Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Stankonia reeks of artful ambition rendered with impeccable skill -- or as one song title so concisely has it, ''So Fresh, So Clean.''
  2. Alternative Press
    Experienced, acclaimed groups rarely make albums as bold and confrontational as Stankonia, because they have too much to lose. OutKast don't care.... The Atlanta duo coalesced the political and societal challenges of hip hop's past into what is one of the genre's most artistically unortodox releases so far. [12/2000, p.108]
  3. There's more bounce-to-the-ounce and less molasses in the jams, more delight and less braggadocio in the raps.
  4. Urb
    To call Stankonia the album of the year would be easy. It would also be somewhat incomplete. The Atlanta duo's fourth album is more than simply a great record; it's a complex tome that enmeshes contemporary hip-hop values with a timeless Southern soul, while pushing the envelope damn near off the table. [#79, p.134]
  5. On their astonishing new Stankonia (LaFace/Arista), Outkast explore their own disappointment with hip-hop's self-satisfied acquisitiveness. But though it attacks the genre's tunnel vision, the album -- which takes its name from George Clinton's vision of funk as expressing the raw, unruly side of life -- does so with joy (and huge doses of absurdity) instead of with the polemics of Public Enemy.... Stankonia is among the most exciting albums of the year, not only because it brazenly addresses hip-hop's spiritual emptiness (other well-intentioned rappers have tried) but because it musically surpasses the most innovative work of street production dons like Swizz Beatz, Manny Fresh, and Timbaland. By offering something for both the mind and the ass, to borrow from George Clinton's slogan, Outkast, like Gang of Four and Funkadelic before them, make revolution you can dance to.
  6. 100
    It takes a few listens to pull everything together, but given the immense scope, it's striking how few weak tracks there are. It's no wonder Stankonia consolidated OutKast's status as critics' darlings, and began attracting broad new audiences: its across-the-board appeal and ambition overshadowed nearly every other pop album released in 2000.
  7. Many rappers derive inspiration from Clinton, but OutKast has constructed its own far-reaching and experimental mythology, drenching its surrealistic, Southern-fried flows in brilliantly executed funk, blissful soul, rattling live drums, spacey synthesizers, and psychedelic guitars.... In its messy brilliance, OutKast has created a hip-hop Sign O' The Times, a messy, vital classic and a major step forward for both its members and hip-hop as a whole.
  8. Mojo
    Crafting a sound that incorporates stinky Funkadelic psych with Prince harmonics and Rick James' pimp disco, this is hip hop with the power to convert even the most reactionary nonbelievers. [Jan 2001, p.107]
  9. 90
    Throughout, the music (produced almost exclusively by the group and its DJ) shines with the glint of successful experimentation. However, it never outshines the words, which is where the group has as much to offer, if not more so.
  10. Revolver
    Stankonia lays bare the group's desire to be something greater than just rap stars. No two tracks sound alike, and they've taken time in the woodshed to pen rhymes that are even more dexterous and honest than their past work--no mean feat. [#3, p.107]
  11. 90
    Stankonia leaves nothing to be desired as it is energized by Outkast's clever lyrics coupled with their cutting edge production, which is an expansive take on the original Atlanta sound.
  12. When talking about an album as multilayered, thematically diverse, and sonically rich as OutKast's Stankonia, though, the best thing is to boil it down to its essentials, its influences, its approaches. You know, the uppercase conceptual stuff. This album, the acclaimed Atlanta duo's fourth and best, contains so many hummable hooks, so many snap-your-head beats, so many break-'em-out-and-talk-about-'em metaphors, that it's easy to get lost in the sauce.
  13. Outkast's fourth album, Stankonia, is a far more complex effort than the critically acclaimed Aquemini. While Aquemini dealt with Big Boi and Dre's -- the self-described "player and poet," respectively -- contradictory personalities, Stankonia addresses the contradictory impulses of hip-hop itself.
  14. OutKast are hip hop’s version of Radiohead: the only consistently platinum act concerned with not only pushing the limits of their genre to another level, but moving music as a whole.
  15. Scattered among the jewels are shiny bits of glass that aren't as valuable as they might be.
  16. Dre and Big Boi (alias Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton) fill their technicolour vision with the ghosts of Sly Stone, James Brown and, most notably, Funkadelic-era George Clinton. Factor in some distinctly unorthodox production and you've rap at its risk-taking best...
  17. One of the best albums of the year.
  18. Select
    The best tracks here are quite unlike anything else in hip hop. [Jan 2001, p.107]
  19. Their songs still bulge at the seams with clever ideas, but they're veiled in deep grooves and hooks.... Outkast have developed a major sweet tooth for P-Funk, but what they've picked up from their former collaborator George Clinton isn't his low-end bounce. It's rather his hovering, serpentine vocal arrangements and his acidic political fantasies.... [but] Stankonia's conceptual sprawl isn't all good for the album -- the collection is hampered by more than a little filler.
  20. 70
    As the tracks shift from smooth R&B to frantic, drum machine driven beats, Outkast prove able to pull from a big enough bag of tricks as rappers to remain unpredictable. The problem is that they come out of it all without having left any defining mark on the songs. It's almost as if Stankonia would be more memorable if the duo stuck to one sound, one rhythm, and one train of lyrical thought.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 387 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 387
  1. hiphop
    Aug 25, 2009
    Outkast , still very original and funky.
  2. Nov 16, 2010
    There really is no way to describe how amazing this album truly is, and the fact that someone has the nerve to say otherwise is crazy. It mayThere really is no way to describe how amazing this album truly is, and the fact that someone has the nerve to say otherwise is crazy. It may sound like i am being self righteous or pretentious and I am, the cd allows that. It makes itself prevalent in every way. You don't like this, you don't like hip hop. Full Review »
  3. DanA
    Jun 24, 2007
    Simply put, Outkast gives us one of, if not the best Hip Hop album that's ever been created. Much of it is groundbreaking, while some Simply put, Outkast gives us one of, if not the best Hip Hop album that's ever been created. Much of it is groundbreaking, while some tracks take cliche subject matter and make them compelling through Andre 3000 and Big Boi's insane lyrical talent. Full Review »