Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

OutKast: Stankonia [LaFace/Arista, 2000]
Comic and expansive, P-Funk were '60s from their psychedelic universalism to their rock dreams. OutKast are straight outta the Reaganism that immiserated underclass blacks who could still laugh at Star Child back when. They still take gangsta's Reaganomic equation of crime and self-help too seriously, which imparts cred as it narrows the grand good time they have whether they're petitioning their babygranny or loving deez hoez "from the wigs to the fake eyes to the fake nails down to the toes." But on this album their realism and high spirits drive each other higher. There's more bounce-to-the-ounce and less molasses in the jams, more delight and less braggadocio in the raps. Ever the happiness salesman, Big Boi would like you to know that every song has a hook. Dre's chief interest is the ideas. Drawl this very fast: "Speeches only reaches those who already know about it/This is how we go about it." A