ATLiens

by OutKast

Released August 27, 1996 via Arista Records / LaFace Records

Reviewed August 26, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
ATLiens (66%), Elevators (Me & You) (60%), Two Dope Boyz (In A Cadillac) (37%)

OutKast hit their stride and came into their own with ATLiens. Production from Organized Noize, and even the duo themselves, set the backdrop for a somewhat psychedelic Southern adventure. The modern rap game plays out in a very different manner without the Outkast crew and their influence. The extra terrestrial sights and sounds that lace ATLiens make it one of the most unique listening experiences in hip-hop to this day, 25 years on. Experimental hip-hop in the contemporary landscape is a completely different world in comparison with this album's point of reference. But for 1996, this was definitely seen as genre bending and forward thinking, with mafioso rap schtick in full swing around that time. Biggie and Tupac were at the height of their miscommunications, while Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang ran the street’s soundtrack. Along came two dope boys in a Cadillac and the rest is history. Their out of this world vision for what hip-hop could be would never be doused. – Peter (9.5/10)


On OutKast’s second album, ATLiens, we see the pairing of André 3000 and Big Boi at their creative and artistic peaks. Organized Noize creates a mesmerizing and spacey atmosphere through production incorporating dub, psychedelia, and gospel into the duo’s traditional “Dirty South” aesthetic. OutKast also branches out by producing some of their own beats for the first time, resulting in classics like “Wheelz of Steel”, “Elevators (Me & You)” and “ATLiens”. Lyrically, the duo comes through with introspection about everything. The struggles of urban life, existentialism, and as the title would suggest, extraterrestrial life are all topics delved into by this legendary duo.. André and Big Boi seal the deal on an all-time hip-hop classic by remaining worlds ahead of any other hip-hop duo as they flow effortlessly from verse to verse with impeccable chemistry. – Dominick (9.2/10)


ATLiens was when we saw OutKast finally become who they were meant to be: Two innovative creatives unlike anybody around. That duo created a record that would go on to influence generations to come, as well as cementing OutKast themselves as some of rap’s most intriguing artists. Big Boi and André’s chemistry is electric, communicating a sense of comradery that most only wish they could sniff. Space-themed psychedelia is strewn throughout and adds a sound to this album that hasn’t ever been matched since. – Jared (9/10)


Ben (Synth): 9.5/10 | Peter: 9.5/10 | Dominick: 9.2/10 | DeVán: 9/10

Hadley: 9/10 | Jared: 9/10 | Pax: 9/10 | Alan: 8.5/10 | Cam: 8/10