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STANKONIA

Outkast

We kick off the podcast with one of our all-time favorite records, embedded deeply in our hometown. It turns out the south did have something to say, and it's influenced decades of music just as much as it borrowed from the funkiness of the past.

Transcript

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Episode 001: Outkast's "Stankonia" transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Episode 001: Outkast's "Stankonia" was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

You're listening to TuneDig, a podcast for music lovers. The premise is simple: in each episode, we dig deep into an album we love and then we give away a copy to you of that album on vinyl. Go to TuneDig.com To see what's up for grabs and learn more about us.

So we won't do this for every episode, but we wanted to quickly introduce ourselves for the first one. I'm Kyle. I'm Cliff. We are not journalists or musicologist or professors or just two dudes from Atlanta who care a lot about music and have been talking music together for more than 15 years.

And we wanted to bring you into that conversation and take you deeper with these albums that we love.

We know our stuff. We do our research, but we're just like you. And we wanted to make a podcast for folks just like all of us. We hope you enjoy.

Well, thank you. Thanks.

Would you like to call this record we started with? Because you should want to win this giveaway, because this is the kind of record you can start a collection with. You're on a million different directions. But this is one that you want your kids to pull off the shelf and be like, Mom, dad, please explain tell me everything about this record because I have to.

Now, Stankonia feels like the most Cappotelli important Outkast record is everything about it. The aesthetic, the songs, everything. There's a lot of electricity in the record. Like it just crackles with energy. It's it's got like kind of a lightning rod vibe throughout. It just seems like they know they've made three incredible records. They're ascending and they just kind of got into this place where anything goes and they've thrown out all the rules and they're like, let's do something weird and crazy. And you can tell there's just a lot of energy around. Like, this is weird. This is different. It's a good idea. Let's try it. Let's do it. And there's just tons of that kind of stuff on the record. And there's, what, twenty four songs. Yeah, it's huge. Eighteen ish songs and some skits. That's a lot of music and it's all really different, but somehow it's cohesive. And what like what do you think about that. Why like all the songs are really really different but it all has the same feel. So what's your impression of that.

I don't know if I would call it the same feel, because that's that's one of the things I like about the whole trajectory, I guess, of this record. Is it? And even one of the reasons I like the way that the record starts and the interlude that it starts with, it's weird immediately. It's really funky. It's kind of about sex. It's also kind of about politics and the state of a lot of different things that are going on.

So there's a tabla in the intro that is very weird. Oh, what a tabla. The Indian percussion instrument. Oh, wow. Wow.

Come on now. Yeah, it's very it's very strange, very interesting choice. You're right, it's very declarative.

It's like this is going to be they also say welcomeness enngonia, like this is an entirely different place and state of mind. So they were very intentional in saying, like, this ain't our old stuff, but it gets it starts weird.

It adds this right amount of energy and kind of immediately confuses you about what it's going to feel like. And then one of the things that's strange about it is the just abrasive transitions to me between the different songs.

Right. The first Outkast song that I downloaded on Napster. And I think one of the first songs I downloaded on Napster was the Zack de la Rocco remix of Bombs over Baghdad.

From national on the ground, like a big back, orangutans, you can't stop the train.

I love that remix, but I like kind of came and went and nobody really talks about it. Yeah, it was super weird because it was on its own, like alternative stations to. Right. It was on the Internet. Yeah. I was reading some articles about Stankonia before we did this, and it was amazing to hear Big Boy talk about that remix because he basically he kind of sums it up by saying this is the actual quote or something really close to it. It's not whacked. And he kind of goes on to talk about it like it's not Outkast style at all. It's someone else's style.

Someone someone took this idea and made something out of it and put it somewhere else. And he was kind of ambivalent towards it in this interview. And the interviewer was like, a lot of people were exposed, your music, who weren't otherwise exposed to it. You know, it's not a good thing. You're just like, nah, I mean, not really, you know, but they talked about this aesthetic that they felt that Outkast had. And even though someone had taken a song that they had put together, remixed it while maintaining most of the integrity of the song, honestly, I mean, same tempo, same verses and everything else just kind of just felt like they played a big ol riff on top of it.

And that was that was a yeah. It was really similar to it.

And so to hear him talk about that song as if it was so alien to an aesthetic that they had already come up with was a really interesting take on them at that particular time. Already they got passed over for a Grammy that year.

They got passed over for five mikes on a cremini, like I remember a killer mike thing about that years and years later.

So that Cuddie obviously might have been the only gatefold and I have microphone. They should have gave Dataquest.

Actually, Mike is on Stankonia, the first killer mike verse, right? Yeah, if I'm not mistaken, one motherfucking first one. But the couple already have a Mike Nichols that could be its own episode about how he was almost, almost, almost. And to know how he's doing now is to forget that he was right on the brink of obscurity for a long time. Like to the point that my very first week of college at Georgia State, he came out and performed in the plaza and it was like, that's tight. But also I was just sort of quaint. And now he's Grammy nominated. They're like selling out these huge venues everywhere. And yes, first versus snapping and driving.

