Yesterday—which coincidentally was the 10-year anniversary of Speakerboxxx / The Love Below—I finally checked out Bullseye with Jesse Thorn via his interview with Big Boi. It’s a great discussion of Outkast’s work and backstory, and it legitimately sounded like Big Boi enjoyed himself on the show.
About halfway through the segment, Jesse Thorn said two words about his first time hearing “Bombs Over Baghdad” that perfectly encapsulated my initial experiences with the group:
One of my college roomates used to play Outkast constantly, and this particular track was completely enthralling to me. “Bombs Over Baghdad,” with those hard drum & bass breaks and squelchy synths, reminded me more of Squarepusher than of any hip-hop records I owned. More than anything, I was taken by the notion that Outkast made a thoroughly strange album that was also hooky and unembarrassed of its commercial aspirations. In hindsight, I now recognize that many of my favorite records—The Downward Spiral and The Soft Bulletin are two others that come to mind—walk that tightrope skillfully.