Speakerboxxx/The Love Below: Wikis

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Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Studio album by OutKast
Released September 23, 2003
Recorded September 11, 2001—September 17, 2003
Genre Hip hop, funk, soul, pop, jazz
Length 56:26 (Speakerboxxx)
78-79 min. (The Love Below, exact length varies depending on pressing)
135 min. (total)
Label LaFace, Arista
Producer André 3000, Big Boi, Carl Mo, Mr. DJ, Cutmaster Swiff, Dojo5
OutKast chronology
Stankonia
(2000)
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
(2003)
Idlewild
(2006)
Singles from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
  1. "Hey Ya!"
    Released: September 9, 2003
  2. "The Way You Move"
    Released: September 9, 2003
  3. "Roses"
    Released: February 23, 2004
  4. "Ghetto Musick"
    Released: 2004
  5. "Prototype"
    Released: 2004

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is the fifth studio album by American hip hop duo OutKast, released September 23, 2003 on LaFace Records in the United States. Issued as a double album, it clocks at over two and-a-half hours and consists of a solo album from both of the group's members.[1] Speakerboxxx has Big Boi performing tracks that are rooted in basic hip hop,[2] while The Love Below, the solo project of André 3000, covers musical styles such as soul, pop, funk, and jazz.[3] Selling over 15 million copies to date, it is one of the best-selling rap albums of all time.

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below received widespread acclaim from music critics, based on an aggregate score of 91/100 from Metacritic.[4] It was supported with the hit singles "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move", which both reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. As part of its success, the album won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, making it only the second hip hop album to ever win the award after The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1999. It is also the first and only rap album to win the award to date. In 2009, NME ranked Speakerboxxx/The Love Below number 44 on its list of the top 100 greatest albums of the decade.[5] It was the first album (and to date, the only album) with a Parental Advisory label to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Contents

Music

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below represented a departure on Outkast previous work. First of all, the album worked as two albums on a single set, with the first (Speakerboxxx) working as a Big Boi solo project and the second (The Love Below) as a André solo album. Critics pointed on this fact, and many interpreted as an initial problem that finally succeed as a favorable point. Stephen Thomas Erlewine compared this expanded creative freedom between each members of the group with what happened to The Beatles in 1968, saying "the effect is kind of like if the Beatles issued The White Album as one LP of Lennon tunes, the other of McCartney songs — the individual records may be more coherent, but the illusion that the group can do anything is tarnished. By isolating themselves from each other, Big Boi and Andre 3000 diminish the idea of OutKast slightly, since the focus is on the individuals, not the group. Which, of course, is part of the point of releasing solo albums under the group name — it's to prove that the two can exist under the umbrella of the OutKast aesthetic while standing as individuals." [6]

Most critics were also particularly more interesed in André's half of the album than on Big Boi's solo venture, due to the experimentation with several music genres on The Love Below. The intro of the album was already a trip on classical music, "Love Hater" has purely jazz influences (apart from a cover of "My Favorite Things", a Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein tune), and the rest was a combination of soul, funk, R&B, and hip-hop. Will Hermes from Entertainment Weekly pointed that André's album "is as strange and rich a trip as pop offers nowadays, a song cycle about love's battle against fear and (self-) deception that's frequently profound, hilarious, and very, very sexy." [7] Prince's influences are very notable on André 3000, as it is particularly noted on the track "She Lives in My Lap" (very reminiscent to Prince's "She's Always in My Hair"), a funky piece where Dré's voice is accompanied by a female voice in a style similar to the one of Prince's bandmates Diamond and Pearl. The Love Below also found André singing more than rapping (a fact that found criticism on many fans familiarized with OutKast previous style). Hermes noted: "Dre sings more than raps here, which could be a problem, as his nasal drawl isn't the greatest instrument. But hip-hop, like punk, is about making magic with limited means through the sheer force of creative will, and whether he's cooing baby noises on the Goth-soul cha-cha Pink & Blue or scatting with multiplatinum siren Norah Jones on the interlude Take Off Your Cool, Dre's limitations read here like strengths."