Right. They had just bought Stankonia the place to help them say it, bought it. And this was the first thing that they were recording fully there, I think. But they talked about going out to clubs while they were in the process of recording it and just going and finding people that they liked. And if they like them having what they were describing as vibe sessions, where they would just bring them back to the studio and find out what happens and just record tons and tons of music, because for the first time, obviously, they didn't have to pay for studio time so they could just take their time and put things together. And Killer Mike was apparently one of those people that they just grabbed, just a guy like grabbing at the club.

Yeah. So that's interesting because one of the things that I remember distinctly, they talked about how they had just gotten really tired of what was happening on the scene and they were on their first big world tour and they were in clubs like in Europe, and they were hearing stuff like drum and bass and jungle and all this completely alien sound and stuff at the time. And they were like, you know, we want to do something that's kind of weird people out. So I think in a way, like Stankonia was kind of the first punk record that I ever really super fell in love with, you know, because it was a deliberate. All right, y'all are all going to be over here and we're going to be over here doing this thing. And I think that extended all the way to the statement on the cover of the record, like with a black and white flag. And this is our freak flag and we're going to fly it.

The whole album as a whole is like significantly faster than hip hop that came before it, or at least a good portion of it.

Dude, Bobby is an aggressive techno song. I mean, it's it's it reminded me of The Prodigy. You remember the prodigy? Yeah. It reminded me of the Prodigy when it first came out just like this. This shouldn't be rap. This is a weird thing.

Is that like one hundred and fifty five beats a minute.

Yeah. And this is by the people who made players ball like everything on that first record swing super hard in a super slow. And they had made like slow grooves kind of their thing to that point. And then this record comes out. It's crazy. And they got Bobby, they got snappin and Traven, they got stuff like Questionmark, we're eighteen years on and I still like that song still blows my mind. And even people who love the record in. Ever talk about that song, I guess they treat it like an interlude or whatever, because it's so short, but that sounds crazy. It's almost like a dance sound to it. Yeah, well, he just like Andre wraps around the beat, so like wraps with a W around the beat. So weird on that song to the point that you almost can't catch the rhythm the whole time he's rapping and then it breaks out and it comes back in and then it hits that like that like kind of waltz groove. There weren't a lot of songs to that point that, like, really messed with my mind and made me think about rhythm. Like, obviously I didn't grow up playing music like you did, but that was one of the ones that that really messed with me.

Right. The guitar on this album is is nuts everywhere.

I guess I wasn't reading hard enough, but nobody made the explicit Funkadelic connection for a long time for me, which was stupid. I guess I was just asking the wrong people. But I also think Funkadelic didn't really start having their moment again until the Internet and social media and streaming, not a lot of really great entry points for them. People always want to start with Parliament, but yeah, there's so much Eddie Hazel on this record. Like Slim, Beautiful is still with the I don't know what kind of effect even is that, though, I kind of backwards effect on that guitar, some serious pedal work.

Yeah. Look at you. Unbelievable. Brilliant, beautiful. You look at this, you see the band on the level.

I was reading some more about this because I thought I thought what you mentioned about that whole funk scene and the influence there and how we kind of managed to not get explicitly exposed to how influenced Outkast was by them for a bit for sure, because it felt like whatever they did on Stankonia was just new, like it was out of nothing. I think we clearly know now listening to this album, however many times and being lucky enough to kind of be around where they came from, we started absorbing some of that information and understanding it a little bit better. But reading someone else's retrospective on experiencing this album, they were like, this is basically post rap with people trying to reinvent maggot brain and just doing it again, like how can we take whatever happened on maggot brain? And then a little bit of some, like Sly and the Family Stone or something like that, and take that and just make it faster and more aggressive, kind of combine it with that influence of European club scene, whatever drugs were going on for whatever reason, like in lots of interviews around the time the Stankonia came out, Dre especially was talking about the drugs that were around then and how the drugs were faster and how you had this experience when you were in a club and you were on these particular types of drugs that weren't a part of the culture before, where everything seemed like it was going fast and you couldn't keep up with what was going on. And so trying to turn that into how do we take funk and then a new form of Southern hip hop basically, and also make it as fast as the experience of being in a club and hearing something new and fast for the first time.

Yeah, that's really weird. And it's it's interesting to talk about the funk thing, the Funkadelic thing now that that new Childish Gambino record is out and it's so explicitly going after there's a riot going on and maggot brain especially. I mean, there's so much Eddie Hazel all over both of those records. And, you know, you talk about like 15, 20 year cycles than both being from Atlanta. You know, I don't know what the connection is between all of those things, but it's just been really interesting now to rediscover a through line back through all of that. And Magubane is for sure like having a moment in which is it? Man, it's so crazy like that. I actually talk about that record the same way that I talk about Stankonia. Like you, it doesn't matter how many years old it is, it still sounds ahead of its time. Like how how can it be the early 70s and anybody come up with that out of their brain? Those are the kinds of records that make music continue to be worth listening to time and time again.

