Hip Hop and Rap
Aquemini is the third studio album by American hip hop duo OutKast, released on September 29, 1998 through LaFace Records. The title is a portmanteau of the two performers' Zodiac signs: Aquarius (Big Boi) and Gemini (André 3000), which is indicative of the album's recurring theme of the differing personalities of the two members. The group recorded the majority of the album in Bobby Brown's Boss town Recording Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. Released as the follow-up to the duo's 1996 album AT Liens, Aquemini expands on the previous record's outer space-inspired compositions by incorporating live instrumentation. The commercial success of AT Liens allowed for more creative freedom for the group, which led to the members self-producing the majority of the tracks. The band employed a large number of musicians for the album, who frequently entered and exited the studio throughout the recording process and had a major influence on the writing development of the album's songs. Lyrically, Aquemini explores various themes including human nature, addiction, and interpersonal relationships. The album was certified platinum in November 1998, only two months after it's release, and was certified double platinum on July 2, 1999 by the Recording Industry Association of America. Aquemini peaked at number two on both the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop charts. Four of the album's tracks had already or would later become singles, although some were limited (promotional) releases and not available commercially. The record also received nearly universal acclaim from music critics, who praised the album's musicality and unique lyrical themes. It was ranked at number 500 in the book version of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
After releasing two critically acclaimed albums in the span of 10 months (TA13OO and ZUU, respectively), Denzel Curry starts off 2020 with a menacing and concise full length produced entirely by Kenny Beats. Unlocked is the product of a manic 3 day studio session following Denzel recording for an episode of Kenny's YouTube show, The Cave. The project finds the two mining sounds outside of what prompted their respective rises in recent years. While Denzel pulls influence from various members of The Wu-Tang Clan, Kenny taps into a sound inspired by the holy trinity of Madlib, Dilla & MF Doom. Despite these classic influences, Unlocked sounds like something completel y new and sees Denzel setting the tone for a new decade once again just as he and Raider Klan at the outset of the 2010's. Unlocked will also arrive with a half live action, half stop-animation companion film featuring every song from the project.