The “Love Below/Speakerboxxx” was a very successful album for Outkast according to critics and Outkast listeners. The most popular singles included: “Hey Ya!”, “The Way You Move”, “Roses”, and “Ghetto Musick.” The last single released was “Prototype.”
The song isn’t even listed on Stereogum’s top 10 Outkast songs, and I really think they need to reconsider that. Or at least add an eleventh song.
“Prototype” was released on November 23, 2004 and is one of my favorite songs ever. I believe it should be shown more love, but in a sense I admire that. If it was overplayed on the radio I’m sure I would eventually get tired of it and not like it as much. I feel listeners either love it, or it’s just okay to them—but personally I would marry this song if I could.
The guitar instrumentation is so classic and in my opinion is what makes the track so strong. Production was done by 3000 (which is no different from his other productions), but the difference to me is this song really does convey the feeling of love. It embodies the feeling so well.
The track begins with Andre “feeling in love again.” Now we’re aware the word “prototype” is to describe a female he is currently seeing at the moment; he isn’t sure if she is that special person yet, but regardless he feels strong infatuation towards her. He just wants to chill with this girl in the meantime.
I really enjoy his phrases of destiny like: “We met today for a reason, I think I’m on the right track now.”
I love his display of gratitude while referencing Stankonia with “Stank you very much for picking me up and bringing me back to this world.” Andre literally shows being brought back to the world in the music video, when he’s shown as an alien landing from planet Proto, and undergoes the full human transformation when he falls in love.
I admire the simplicity of the video because it shows how strong love can be. They appear in a heaven like utopia filled with grace and purity. Andre is able to cure the girl’s vision. The aliens peacefully sleep while standing. From one kiss, he and the woman bear a child in a camping tent. When he is lastly transformed into a man, it shows how crazy love can be: it can really feel like someone is saving your life and bringing you back into this world.
Without words, I still think an instrumental version of the song would be beautiful. I see so much color and life from the music, and envision paradise. I can feel the passion through Andre’s production.
Tame Impala covered the song ten years after it was released, and Tyler the Creator claims the song makes it feel as if he is ‘floating’. I’m not saying these are the most credible sources, but it does say a lot considering these two musicians have very vivid imaginations (and I also enjoy the two artists as well).
The song makes me want to rise into a cloud and peacefully sleep there. I can rant for days on how much I love this song, but the only way to really understand how it is so aesthetically pleasing is to listen to it for yourself. Close your eyes, and let the song take you away…