Making Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik

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.

Making Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik

Dr. Dre is trying to finish his album

Dr. Dre has been working on an album for a decade, but he needs Doc and Snoop. Who’s Doc?

Detox has become one of those mythically unfinished records—like the third My Bloody Valentine album, which took more than 20 years to see release, or Chinese Democracy before Axl Rose finally deigned to crap it out into the world. The conundrum of its perpetual imminence is just something you live with as a fan of rap music. When the rising L.A. MC Schoolboy Q rapped, “Word to Dr. Dre/Detox is like a mix away” on his 2012 album Habits & Contradictions, he may as well have been stating a constant truth, a fact about the landscape: Detox is just a mix away. Crenshaw High School is 30 minutes from the Hollywood Hills. That mountain is 10,064 feet high.

Dr. Dre is trying to finish his album

Full Ol’ Dirty Bastard documentary on Hulu

Dirty: One Word Can Change The World is available for viewing on Hulu. Here’s a description from a review:

Dirty effectively straddles the fine line of paying homage to an artist while still examining his negative attributes. Although one of ODB’s children, son Barson, makes an apperance, noticeably absent are his other children and their mothers, who would obviously have a different, perhaps more demeaning perspective of him. But this omission is understandable, since the mothers have most likely moved on and probably want to stay away from the public scrutiny that comes from being involved with someone as controversial as the Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

Thanks, Seth!

Full Ol’ Dirty Bastard documentary on Hulu