Right. Stankonia has these little weird Cynthy noises or little strange guitar, kind of like off on the left hand side and a lot of cases, or it feels like it's kind of on the outskirts and it always has this.

Not always, but it often has this envelope filter or something on it to where it makes this really kind of harsh sound right as the sound terminates from a guitar or a keyboard or something like that, the hook and so fresh, so clean at the end of the lines in them, there's this little sound that the synth makes when it goes, when the sound stops and it makes this weird little noise and it's just these little things that I feel like catch you off guard that add to this funkiness like it's not like a paint by numbers. Make a funk song and just make the horns loud. Right. And give it a beat. It's got this. It's a series of unexpected little production things that I hear.

It's very much in their style, like a little left turns. All right. I want to I want to understand more what you're talking about. So let's listen now.

These little ways that they in the instrumentation and kind of harshly bring it back into whatever they're doing next, sees little things like it never, never cleanly fades into the next section. It's never just kind of like backing simplistic chords or accompaniment or anything like that. It's got this kind of refiner's to it and it just always abruptly ends and kind of throws you back down into whatever they're doing next.

It's very it's all about feel. I've never really thought that hard about all the elements that you're talking about, but the way the noises sound on that chorus, it's like kind of a lava lamp vibe, just very kind of an effortlessness to it. And it all just kind of works together. But I've forgotten about how it wasn't even a continuous bassline. And so they had the idea. But then they also had the bass line. But it was just just little riffs in it. Not even a full line, right? Almost. So it's like everybody's just kind of putting a foot forward and showing you their shoe in the band a little bit. And like, you can't really fully appreciate how good all the musicians are that played on this record or contextually how different it was that they got. Real band members of the credits list is crazy. It's long. And that was very much against the grain at that time. And honestly, still kind of now, but it pays off like when they did all those shows a few years ago and everything sounded exactly like it did on the record, but very live and warm because all the people or a lot of the people that played on the record played in this live band and just are so good, have such good chops. You know, it's just like the people that play in church and just kind of like jam wherever. And yeah, that's just very like that's very strange for a rap group.

I think even still to this day, read any of those interviews that Dre gave after this record came out. I mean, he was literally saying we're the greatest hip hop group of all time now. So for him to be on this album and reacting in this almost like vulnerable way, being really serious, questioning the materialism, that's so just deeply a part of the scene that this is coming out of and have him be playing that role on the album and then to come back out of it and where the type of stuff he was wearing to award shows, you know, being the weird three stacks that we can appreciate now. But having him be directly in the middle of the spotlight at the time and still be responding with very self aware, but we're also still better than you and we know it.

So we're just going to keep kind of doing it so great. I think they have to know that they were on to something really transcendent. But you can't know how transcendent it is until you see it transcend and you see how people respond to it beyond the hip hop community.

And I think, you know, they had bigger pop hits after that, the way you move and here and all that stuff and songs that are like getting played at arenas on a regular basis. But that record is still the one that I mean, that's like late Beatles level, right. That they were that deliberately, aggressively weird and themselves and they were so embraced in a mainstream way. That's the kind of thing where, I mean, Dre had to know, like, they put it out and then they they knew how good the songs were and they knew how authentic it was. And they had to be like, yeah, maybe we are the greatest of all time.

For all intents and purposes, they were right. I mean, every greatest hundred albums to come out of, especially that decade. But then it was times, I think. I mean, Stankonia is one of the greatest albums of all time, according to Time magazine, not the concept. I don't know if you've heard of a time. The concept does not do award shows yet. We'll see. Right. Dre seemed like he was responding to things so often. Yeah. On this record. Yeah. I mean, and that's beside the point that we haven't even gotten to the fact that Erykah Badu is on. I don't even know if you say her name by the Erykah Badu gets weirder every time you say is on this record and you've kind of got this you got Miss Jackson on the same record.

Yeah, I hadn't thought about that. And then and then she's on there, like, not a thing at this point. Right? They just they have a son together, but they're not together.

Right. So they they have a child. And then he's pretty and passionately singing about making apologies to his baby mama. Mama. And then she's on the song. It's kind of politically charged. There's just a lot going on. And I mean and on top of that, what this was kind of the one where Dre decided he didn't want to rap as much anyway and starts kind of coming up with things. So it was interesting. There are so many places that kind of feel like we're just getting the three Stax response to something that's happened either in the album or outside of the album.

Or in recent history or something where you just kind of reacting to different things and throwing them up and seeing what happens, I think that just kind of became his M.O. I think the best summation of Dre, especially as he's gotten older, is the beginning of the whole world where he just goes.

