Back when rappers released albums on Tuesday with full-scale CD booklets, Outkast emphatically delivered on both fronts with the arrival of the sophomore project, ATLiens.
But for André Benjamin and Big Boi, those “doors” they’re often credited for kicking down in terms of southern Hip Hop were still very much standing at the time. The city of Atlanta was still a decade away from enjoying national acclaim for its rap music and it was just a year prior when Three Stacks had to put his region’s reputation on his back at the 1995 Source Awards in front of a hostile New York Crowd.
Despite the lack of conversation control, the eventual Grammy Award-winning duo bonded together in the heart of the Dungeon to noticeably evolve past their groundbreaking debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, stepping up to produce much of the album themselves; a trait that still permeates both rappers’ music to this day.
By mixing their “ATL” roots with an alien troupe that spoke to their knacks for not fitting in, ATLiens holds the distinction of having some of Outkast fans’ core favorite songs.
There’s “Elevators (Me & You),” — infamous for its “your momma and your cousin too” hook, the autobiographical “Two Dope Boyz (In a Cadillac),” which inspired a popular rap blog and “ATLiens” and “E.T. (Extraterrestrial),” which finds the Peach State lyricists pushing the limits of emceeing without 808s dictating the tracks.
12 year old me used to eye my bro Atliens CD ??? pic.twitter.com/3F691noGvI
— ronnie (@DeadRonn) July 12, 2018
For the accompanying CD booklet and graphics, Outkast enlisted future Marvel Comics graphic designer Frank Gomez to illustrate their music industry travels as oddballs-turned-originators.
As the 25th anniversary of ATLiens approaches on August 27, Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings is expanding on the album with new merchandise and giving its music video singles a high-definition makeover.
New editions to the galactical project include all the album’s instrumentals, new merchandise, and even an alien green glow-in-the-dark 45 record.
Upon its release, ATLiens was embraced by Hip Hop fans and critics alike, debuting No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and eventually going double-platinum.
We’re celebrating 25 years of #ATLiens with a limited-edition anniversary bundle that includes a 4LP 12" vinyl + a Glow In The Dark 45 from @GetOnDownTweets Coming August 27. Pre-order yours now? https://t.co/6Iuw3sYV2x pic.twitter.com/GrCsV7Ywma
— Outkast (@Outkast) July 8, 2021
Pre-order the ATLiens 25th-anniversary package here and revisit the album in its original glory below.