The Love Below is substantially longer than Big Boi's Speakerboxxx, clocking for almost 78 minutes, compared to 56 minutes for Speakerboxxx. Featured guests on Speakerboxxx include Sleepy Brown, Jazze Pha, Jay-Z, Cee-Lo, Killer Mike, Goodie Mob, Lil' Jon and Ludacris. Guests on The Love Below include Rosario Dawson, Norah Jones, Kelis, and Fonzworth Bentley. Songs that were to be featured on The Love Below included "Millionaire" featuring Kelis and "Long Way to Go" featuring Gwen Stefani. Those two were scrapped, and instead included in the collaborators' own albums—Tasty and Love. Angel. Music. Baby., respectively. Big Boi included André 3000 in producing and co-writing quite a bit of Speakerboxxx. On the other hand, the only song on The Love Below featuring a verse by Big Boi is "Roses".[8]

Reception

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Commercial performance

 Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[9]
Robert Christgau (A-)[10]
Entertainment Weekly (A)[11]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[12]
NME (8/10)[13]
Pitchfork Media (8.0/10)[14]
PopMatters (favorable)[15]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[16]
Stylus (A+)[17]
Village Voice (favorable)[18]

After achieving three #2 albums in the U.S., OutKast finally achieved their first #1 album with Speakerboxxx/The Love Below when the album debuted at the summit of the Billboard 200 on October 11, 2003 with over 510,000 copies sold in its first week. It became the biggest debut for a double album during the Soundscan era (beginning in 1991) after Shania Twain's Up!, which debuted with 874,000 copies the previous year. During the following week, the album managed to sell at least 235,000 copies, staying another week at the top. Then it spent three weeks inside the top 5 until it returned to the top for one more week, selling almost 142,000 copies. Sales maintained strong during the following weeks, spending another four weeks at #1 between January and February of 2004. In all, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below achieved a total seven weeks at #1, 24 weeks at the Top 10, and 56 weeks (over a year) inside the Billboard 200, a notable feat for a double album. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below has been certified diamond and 11 times platinum by the RIAA for shipping more than 11 million units (in this case, 5.5 million double album sets), becoming the best selling rap album of all time. [19]

In terms of singles, the album was very successful. "Hey Ya!" went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, topping the charts there for 9 weeks. The song also topped the charts in Canada and Australia and charted in 28 countries around the world. "The Way You Move" also topped the U.S. charts in 2004 and has charted in 17 countries around the world. "The Way You Move" knocked "Hey Ya!" off the top of the charts in the U.S., the sixth time a recording act has replaced itself at number one since Elvis Presley first did so in 1956. As well as breaking "Hey Ya!"'s run at number one, "The Way You Move" broke OutKast's overall run at the top spot, only staying there for one week before it gave way to "Slow Jamz" by Kanye West featuring Twista and Jamie Foxx. "Hey Ya!" was also the first ever platinum download on iTunes. The third single released from the album was "Roses" from The Love Below while the fourth and fifth singles released were "Prototype" (The Love Below) and "Ghetto Musick" (Speakerboxxx) respectively. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is OutKast's first album to have more than three singles and two #1 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

Critical response

Very-well received by critical community in general, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was voted as the best album of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll. In Australia, Hey Ya! was voted #2 on the 2003 Triple J Hottest 100, the biggest alternative music poll of its type in the country. In the jazz periodical Down Beat the album was voted as best "beyond" album. The album was nominated for a total six Grammy Awards, winning three of them (Album of the Year, Best Urban/Alternative Performance for "Hey Ya!", and Best Rap Album) (OutKast lost on the categories for Producer of the Year, and Best Short-Form Music Video and Record of the Year, both for "Hey Ya!"). It was the 2nd hip hop album to receive the Grammy for Album of the Year. (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill being the first in 1999)

Track listing

Speakerboxxx (disc one)

Producers are noted with superscripts:
(a) Big Boi, (b) André 3000, (c) Mr. DJ, (d) Carl Mo & Big Boi, (e) Cutmaster Swiff, (f) Big Boi & Mr. DJ.