Ok, here we go.

I don't know, I just I don't know if it's because he's so good and people knew he was so good and it's just kind of like lost this luster really quickly. But this is definitely the precursor to the love below for Dre and that he's very bored with rap. And he's like, I have to do something different because I don't just want to be known as a rapper. Like, I'm a very creative person. I mean, I'm a true capitally artist. And something different has to happen here because I've been on our rap and raps and this is not for me.

And apparently since they had gotten Stankonia Studios. Right. So again, they weren't paying for that recording time, which came a lot. A lot. And I think that's a relevant thing to bring up for albums like this. Right. The albums that feel thick and really thought out, having an artist be able to transition from having to execute everything in a small amount of time based on money, too. I'm going to be done with this record when I'm done. Does change the way that you can approach the songs that you want to make. So there were a lot of stories about Dre spending a lot of time at home, instead writing songs on his acoustic and that that's a lot of where Mr. Jackson's hooks came out of. But then one other kind of interesting fact that I found, again, feels like it kind of contributes to that narrative of Dre kind of turning things around and responding to them. Apparently, he was getting ready to paint a house that he was in anyway. So he just started writing lyrics on the wall of where he was just writing on the wall in the room of wherever he was coming up with his ideas, which apparently one of them became the lyrics to Gasoline Dreams. That kind of visual almost feels like it captures the way I started looking at him at that point, just like a punk like you almost said. Well, you did say earlier this year for sure that static feels like it comes through in all these different ways that we moved the vibe from chill to regretful to harsh and strong, like stabbing Travis on the same record as Miss Jackson.

They are literally next to each other. Yeah, yeah. There's a lot of A.I. on this record. I think that's kind of the spirit of the carriers. It's like this record is defined by what it doesn't want to be, which is if I drop this mic, but it's expensive. Don't do that right.

Interludes get a lot of garbage from everybody on every hip hop culture and they're so good on this one. They were really good for like a minute. They don't drag out. Right. They're not comedy skits. Right.

And it's not just to people talking necessarily. And it always ties to the song that precedes or that succeeds it. I don't know. It's so weird. Their characters, it's just they're real people that you could make. That's a conversation that's probably happening at a Texaco right around the corner from where we're recording right now. OK, I wanted to keep talking about the interludes because they're actually really great on this, like the one where it's romantic. And then he asked the girl for the prenup. It's really great. Still no way they spell it prenup. But then my favorite one and it was my wife's ringtone for a long time, almost obnoxiously cruising in the ATL, which I thought was just like a thing they made. But recently, thanks to the magic of YouTube, I found out that it's like from this whole CD of songs that this guy made. And there's a full four minute version of the song. Yeah. So this is Kruzan in the ATL by South Side. So you'll see a lot of. Thank you.

How do you see let it take a woman the to give maybe.

On a Friday afternoon. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's crazy. How did they find that? That was amazing. And it goes on for so much longer.

That's good to hear. I was about to ask, can I go on for a long time for the length of a cruise down Peachtree? One of the songs I never feel like anyone talked to me about off of this album. That's really weird is toilet tissue. Oh, yeah, right.

So you've got Dre kind of reacting and changing and I mean, he's not even on a couple of songs, right?

Yeah, he's not on sampling trappin. He's not on the like straight fastball down the middle type songs.

Right. So he's not even there. So he's kind of he feels like he's weaving in and out of Big Boy who's always I mean, he's not just tagging along. I mean, he's the backbone of everything that they're doing for sure. So to see him see Dre feels like he's kind of rotating a weaving in and out of him. The toilet tissue. It feels like they found some way to be dark together and just do this strange thing. That's so it's so heavy in that song, so heavy. It's concerned. It's self aware. It's a good narrative and good story and all that stuff you want to do when you make an impactful song. But I love it because they push so much harder into. Yeah, we wrote this song about this. Yeah. You're three fourths of the way through the song and now we're going to do a dramatic case.

You didn't have problem with this.

I'd be like we're going to literally act it out for the mother of a 14 year old who might have taken her life on the toilet.

Yeah, Steve, it's unflinching for sure. It would have changed the whole tone of the record, I think, if they put it any further up than it is. But I think it's like second, the last. And you're already really far out because they've done like red velvet. They've done some beautiful and then I think it's toilet tissue and then stank love to close.

So it's almost like it's oh, you're almost like astral traveling at this point. And you're kind of up in a way. And they're like, hey, don't forget, this kind of stuff is still happening. I remember on a and I and I think the art of storytelling, you know, Dre telling that story about him and that girl. And it's like 3:00 in the morning and John and dance and industry lights. And he says something like what you want to be when you grow up. And she said alive. And I remember, like, you get kind of caught up in the feel of that song and then that line kind of hits you. You kind of sings you like an icicle a little bit. And toilet tissue is just like five minutes of that feeling like you're just you're in it.

