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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Outkast

Sales and audience reception of Outkast’s newest album, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” is at its peak just in time for the Grammy Awards. And oh, are they nominated. For a group that the Independent (London) called one of the most underrated hip-hop acts of the past 10 years, Outkast is now set to earn its stripes – six to be exact, including Album of the Year, Best Rap Album and Record of the Year for “Hey Ya!”
Double albums are seen as daunting for pop music consumers and customarily appear as compilations. When the Beatles’ “White Album” was released, critics fussed that, aside from being too weird, the 30-track set was too much to take in. Whether Outkast’s Big Boi and Andre 3000 planned it, they bypassed the double album dilemma by splitting their efforts. The end result was their fifth release, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” two solo projects in one package.
Outkast has retained its sense of adventure. Its brand of blended southern soul, funk, rap and psychedelic genres has earned the duo a reputation as the avant-garde of the Dirty South movement.
The band’s newest undertaking never dwells on one style for too long. Big Boi’s “Speakerboxxx” announces itself with a chorus that rides on satisfying bass volleys. Then the record rips into gear with “GhettoMuzik,” a hardcore rave/shag-soul stop-and-go where whizzing synthesizers brake for slow swaying “oohs” to pass. The hip-hop fusion carries through the bulk of the disc, which signs off with a funk snippet. Throughout “Speakerboxxx,” Big Boi hits upon social issues, metaphyiscal life-death questions and indulges in a little Bush-bashing. Conversely, Andre 3000 looks inward for inspiration, piecing together his own intimate and sexually graphic realities with every track.
He even contacts his version of God: “Damn, you a woman,” he says. The cascading jazz piano on the intro track of “The Love Below” signals Andre 3000’s departure from the hip-hop essence of “Speakerboxxx.” Thick with psychedelic funk and falsetto, “The Love Below” pulses with erotic Prince vibes. The track, “Love Hater” is a jazz arrangement laced with Hendrix-style guitar howls and “wahs.”
Big Boi and Andre 3000’s decision to diverge worked to widen the musical palette of this release. The two have made the most of their opportunity to exercise artistic freedom with an energy that defies convention. In other words, they’ve shaken up the rules like a Polaroid picture.

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