Today In Hip-Hop: OutKast Releases ‘ATLiens’

On this day, August 27, in hip-hop history…


1996: As we come of age, young people often want to branch out and look beyond our surroundings to find new avenues to explore in our lives. OutKast recorded their debut album when they were only 18 years old and had established themselves as burgeoning young artists in the Southern hip-hop scene but a trip to Jamaica changed their outlook on life.  As they discovered a new spirituality amongst themselves, the duo wishedto become more than the southernplayalistic avatars of their first album looking to the stars and their remarkable sophomore album, ATLiens was the result.

In a lot of ways, ATLiens is the true artistic birth for OutKast. While Andre 3000 and Big Boi found remarkable success with their debut album, it would be their second album that first showcased their desire to expand beyond the conventions of southern rap music that became the duo’s trademark. ATLiens showcased a spacier, atmospheric sound that seemed as if it were birthed on Mars but raised on the hot streets of Decatur. Lyrically, the boys showed maturity for their young age highlighting a new spirituality that looked to the millennium more than than the the hard-partying players of their debut.

For their effort, ATLiens was rewarded with artistic and commercial success debuting to rave reviews from critics and a number two charting on the Billboard. The album would become certified by the RIAA as double platinum over the years while spawning some of the finest singles of their career including “Elevators (Me & You),” “Jazzy Belle” and the title cut, “ATLiens.” Over the years, the acclaim would grow where fans and critics recognized ATLiens as a landmark achievement for OutKast and one of the finest hip-hop album of all-time.

  • BrianRaider

    Wow BJ Fuckin Great Job! You Summed It All Up! OK So… I Was Only A Freshman In High School When This Dropped. A Childhood Friend Let Me Borrow This 3 Years Later My Junior Year! I Fell In Love With This CD! I Love The Artwork Its A Continuation Of The 1st Disc! When You 1st Listen To The LP The Intro Is Bone Chilling! “You Can’t Be Sure… Some Go Low To Get High… You May Hurt Till You Cry! You May Die… Keep On Trying!” Damn. Before Dre & Big Say Anything The Tone Is Set & You Know Your In For A Funky Ride! This Is What Dre & Big Are Capable Of… Making Timeless Music When They Sit Down… Take Their Time & Create Together! They Continued This Run For Their Next Albums And Expanded Even Further With Stankonia! Last Year You Guys Had A Short Lived Best 5 Album Run Article. Outkast Should Have Been High Ranking Along Wit Weezy But Hey… The Music Dre & Big Put Together Is Special! Very! In Greatly Enjoyed Big Boi’s LLFTSOCD And Dre Has Been Killing His Features As Of Late So I Know They Still Got It! Outkast We Need Another Classic From Y’all. Im Sure I’m Not Alone With That Notion! The Description Of This Album Is Stellar, And Informative As I Didn’t Know That A Trip To Jamaica Triggered The Motivation For this Album. Im Gonna Describe This Album In 2 Words… Beyond Classic. Their Was An Older 2000 XXL Cover That Read The Inscription. Outkast G.G.O.A.T.? Yes They Are! Yes They Are!