It's like you're in that apartment and you are. It's so visual, man. It's yeah. That sounds crazy.

Circling back. That's why I think it can be so long because I keep throwing curveballs the whole way. It just gets weird. They don't really apologize for it. I don't really bring it back. There's not even really like a central theme or central hook to this whole thing. It's almost like it has a singular feel and journey because it stays kind of equal distances away from the center every time you go further into these different directions and keep throwing weird curveballs and being really heavy or, you know, reaching almost into dance music on Questionmark or however we're going to pronounce that song, that song SuperHeavy to like deep existentialism, which was crazy for me as a thirteen year old that was just posing these questions without answers.

And that was a song that, you're right, it had just about no structure. He just kind of did it was almost like very aggressive slam poetry and then just walked off the stage and then just let the beat keep playing. There was such an aggression to the way that song was set up that you're right, it kind of primes you for. It's like, all right, now we're going to talk about some of the heavier stuff which they do on Red Velvet, which is like sort of an indictment of everything that's happening in rap at that time, like all the materialism and the access and all that stuff. And then gangsta shit is like I think it's a sort of straight up like Bragg verse from pretty much everybody on that song. And it's a pussycat because there's like eight hundred people in that song. Right. And everybody's all the way alive. And then Dre comes in and it's like, well, hold on, hold on. All of this is stupid. You're right. Very much a reaction to, like, not only the idea of being gangster, but like everybody else acting hard on that song. It's very interesting. Like you see Dre, the existentialist on this record, especially on the back half. And the only time we're. He seems to feel truly comfortable, is on some beautiful when he gets to like kind of sing and be ethereal and think about love and it's yeah, that sounds pretty different and subject matter than the rest of the songs on the back half Swedish banging on my head.

And I'd like to say that I not made love to every molecule of you. And if you want to spontaneously combust, that's what we'll do in unison.

Even the reactions to it at the time I thought were interesting. There was one quote, I forget who said it in response to Stankonia being asked about it, but they said Outcaste is more prince in the revolution than they are Dr. Dre and NWA. And it's still really interesting, I guess, to think about Stankonia as a moment in time and not just a work of art, which it is, which we appreciate.

And at this point, being from Atlanta is somewhere deep inside of us already. But thinking about it as a as that real turning point, which I think people who are however, we might describe this without sounding condescending because it's definitely not judgmental, but just not having been from the South and trying to label it as something like pre Krunch or pre Trappe or something like that and thinking about it in terms of what it enabled later that became popular in other places. But like Southern hip hop wasn't outside of the south very much until Outkast came along and did things to it and expanded the way that people looked at it and expanded the way that people wanted to get involved in and listen to it. And so for them to have produced an album like Stankonia that has not only massive hits on it, but Grammy nominations and a continuous amount of love and appreciation for a singular album, they did something there. They didn't just enable future people to do things. They really did turn hip hop around and kind of create a new branch of it and let people appreciate what was coming out of a whole section of, you know, 10 different states that no one was really appreciating because it wasn't you know, it wasn't New York and it wasn't California. So it didn't matter.

I mean, there would be no frank ocean or young thug or any of the weird really expectation's averting black music and imagery that there is now without this record.

And I might be projecting this onto this, but I see things like Vince Staples. I see the way that he looks at hip hop and the way that he deconstructs ideas and puts these weird kind of sounds and noises together. He's from a totally different part of the country. So it's not it's not that he's extracting something southern from it. It's that something Southern created, something funky for him to kind of play with. And I see that as a reflection in some of his music, because when you go back to and you listen to, again, thinking about Dre, reacting to so much, but also creating so much on this record, like there are places in Mr. Jackson where he does what some people call like word painting. And there the the sound effects behind the lyrics where like there are there are birds, there are puppies, there is a storm in the background. There's this cinematic quality to trying to talk about what he's trying to convey, all of which came out in the video, which is really interesting that it's like just in the song. Right. And so to see someone doing that in hip hop, I mean, I can't imagine, you know what, we have the meme now, like, imagine the meeting, right.

So like so imagine the recording session or Dre is like we get some puppies and someone go find a CD of field recordings of puppies. I need it. Yeah. We need that little thing that used to be a target where you would press the plastic and it would play a different soundscape. That's a good time. But yeah, just thinking about the way that that happens and seeing artists like Vince Staples. But then also, you know, someone very modern and almost detached from it, like Justin Timberlake. And I'm in no way comparing the music per say, but he does really similar things with his lyrics. And let's not talk about his latest lyrics, so let's put those totally to the side. But even in those, he does sound effects that go along with whatever it is he's saying. And he he's finding new ways to get these points across in ways that you don't totally notice consciously unless you're really, really actively listening to this record, which to be honest, I don't know how many times I would actually sit to actively listen to this record because of how much I associate it with. Just starting to have a good time.

