OutKast

  • Hip Hop duo formed in 1991 from Atlanta Georgia. The duo rappers are André Benjamin (known as “André 3000”) and Antwan Patton (known as “Big Boi”).
  • Benjamin and Patton met at a shopping mall when they were 16. They attended an art-based high school, and participated in rap battles in the school lunchroom. They teamed up, and local record producers noticed their talent. They wanted to be called 2 Shades Deep or The Misfits, but these band names were already taken, so they settled on OutKast, a synonym for misfit.
  • They were signed to a record label in 1992, and their first recording was a remix of TLC’s What About Your Friends. In 1993, their first single was released – Player’s Ball, and their debut album containing the single was released in 1994. The album, titled Southernplayalisticadillacmusik, is considered a foundation to the Southern Hip Hop sound. Player’s Ball reached #1 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart, and also topped the R&B chart. The album sold over 1 million copies.
  • OutKast’s next 2 albums – ATLiens and Aquemini – were even more successful. Both sold over 2 million copies, and both reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. The single Elevators (Me & You) reached #12 on the Hot 100 chart, and #1 on the Rap chart. Aquemini was chosen by Rolling Stone as #500 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
  • Their best was yet to come. Their album Stankonia was released in 2000 – it has sold over 4 million copies. The song Ms. Jackson from the album hit #1 on the Hot 100 chart. The song won the Grammy award in 2002 for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. The album is #361 on the Rolling Stone Greatest Albums list.
  • In 2003, they released Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. It became their biggest success, selling nearly 6 million copies. The record actually is two solo albums – Big Boi did most of the music on Speakerboxxx, while André 3000 did all of the music on The Love Below. The single Hey Ya (by André 3000) peaked at #1, and another single from the album, The Way You Move (by Big Boi), knocked it out of the #1 spot – only the seventh time ever that a #1 song was replaced by another #1 song from the same artist. The album won 3 Grammy awards, including Album of the Year, only the second Hip Hop album to receive such an honor. Rolling Stone ranked Hey Ya at #182 on their list of the Greatest Songs of All Time. These two songs are notable in that they are the first hip hop songs to be widely played on adult contemporary radio stations.
  • Their final album, Idlewild, is also the soundtrack to a film of the same name. The film stars André 3000 and Big Boi, and is set at a dance club in a fictional depression-era town of Idlewild Georgia.
  • From 2007 to 2013, the duo went on hiatus, working on their own separate projects. In 2014, they reunited for performances at various festivals, but since then, they have not done any work together.
  • The video for Hey Ya is hilarious. It is loosely based on the Beatles’ 1964 performance on the Ed Sullivan show – complete with screaming girls. Take a close look at the band called “The Love Below” – André 3000 plays all 8 members of the band in the video. And…I really like the song. “Shake it like a Polaroid picture!”

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