ATLiens (La Face / Arista)
OutkastATLiens (La Face/Arista)
9:30pm, outdoors. It's gotta be hot, summertime-in-Atlanta hot. If you aren't cruising ATL's Campbellton Road – drop top, seat back – it's best you've got your Boone's Farm. Real recognizes real, and on the realest beat, 1996's ATLiens grooves back to the mother ship. As "Two Dope Boyz (in a Cadillac)," Big Boi and Andre 3000 spit "Decatur Psalm," its tales of pimps, players, incarcerated uncles, "flashbacks to the black past" and "pumpin' your gas, still watchin' your back" at 7-Eleven ("13th Floor/Growing Old") atop pristine Organized Noize work. Hollow woodblock pops "Elevators (Me and You)," while rolling vocal samples provide a current for "Mainstream." It's Outkast stuck on their most transcended vibe, "cooler than a polar bear's toenails" and slowed to coalesce 1994's "Player's Ball" funk with the freakishness of '98's Aquemini. As the tightest LP in Outkast's arsenal, ATLiens drops unprecedented flow.