Yeah, yeah. It's as natural as breathing at this point, this record. Yeah. That's really interesting about Justin Timberlake. And, you know, you think about his first solo record and it's all produced by. Timbaland and the Neptunes, to which we both love that record, I would go on record, I love that record for sure. I really love that record. But it's all produced by 10 million of the Neptunes who like right around that time or right after the time of Stankonia, just blew up. And like eight out of 10 big songs on the radio were produced by them at that time. So they're sort of like a similar thread. They're kind of contemporaries in that way. And both of them were like doing weird, different interesting soundscape. Like they were the first, like soundscape hip hop producers. It seemed like Dre was probably the like Dr. Dre was probably one of the forbearers of like big cinematic kind of crazy synth sounds. But then then it became like a thing with Pharrell and Chad and with so I think I mean, I think there's like a spiritual connection. Right. And then Staples thing is really interesting. I'd be hesitant. I'd be more hesitant to make that connection if he didn't. Straight up sample to Dubois' in a Cadillac on that one record.

If I played piano in the way that sound and that's what we call the world's a stage, everybody gets to play guard with the signal their state. Oh, my God.

Yeah. I mean, I think I mean, I think fans obviously would take that comparison. They needed a different thing with it. It's weird to talk to people that Outkast is like an academic exercise or something that they experience. There's a whole college course at Georgia Tech, I think Joslyn Wilson. It's amazing stuff. Yeah, so crazy. And big voice at the end of that course, I think recently and send to the students. That's why I love being from Atlanta like that. And Killer MacIntire on the mayor's transition team.

And it's just you can't you can't explain enough about how important it is to the culture and who we are. And this is like I guess if you were going to put Atlanta in a time capsule, you'd be really messing up if you didn't put this record in there.

Everyone who loved this record gathered together when they came back and did all those shows at Centennial. Right. That was Atlanta roll call.

We all showed up for sure. We paid way too much money for those tickets. But capitalism.

Go to TuneDig.com to sign up for our emails and click the link in the email when you want to win.

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RADIO EPISODES

TuneDig Radio: HM-2

Part two of exploring our very specific favorite ways to discover and enjoy new music contrasts sharply with sampling’s vastness. Instead, Cliff laser-focuses in on a world inside four small knobs all dialed to 10. The Boss HM-2 has spawned a prolific and diverse subculture, tied together by metal and hardcore artists’ quest for tones that differentiate and reflect the intensity of their material. If you love heavy music, you’ll love this playlist. If you don’t, we’re confident you’ll appreciate this headspace and its nuances.

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TuneDig Radio: Sampling

For this one, we prompted each other to build a playlist around a very specific favorite way to discover and enjoy new music. For Kyle, it’s sampling in hip-hop, a Rosetta Stone that endlessly unlocks interesting and obscure musical touchstones. The playlist lays out his journey of discovery through key samples that changed his life, and the episode dives into the mind of the crate digger and the value of that worldview in general.

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TuneDig Radio: Direct Action

The protests and unrest have had us wondering how to make meaning from this wild, inexplicable time in history — so like usual, we turned to songs. Out came two new TuneDig Radio playlists. The world already has plenty of protest playlists, so instead we tried to think more deeply about how best to process and live in the moment. This episode (part of a pair) is all about searching deep within and challenging yourself to grow.

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TuneDig Radio: Introspection

The protests and unrest have had us wondering how to make meaning from this wild, inexplicable time in history — so like usual, we turned to songs. Out came two new TuneDig Radio playlists. The world already has plenty of protest playlists, so instead we tried to think more deeply about how best to process and live in the moment. This episode (part of a pair) is all about searching deep within and challenging yourself to grow.

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TuneDig Radio: Instrumentals Vol. 2

Being stuck at home without our studio setup got us thinking about the value of staying connected to people you enjoy being around by sharing music you love. With that in mind, we present the first episode of TuneDig Radio — where we dive deep into a specific music-related topic, then curate and share a playlist about it, pirate radio-style. For our first two episodes, we took turns exchanging our favorite instrumentals, discovering some key overlaps and major differences along the way.

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TuneDig Radio: Instrumentals Vol. 1

Being stuck at home without our studio setup got us thinking about the value of staying connected to people you enjoy being around by sharing music you love. With that in mind, we present the first episode of TuneDig Radio — where we dive deep into a specific music-related topic, then curate and share a playlist about it, pirate radio-style. For our first two episodes, we took turns exchanging our favorite instrumentals, discovering some key overlaps and major differences along the way.

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SEASON 4 EPISODES

TuneDig Episode 032: D’Angelo’s “Voodoo”

To create something timeless, an artist must push beyond the boundaries of time. With "Voodoo", D’Angelo gathered a council of like-minded shamans for a years-long ritual to study and absorb music’s most mystical moments, conjuring an otherworldly result.