  1. "Intro" – 1:29 e
  2. "Ghetto Musick" (featuring Andre 3000 & Patti LaBelle) (Bunny Sigler, Kenny Gamble, André Benjamin, Antwan Patton) – 3:56 b
  3. "Unhappy" (Antwan Patton, David Sheats) – 3:19 c
  4. "Bowtie" (featuring Sleepy Brown & Jazze Pha) (Phalon Alexander, Antwan Patton, Patrick Brown) – 3:56 a
  5. "The Way You Move" (featuring Sleepy Brown) (Carlton "Carl Mo" Mahone, Antwan Patton, Patrick Brown) – 3:54 d
  6. "The Rooster" (Carlton "Carl Mo" Mahone, Antwan Patton, Donnie Mathis) – 3:57 d
  7. "Bust" (featuring Killer Mike) (Myrna Crenshaw, Antwan Patton, Michael Render) – 3:08 a
  8. "War" (André Benjamin, Antwan Patton, David Sheats) – 2:43 c
  9. "Church" (Kevin Kendricks, André Benjamin, Myrna Crenshaw, Antwan Patton, Patrick Brown) – 3:27 b
  10. "Bamboo" (Interlude) (performed by Big Boi & Bamboo) – 2:09
  11. "Tomb of the Boom" (featuring Konkrete, Big Gipp, and Ludacris) (Cameron K-Oz Gipp, Antwan Patton, Chris Bridges, Nathaniel Elder, Cory Andrews, James Patton) – 4:46 a
  12. "E-Mac" (Interlude) (performed by E-Mac) – 0:24
  13. "Knowing" (featuring Andre 3000) (Antwan Patton, David Sheats) – 3:32 c
  14. "Flip Flop Rock" (featuring Killer Mike and Jay-Z) (Shawn Carter, Antwan Patton, Michael Render, David Sheats) – 4:35 f
  15. "Interlude" – 1:15
  16. "Reset" (featuring Khujo Goodie and Cee-Lo Green) (Thomas Burton, Antwan Patton, Willie Knighton) – 4:35 a
  17. "D-Boi" (Interlude) (performed by Henry Welch) – 0:40
  18. "Last Call" (featuring Slimm Calhoun & Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz) (André Benjamin, Antwan Patton, James Hollins, Brian Loving) – 3:57 b
  19. "Bowtie" (Postlude) (Phalon Alexander, Antwan Patton, Patrick Brown) – 0:34

The Love Below (disc two)

All tracks were produced solely by André 3000 except "Roses", which was co-produced by Dojo5.

  1. "The Love Below (Intro)" (André Benjamin) – 1:27
  2. "Love Hater" (Kevin Kendricks, André Benjamin) – 2:49
  3. "God (Interlude)" (André Benjamin) – 2:20
  4. "Happy Valentine's Day" (André Benjamin) – 5:23
  5. "Spread" (André Benjamin) – 3:51
  6. "Where Are My Panties?" (performed by André 3000 & Toni Hunter) – 1:54
  7. "Prototype" (André Benjamin) – 5:26
  8. "She Lives in My Lap" (Willie Dennis, Isaac Hayes, Roger Troutman, Doug King, Brad Jordan, Eric Vidal, André Benjamin, Dino Hawkins) – 4:27
  9. "Hey Ya!" (André Benjamin) – 3:55
  10. "Roses" (André Benjamin, Antwan Patton, Matt Boykin) – 6:09
  11. "Good Day, Good Sir" (performed by André 3000 & Fonzworth Bentley) – 1:24
  12. "Behold a Lady" (André Benjamin) – 4:37
  13. "Pink & Blue" (R. Kelly, André Benjamin) – 5:04
  14. "Love in War" (André Benjamin) – 3:25
  15. "She's Alive" (Kevin Kendricks, André Benjamin) – 4:06
  16. "Dracula's Wedding" (featuring Kelis) (André Benjamin) – 2:32
  17. "The Letter (Interlude)" - 0:20 (only featured on later pressings)
  18. "My Favorite Things" – 5:14 (not listed anywhere in the artwork except for the tracklist on the sticker)
  19. "Take Off Your Cool" (featuring Norah Jones) (André Benjamin) – 2:38
  20. "Vibrate" (André Benjamin) – 6:33
  21. "A Life in the Day of Benjamin André (Incomplete)" (performed by Benjamin André) (André Benjamin) – 5:11

