Killer Mike Speaks On Stankonia's 15th Anniversary

Stankonia 15: Killer Mike On "Snappin & Trappin'," OutKast's Legacy + The Birth Of Trap

What Did Hip-Hop Think Of Last Night?

On October 31, 2000 Stankonia, the fourth studio album by OutKast, was released to the masses to universal acclaim. The pimped out players from that East Point, Atlanta lane had abducted millions into appreciating their genre-bending brand of funk and real talk rhymes over Organized Noise/Earthtone III beats. Big Boi and André 3000 were impeccably on top of their game with Stankonia as it meshed the best from both artists and spotlighted the creativity bubbling below the Mason-Dixon line.

Powered by the singles, “Bombs Over Baghdad”; “So Fresh, So Clean” and “Ms. Jackson,” Stankonia debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, eventually selling over 530,000 copies the first week (think about that in context of today’s album stream society slash lack of physical sales). This was a major event for the South in the midst of other rapper’s “jacking their slang” and proved what 3 Stacks said as prophetic when he declared that the “South had something to say.

Envisioned by 3000 and Big Boi as a combination of the words “stank” (or “funky) and “Plutonia”, which was the title of a poster in the former’s bedroom that showed a futuristic city, Stankonia became the place and album where one could open themselves up and be free to express anything that sounded dope on the record. It was that energy that served as a beacon, calling to other MCs and creatives who all wanted to put their stamp on this new sound developing out of the newly formed Stankonia Studios.

Familiar faces such Goodie Mob‘s Khujo, Cee-Lo Green, Big Gipp and T-Mo appeared on four separate cuts, while B-Real was the next lab partner to experiment with on the dynamite-laced track “Xplosion.” The vibe was improvisational, finding Andre experimenting with a sing-songy croon that would influence the likes of Kanye West, Drake and others. One of the new faces that would join the fabric of Stankonia was an MC of large proportions — in stature and lyrical ability. Michael Render, better known to the game as Killer Mike, the heavyweight rhymer was making his name as part of the Slumlordz rap group.

After hitting the club with Big Boi and experience the vibe with Andre, the trio would come up with “Snappin’ & Trappin’,” which was one of the more cherished songs by true OutKast fans. The then-unknown rapper used the opportunity of rhyming with two juggernauts in the game to compete in an effort to improve his own rapping skills. Daddy Fat Sax and 3 Stacks were impressed by Killer Mike’s abilities with the former noting, “When I first heard him spit, his voice was just so commanding. He’s a very intelligent guy.” OutKast, truly ahead of their time, had the wherewithal to call it as fact as Killer Mike has gone on to be one of the leaders of reality rap within hip-hop culture.

We here at Okayplayer are joining the many who are celebrating Stankonia and its impact in the game this Halloween weekend. From earning “Best Rap Album” and “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group” at the 2002 Grammy Awards to having “Ms. Jackson” reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 — we chopped it up with Killer Mike about the recording of the song “Snappin’ & Trappin'”, what a rapping sparring match between Big and André sound like and explore the roots of the word “trap”.

>>>Relive Stankonia exclusively with Killer Mike by checking out the interview on the following pages!

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