OutKast’s Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik is 20 years old this year, and Myspace (of all places) has a look at the making of this classic album. Since the story came from talking to (only) two of the producers (Ray Murray and Rico Wade), and no one else, it’s hard to call this an oral history in the traditional sense. That said, it’s an interesting read.
When OutKast’s Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik dropped in 1994, hip-hop was coming off the back of a game of bi-coastal ping-pong. New York City’s dominant gritty golden era sound had been knocked off its stylistic pedestal by Dr. Dre’s smoothed-out, synth-swaddled G-Funk movement in 1992, before the stoney and rugged appeal of the Wu-Tang Clan’s assault on the rap world snaffled it back to the Big Apple a year later. Coming off the back of this broad production tussle, OutKast’s debut sounded like a melding of the two coasts, with soulful and honeyed live instrumentation being layered on top of drum patterns and breaks cut razor sharp. The credit for the album’s canny sonic make-up goes to Organized Noize.