Throwback Thursday- 5 Things You Didn’t Know About ATLiens


Outkast is one group that truly put on for the South. Their unique southern fried style and rhyme cadence is still unmatched in the game. Their sophomore album ATLiens was well received by critics and fans. Last I checked it was also certified double platinum. But let’s skip the obvious. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about ATLiens:

Big Boi Was Going Through It

Big Boi was dealt a huge blow going into the album when his aunt died of pneumonia. If you remember the VHI show Driven, the former VP of marketing at LaFace records said that his aunt was like a mother to him. But Dre stood by him while he mourned his loss. Big Boi spoke about it on the song Babylon. “People don’t know the stress I’m dealing with day to day,” he rapped. “Speaking about the feelings I’m possessing for Renee.”

LaFace Did Not Like Elevators

The record label did not think Elevators was a hit. Simply put they just didn’t get it. Dre and Big Boi took the song to radio stations against everyone’s wishes and it blew up. The track became their highest charting song at the time. From that point on Outkast was given more freedom in selecting their singles.

Dre Was Sober, Vegan And Celibate

CeeLo Green said in the Driven documentary “That’s when he went through the transition of really trying to find himself, He grew his hair. He got into books and spiritualism. Even went as far as to practice celibacy.” Dre also addressed those changes in a 1996 interview with LA Times. “When you’re 17 and 18, you think you can smoke and drink all day and sleep around. You feel invincible,” he explained. “Then there comes a time where you have to raise up and do something else with yourself. On our first album, we were determined to smoke herb until the world ended. Now, I’ve stopped smoking and drinking, and I’m trying to live up to my abilities, and take life much more seriously.” The celibacy thing obviously didn’t last too long. Not long after the interview Erykah Badu was pregnant with his son.

20 Songs Didn’t Make The Album

In 1995, Big and Dre started working on ATLiens. Teaming with the Dungeon Family, the twosome recorded 35 songs for the album, according to Daddy Fat Sax. “We picked the best ones,” he told VIBE at the time. Dre agreed, saying that it featured only their “tightest rhymes and beats” out of the bunch, leaving 20 on the cutting room floor.   I wonder if they’ll ever release the songs that didn’t make the album.

Outkast Started Producing

Big Boi told Spin they learned from being under Organized Noize for so long. This was a time when they were maturing and coming of age as artists. Ultimately they produced 5 of the 15 tracks including ATliens and Elevators(Me and You).

Ok. I know I said we would examine 5 things you didn’t know about ATLiens, but there’s just one more I had to include:

The Elevators Video Was Symbolic

The song symbolized their growth to a higher level. If you pay attention to the video you will see scenes where they’re going through the jungle. Those scenes represent their journey. Then there are other scenes where they’re meditating, focusing on the inner spirit. Elevators was about much more than getting money and “slamming cadillac doors”.

Check it out for yourself:

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