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TuneDig Episode 031: Chelsea Wolfe’s “Hiss Spun”

"Hiss Spun" is a massive cosmic ballad that journeys through the worlds within the psyche, guided by a goddess of the soul in her own right. Think of this episode as a gateway drug to a land beyond your comfort zone toward the beauty of all things heavy. Let "Hiss Spun" get in your blood.

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TuneDig Episode 029: Sunn O)))’s “Black One”

”Dark is the light, and everything is black.” For Black Friday, we thought it fitting to reach for the darkest and most transcendent piece of music we know. Sunn O)))’s thundering vibrations are meditation through force for anyone willing to listen deeply, and "Black One" is a door into a void that turns out to be a higher plane.

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TuneDig Episode 028: Radiohead’s “Kid A”

Is it possible to be both overrated and underrated? With "Kid A", Radiohead cemented their mythos simply by artfully engaging a very specific cultural crossroads. We reexamined both the music and the moment, and gained new perspective than we expected about the meaning of both.

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TuneDig Episode 027: Tom Waits’s “Rain Dogs”

Dance and swallow the night with us as we go down, down, down, downtown. This one finds us following a beatnik as he washes away the scent of his past and goes feral in search of wild new sounds. (We've always been out of our minds.)

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TuneDig Episode 026: A Tribe Called Quest’s “Midnight Marauders”

Most artists would’ve crumbled under the pressure of following up an instant classic like The "Low End Theory", but Tip, Phife, and Shaheed dug even deeper, delivering an even more “precise, bass-heavy, and just right” work in sound and in spirit. Midnight remains a watershed moment for hip-hop, so we must bear witness.

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SEASON 3 EPISODES

TuneDig Episode 018: Janelle Monáe’s “The ArchAndroid”

Picasso said that “art is a lie that makes us realize truth.“ Grand artistic statements like "The ArchAndroid" reveal intimate ideas beneath layers of disguise, drawing in the audience to connect to the story’s feelings rather than its facts. This one’s about the fight for freedom and love … and who doesn’t want more of that?

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TuneDig Episode 017: Björk’s “Homogenic”

For an artist as creative as Björk, finding the essence of her sound meant pushing farther out than ever before. Ideas, sounds, and approaches that seemed at odds added up to something greater on "Homogenic". The result was vast, nuanced “emotional landscapes” unlike anything we’ve ever experienced … do yourself a favor and walk around them with us. We dare you.

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SEASON 2 EPISODES

TuneDig Episode 016: Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”

There’s little doubt at this point that "Miseducation" is a great album, but after really spending time with it, we came away with a deep belief that it’s one of the best ever, full stop. It’s a perfect record — albeit from an imperfect vessel — delivered at the perfect moment for maximum impact, and we only manage to scratch its surface here. We hope it hits you like it has us.

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Episode 015: The Mars Volta’s “Frances the Mute”

TuneDig Episode 015: The Mars Volta’s “Frances the Mute”

Frances the Mute is a sonic séance, conjuring spirits buried beneath stories left behind by lost souls. The album finds restless living spirits walking a hallucinatory hall of mirrors of space and time, trying to find light beyond the darkness of a friend gone too soon. Don’t be afraid to get your mind bent—we’re here to guide you.

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Episode 014: BADBADNOTGOOD’s “IV”

TuneDig Episode 014: BADBADNOTGOOD’s “IV”

If you’re worried about kids these days and/or the pitfalls of technology, we’d like to point to an antidote to all those fears. Meet BADBADNOTGOOD, the jazz quartet you can crowdsurf to, and IV, the album where they found their own voice. What a time to be alive.

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Episode 013: Cream’s “Wheels of Fire”

TuneDig Episode 013: Cream’s “Wheels of Fire”

Clapton. Bruce. Baker. This supergroup was a strange brew that was simply too potent for the world (not to mention the band themselves), and we see that on display in "Wheels of Fire". The double album finds the trio at—ahem—a crossroads, the contrast between their inspirations creating tension to mixed—but often magical—effect.

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Episode 012: Mono’s “You Are There”

TuneDig Episode 012: Mono’s “You Are There”

File "You Are There" under evidence for Huxley’s thesis that, “after silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.“ We gave our best effort trying to capture Mono’s magic, who don’t utter a single world but manage to say everything about life, death, and all that’s between.

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Episode 011: Rage Against the Machine’s “Rage Against the Machine”

TuneDig Episode 011: Rage Against the Machine’s “Rage Against the Machine”

On the eve of an opportunity for Americans to lift their voices in demand of a more perfect union, we seek wisdom for this moment from the uncompromising, incendiary vision of our generation’s most effective revolutionaries. Troubling as it may be that so much still rings so true in Rage’s quarter-century-old debut, there is strength to be drawn from its message: We, the People, have a world to win.

