodic singing voice on the album.
Stankonia debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, selling 530,000 it first week. The single “Ms. Jackson” was their first Billboard Hot 100 number 1 hit. At the 2002 Grammys, OutKast won Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance By Duo or Group for “Ms. Jackson.” -Ariana LaBarrie