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Outkast’s ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik’: All 17 Tracks Ranked

The Atlanta duo’s game-changing debut dropped 30 years ago today.

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Atlanta rap could be broken down into two buckets: Before Outkast and After Outkast. Before Outkast, Atlanta didn’t have a sure foot on the national music stage. When discussed, many simply lumped it in with music from other parts of the south.

And, so, to anyone above the Mason Dixon southern rap — and, by extension Atlanta — was nothing more than bass drenched ass shaking music meant to be played in strip clubs or really lit BBQs. Some other things broke though nationally, of course. Arrested Development and its positive affirmations or the Geto Boys’ bleak portrayals of hood life, come to mind. But that’s not what everyone first thought of when they thought of the South.

And then came Outkast.

Made up of two teenage friends named Antwon “Big Boi” Patton and André “Andre 3000” Benjamin, Outkast honed their skills battling in their high school cafeteria while making songs in their down time. They were eventually courted by legendary production group Organize Noize before signing to LaFace Records in 1992. You know the rest. They went on to release a succession of classic albums that would help to redefine what music coming out of Georgia’s most populated city could sound like. But it all started with their debut, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.

Released 30 years ago today, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik is a heady album, one that works hard to prove that young black men all around the country are facing the same issues. And that gangstas and playas come in all shapes and sizes. It was revelatory at the time, and is still effective three decades later. All of rap owes a debt of gratitude to Outkast.

Peep how we ranked the 17 tracks of their seminal debut album below.

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