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Episode 010: Kanye West’s “The College Dropout”

TuneDig Episode 010: Kanye West’s “The College Dropout”

The Kanyepalooza™ of the past few months made us question if Ye ever actually made anything that made him worth all this fuss. (SPOILER: He did.) This investigation wasn’t as simple as missing the old Kanye — because every Ye fan seems to have a different favorite album — but we wound up looking back with admiration on the first time Donda’s son held the zeitgeist in his hands and turned it upside-down.

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SEASON 1 EPISODES

Episode 008: John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

TuneDig Episode 008: John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

All paths led to this. Season 1 closes on a sublime note, exploring the profound power of one of the most important albums in American history, full stop. We give thanks to Coltrane's cosmically attuned hymn of gratitude for the holy spirit he saw flowing through everything. Yeah, we dare say this one got downright profound.

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Episode 007: Hüsker Dü’s “Zen Arcade”

TuneDig Episode 007: Hüsker Dü’s “Zen Arcade”

The antagonistically long, spastically eclectic Zen Arcade is about growing out of where you’re from and into a form you don’t yet fit. For better or worse, it’s as punk as punk gets. Join the fun as two grown-up punks reckon with the good, the bad, and the WTF of a hardcore staple they’d missed until long after their best pitting years.

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Episode 007: Hüsker Dü’s “Zen Arcade”

TuneDig Episode 006: Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”

Consider this our RT of FX’s John Landgraf, who warned the world to “underestimate Donald Glover at your own peril.” This episode finds us talking a little about Gambino’s afro-futurist awakening on “Awaken” as a vehicle to talk a lot about Glover’s many punk rock masterstrokes.

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Episode 005: Soundgarden’s “Superunknown”

TuneDig Episode 005: Soundgarden’s “Superunknown”

The spirit of "Superunknown" perhaps is best captured by an offhand press quote from Kim Thayil: “Human beings are a wild composite of temporal events and insights and motivations and restrained behaviors ... and memories both delusional and accurate.” In this episode, we reflect on a masterpiece that captured the contradictions and complexity of raw emotion, and we explore the black hole-sized void torn open by the loss of a musical titan.

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Episode 004: “Dopesmoker” by Sleep

TuneDig Episode 004: “Dopesmoker” by Sleep

It’s easy to make a punchline out of this “album” (read: single 63-minute song) and the circumstances surrounding it, but as we explore the music that wound up becoming a heavy music landmark, we found something profound. On Sleep's "Dopesmoker", the journey really is the destination after all.

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Episode 003: “Dummy” by Portishead

TuneDig Episode 003: “Dummy” by Portishead

Portishead’s dark, timeless mystique is hard to capture, so instead we mostly meditate on “the air around the thing.” Venture into the fog with Bristol’s anti-heroes and the cinematic landscape of what the BBC called “quite simply one of the greatest debut albums of the 1990s.”

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Episode 002: “Houses of the Holy” by Led Zeppelin

TuneDig Episode 002: “Houses of the Holy” by Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin's follow-up to "IV" arrived as they were becoming the biggest rock band in the world—but they didn't choose to play it safe. We discuss all the twists and turns amassed on this behemoth of an album and give you some new ways to hear these nearly 50-year-old songs that still feel fresh.

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Episode 001: “Stankonia” by Outkast

TuneDig Episode 001: “Stankonia” by Outkast

We kick off the podcast with one of our all-time favorite records, embedded deeply in our hometown. It turns out the south did have something to say, and it's influenced decades of music just as much as it borrowed from the funkiness of the past.

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BONUS TRACK EPISODES

Kyle and Cliff

BONUS TRACK: How We Got Here

We got a bunch of interesting listener feedback in our off-season, and it encouraged us to shed some light on why we do things the way we do ‘em. Also, we reflect on our first writeup, which was ... interesting.

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ABOUT US

We're Kyle (right) and Cliff.

We aren't journalists or musicologists or professors.

We're two dudes from Atlanta who care a lot about music. We've been talking to each other about it for more than 15 years.

This podcast is our way of bringing you into that conversation and taking you deeper into these albums that we love.

More About TuneDig

TuneDig began as a little something called MusicGrid.me, which we created after realizing there was no place online to directly exchange music recommendations with your friends. Our aim was simple: to make rating albums simple, useful, and social. We got some love from places like MashableWiredEvolver.fm, and Hypebot. We managed to foster conversation between music lovers, get thousands of reviews, and meet great people.

Along the way, we realized that record stores were an essential part of the music lovers’ community. After many a conversation about how we could helpfully connect them to the people who loved them, we began helping them leverage technology to create new revenue streams and embrace streaming services without giving up what’s unique to them: expertise and curation. (Long live the counter clerk who knows exactly which record will be the right introduction to jazz fusion!)

TuneDig is our vision to connect music lovers with the music they love, because no matter how much has changed in the way we discover and enjoy music, recommendations from people you trust and respect will always be the best way to find new music you’ll dig. With this podcast, we’re channeling the spirit of trusted curation pioneered by record stores, and bringing you something to take you deeper into music you can love.