Sample credits

  • "Ghetto Musick," from "Speakerboxxx," contains samples of "Love, Need & Want You" by Patti LaBelle.
  • "She Lives In My Lap," from "The Love Below," contains samples of "Mind Playing Tricks On Me" by Geto Boys and "Pistolgrip-Pump" by Volume 10.
  • "Pink & Blue," from "The Love Below," contains samples of "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number" by Aaliyah and "Why Can't We Live Together" by Timmy Thomas.
  • "My Favorite Things" from "The Love Below" contains samples from John Coltrane's 1960 recording by the same name.

Chart history

Chart positions

Album
Year Chart positions
Billboard 200 Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums Top Canadian Albums Top Internet Albums
2004 1 1 4 1
Singles
Year Song Chart positions
Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Rap Singles Rhythmic Top 40 Top 40 Mainstream Top 40 Tracks Canadian Singles Chart Modern Rock Tracks Adult Top 40 Latin Pop Airplay Top 40 Adult Recurrents
2003 "Hey Ya!" 1 9 1 1 1 1 16 13 34 6
2004 "Ghettomusick" 93 -
2004 "Prototype" 63
2004 "Roses" 9 12 5 7 4 7
2003 "The Way You Move" 1 2 1 4 1 1 34

Chart procession and succession

Preceded by
Grand Champ by DMX
Measure of a Man by Clay Aiken
The Diary of Alicia Keys by Alicia Keys
Closer by Josh Groban
Billboard 200 number-one album
October 5–18, 2003
November 9–15, 2003
January 4–17, 2004
January 25 – February 7, 2004
Succeeded by
Chicken*N*Beer by Ludacris
Shock'n Y'all by Toby Keith
Closer by Josh Groban
Kamikaze by Twista

