OutKast - Idlewild     
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written by Michael Starghill Jr.    
Yep. Big Boi was right. Everyone is wondering, "are you and Andre still making songs"? Well it appears not, but they do still make albums together. Idlewild is the 6th installment of the OutKast catalog and the second that allowed the artists to do their own thing. Only two songs on the whole album feature both artists, but no complaints on the polarization of OutKast. Although I would like to hear them together welding their two different sounds on a track, this album didn't disappoint.

Andre 3000 and Big Boi have never been afraid to challenge the status quo of hip hop. Since 1994 they've traveled the unbeaten path and 2006 is no different. But the music isn't crazy different just to be peerless. It's actually very good. They're riding in the same candy paint Impala with Kanye West when it comes to making musically driven hip hop. And it's a nice and very well needed hiccup in the game.

Idlewild kicks off with an intro satirizing actors who believe that rappers and musicians are taking the jobs of the trained professionals (ala Samuel L. Jackson). Humorous and apropos seeing how this is a soundtrack for a movie starring a rapping duo. The first track, Mighty O, features both Andre and Big Boi and is one of the best tracks (if not the best) on the album. It gives us a glimpse of the tandem that we got used to before they started their solo careers…on the low. Morris Brown uses music from the Morris Brown College marching band, recorded in 2002. Using a marching band in production has been done before, but not quite like this. Lil' Wayne and Snoop lend a hand in Hollywood Divorce, a tale about how Hollywood takes everything popular, uses it and throws it out like it's yesterday's news. Mutron Angel is one of those musical masterpieces that OutKast is always good for, but I'm sure this is way more Andre than Antwan.

O to the Kizzay continues to live their namesake in their musical style. We've always thought Andre was a little weird with his ski boots and grass skirts. Apparently he's made the jump from MC to full fledged R&B crooner. We seldom hear a rapping verse from him on this album. Big Boi stays closer to the mainstream middle than Andre but still so far away. He employs his staccato steez and uses a Georgia drawl to deliver his run on sentences. But OutKast drops classics and classic this is not.

Idlewild is a half album. Half record, half soundtrack. Half 3000, half Big Boi. It is pretty much half of what we can expect from the super group. I miss the contrast. I miss the chemistry. I miss OutKast. They dropped a so called album parallel to a full length feature film by the same name. It's a great way to maximize profits and double the exposure, but it fails for the true fan. Hollywood Divorce eh? Looks like ya'll just got married.

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