And if that doesn't sound possible in today's hip-hop climate of money-obsessed hacks and raging homophobia, consider Outkast the new-millennium exception. Stankonia is as funky, sticky, and heady as its title (pronounced stank-o-nee-ya) implies. It's at once juvenile and brainy. It's also naturally elastic. Mostly supplied by a live, flesh-and-blood crew, the beats stretch from track to track, summoning both the P-Funk posse and daisy-age hip-hoppers. Stankonia also includes one of rap's first universal protest songs: The frenetic "B.O.B." ("Bombs Over Baghdad") trips over an Atari-in-the-jungle rhythm as backup singers chime the title and Dre and Big Boi bemoan the "accidental" bombing of milk factories and other civilian-safe areas. It's a bold and long-overdue statement in hip-hop, smashing the barriers that have settled into place after years of indifference.