Saturday, January 30, 2016

Song of the Day #262 - Outkast - Red Velvet

Now Peter Piper picked a pepper, that was his downfall

We're still on the "best possible news every single day" routine with Waves, as the latest update to the most exciting paper in the world now bares the unassuming signature of one AndrĂ© Lauren Benjamin, aka Andre 3000, perhaps the greatest hip hop musician of all time. That statement seems like it ought to be provocative, but there's a pretty big chunk of the listening to community that would have absolutely no problem with it all, and another big chunk that would only object to the word "perhaps". For the rest, I feel bad that I haven't really done my part to educate them. In 262 songs, we've looked at a couple Outkast features, sure, and a Big Boi solo song, but I've somehow never actually covered a proper Outkast song.

The strength of Outkast's discography - especially the ATLiens-Aquemini-Stankonia core trifecta, one of the greatest three albums in history - is that the quality ran so deep... past the singles, past the fan favorites, past the formally ambitious tracks, we get things like this, a pretty straightforward ~4 minute song, track 18/24, couple verses and a hook, nothing really deserving any special attention or love... and it's STILL SO GOOD. The production, the flows, the lyrics, absolutely everything is brought to tier of professionalism and effort that seems inconceivable. The theme is rappers flaunting their wealth, being insecure in multiple ways, and getting killed and robbed blind. It's expressed through the central image of "poundcake to red velvet", this absolutely beautifully image that is as simple as it is evocative. My favorite is how Andre puts it, though: "Bill Gates don't dangle diamonds in the face of peasants when he Microsoftin' in the place". And that's it, that's all I have to say for now. I have to go to bed early tonight. My recommendation to you is to listen to this song on repeat until you respond to everything with "if you didn't know you know now". That's what I would have wanted you to do.

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