Personnel

  • OutKast – Executive producer[20]
  • André Benjamin – Soloist, vocals, background vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, *tenor sax, programming, producer
  • Big Boi – Vocals, producer
  • Aaron Mills – Bass
  • Jef Van Veen - Drums
  • Alex Reverberi – Assistant
  • Antwan Patton – Vocals, background vocals, drum programming, keyboards, programming, producer
  • Benjamin Wright – String arrangements, string conductor
  • Bernie Grundman – Mastering
  • Big Gipp – Vocals, background vocals
  • Bonnie Hayes & the Wild Combo – Vocals
  • Brian "Big Bass" Gardener – Mixing
  • Brian Gardner – Mastering
  • Brian Paturalski – Engineer
  • Carl Mo – Producer
  • Catherine Chan – Cello
  • Cee-Lo – Vocals
  • Charles Veal – Concert Master, violin
  • Chris Carmouche – Assistant, engineer
  • Chris Steffen – Assistant
  • Cutmaster Swift – Cut, producer
  • Dale Humphries - Harp, Harmonium
  • Darrel Thorpe – Engineer
  • Darrell Thorp – Mixing
  • Darryl Otis Smith – Guitar
  • David Arenz – Strings
  • David Braitberg – Strings
  • David Whild – Guitar
  • Debra Killings – Bass, background vocals
  • Dexter Simmons – Mixing
  • Dojo5 – Producer
  • Donald Whittemore – Assistant
  • Donnie Mathis – Guitar
  • East Side Boyz – Vocals
  • Eleanor Arnez – Strings
  • Eric Johnson – Strings
  • Gina Kronstadt – Violin
  • Greg Burns – Assistant
  • Greg Price – Assistant
  • Hornz Unlimited – Horn, trumpet, horn arrangements
  • Jared Robbins – Assistant
  • Jay-Z – Vocals
  • Jazze Pha – Background Vocals
  • Jazze Pha – Vocals
  • Jeff Moses – Assistant
  • Jeffrey Schulz – Art direction, design
  • Jeminesse "Slimm Jim" Smith – Programming
  • Jim Sitterly – Violin
  • Joe-Mama Nitzberg – Creative Director
  • John Frisbee – Director
  • John Frye – Engineer, pre-mixing, mixing
  • John Krovoza – Cello
  • Joi – Background vocals, vocals
  • Jonathan Mannion – Photography
  • Jordan Voisey - Washboard, Additional Vocals
  • Josh Monroy – Assistant
  • Kelis – Vocals
  • Kevin "KD" Davis – Mixing
  • Kevin Brandon – Double bass
  • Kevin Kendricks – Guitar, keyboards
  • Kevin O'Neal – Double bass
  • Kevin Smith – Bass – Electric
  • Killer Mike – Vocals, background vocals
  • King Stephen – Vocals
  • Konkrete – Vocals
  • L.A. Reid – Executive Producer
  • Lil Jon – Vocals
  • Lisa Chien – Cello
  • Louis Kabok – Violin
  • Ludacris – Vocals
  • Malik Albert – Assistant
  • Marcy Vaj – Viola
  • Marianne Lee Stitt – Background Vocals
  • Mark Cargill – Violin
  • Mark Casillas – Violin
  • Martin Smith – Cello
  • Marvin "Chanz" Parkman – Organ, keyboards
  • Matt Still – Engineer
  • Matthew Hanson - Background Vocals
  • Mello – Vocals, background vocals
  • Michele Nardone – Viola
  • Mildryln "Big Gul" Andrews – Background vocals
  • Moffett Morris – Upright Bass
  • Moka Nagatani – Engineer
  • Mr. DJ – Producer
  • Myrna Crenshaw – Background vocals
  • Myrna Crenshaw – Vocals
  • Neal H. Pogue – Mixing
  • Neil Pogue – Mixing
  • Norah Jones – Vocals
  • Padraic Kernin – Assistant, engineer
  • Patrick Morgan – Viola
  • Pete Novak – Engineer, pre-mixing, mixing
  • Rabeka Tuinei – Assistant
  • Rajinder Kala – Conga
  • Reggie Doizier – Mixing
  • Regina Davenport – A&R, artist coordination, production coordination
  • Reginald Dozier – Engineer
  • Richard Adkins – Violin
  • Richard Keller – Strings, string arrangements
  • Robert Hannon – Engineer
  • Robin Ross – Viola
  • Rosario Dawson – Vocals
  • Russell Buelna – Assistant
  • Sanford Salzinger – Strings
  • Sleepy Brown –Vocals, background vocals
  • Slimm Calhoun – Vocals
  • Terrence Cash – Engineer
  • Theresa Wilson – A&R
  • Tibor Zelig – Violin
  • Tomi Martin – Guitar
  • Tori Alamaze – Background Vocals
  • Torkil Gudnason – Photography
  • Victor Alexander – Drums
  • Vincent Alexander – Assistant, engineer
  • Warren Bletcher – Assistant
  • Yarda Kettner – Violin
  • Zaza – Guitar

See also

References

  1. ^ Hoard, Christian. "Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below". Rolling Stone: 610–611. November 2, 2004. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  2. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  3. ^ Cinquemani, Sal. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  4. ^ Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-07-09.
  5. ^ Staff. The Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade: 44) Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. NME. Retrieved on 2009-11-26.
  6. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:acfexqlaldse
  7. ^ http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,485189,00.html
  8. ^ The Last Supper? Article on Blender :: The Ultimate Guide to Music and More
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below". The Village Voice: October 21, 2003. Archived from the original on 2009-10-10.
  11. ^ Hermes, Will. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  12. ^ Lynskey, Dorian. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  13. ^ Mulvey, John. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. NME. Retrieved on 2009-11-26.
  14. ^ DiCrescenzo, Brent. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  15. ^ Fuchs, Cynthia. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  16. ^ Caramanica, Jon. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  17. ^ Southall, Nick. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Stylus Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  18. ^ Tate, Greg. Review: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  19. ^ http://www.riaa.com/gp/bestsellers/diamond.asp
  20. ^ http://www.answers.com/topic/ghettomusick-prototype-1

External links


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