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Outkast (Big Boi & Andre3000)

They were Atlanta's finest greatest hip-hop duos.

By Gladys W. MuturiPublished 3 months ago 7 min read
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Outkast

They were high school best friends from Atlanta, Georgia. André Lauren Benjamin (Andre3000) and Antwan Andre Patton (BigBoi) both formed a hip-hop duo called "OutKast". The duo was signed with Arista Records and Laface Records making six albums and winning Grammys and huge music accolades until they went off their separate ways working on other projects.

Early Life

Antwan André Patton (BigBoi) was born on Feburary 1, 1975 in Savannah, Georgia. Patton was been raised in Savannah during his childhood until he moved to Atlanta to live with his Aunt. Patton's grandmother and his uncle introduced him and his siblings to music.

André Lauren Benjamin (Andre3000) was born in Atlanta, Georgia on May 27, 1975. His parents were divorced when he was young. His mother raised him as a single parent moving to Atlanta, East Point, and Buckhead. The two met at Tri-Cities High School in 1992, The two had different personalities except for their common love for music. They both love rap, 1970s funk music, and hip-hop groups and obviously, they have the same name "Andre".

Young Antwan (L) and Young Andre (R)

During school, Patton and Benjamin participated in rap battles in the cafeteria. The duo teamed up and were pursued by Organized Noize, a group of local producers who would later make hits for the R&B girl group TLC. The duo wanted to originally name their band “2 Shades Deep” or “Misfits” but it didn’t work out so the duo decided to name the group:

"OutKast"

With a K instead of C.

A video clip of then 16-year-old Andre Patton aka Bigboi at Tri-Cities High School

After they graduated high school, OutKast (Antwan and Andre) ventured off to their music career. The duo was discovered by LA Reid and was signed by LaFace Records.

Their Debut

After they were signed to Laface Records, the two started working on their debut at the Dungeon, D.A.R.P. Studios, Purple Dragon, Bosstown, and Doppler Studios in Atlanta. Their debut album Southernplayalisticadillac was released in 1994. The album received positive reviews and debuted at number two on the Billboard charts.

Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994)

ATLiens & Aquemini

After their debut album succeeded, LaFace Records gave Outkast more creative control and advanced money for their 1996 follow-up album ATLiens. While they were working on their sophomore album, the two decided to abandon their cornrow hairstyles in favor of a more natural aesthetic, vowing to stop combing their hair and change their lifestyle. ATLiens was released on August 27, 1996.

ATLiens (1996)

ATLiens debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, and it sold nearly 350,000 copies in its first two weeks of release. The album was very well received by music critics upon its release, who praised its unique sound and lyrical content. It has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of two million copies in the United States. The album spawned the singles "Elevators (Me & You)", "ATLiens" / "Wheelz of Steel", and "Jazzy Belle".

Following the success of ATLiens, the two worked on their third album Aquemini. Aquemini expands on the previous record's outer space-inspired compositions by incorporating live instrumentation and drawing on 1970s funk, southern soul, gospel, country, psychedelic rock, and other influences. The album reflected a greater level of creative freedom for the group, which led to the members self-producing the majority of the tracks and employing a large number of session musicians who filtered in and out of the studio throughout its recording, exerting a major influence on the album's compositional development.

Aquemini (1998)

Aquemini was released on September 29, 1998. Aquemini was certified platinum in November 1998, only two months after its release, and was certified double platinum on July 2, 1999, by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It peaked at number two on both the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Just when the album was hit, the duo was hit with a lawsuit. In 1999, civil rights activist Rosa Parks filed a lawsuit against OutKast for the song "Rosa Parks", claiming that the song used her name without her permission, constituting false advertising and an infringement on her right to publicity, in addition to defamation of character. The lawsuit was dismissed. There's more to the story behind the lawsuit but that's for another article story......

Stankonia

After the lawsuit was dismissed, the duo continued on their fourth album. The duo purchased a recording studio nearby Atlanta which was formerly owned by R&B singer Bobby Brown. Outkast named the studio "Stankonia", a word created by André 3000 as a portmanteau of the words "stank" (a slang synonym for "funky") and "Plutonia" (the title of a poster in his bedroom depicting a futuristic city). This is where they started working on their fourth album Stankonia. Their fourth album Stankonia was released on October 31, 2000.

Stankonia (2000)

Stankonia received universal acclaim from music critics upon its release and has since been regarded by many as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, selling over 530,000 copies in the first week. Three singles from their album: "B.O.B", "Ms. Jackson", and "So Fresh, So Clean"; "Ms. Jackson" became the group's first single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The duo won two Grammys for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards in 2002.

Big Boi and Dre Present… Outkast

In December 2001, Outkast released a compilation album, Big Boi and Dre Present... Outkast, which contained three new songs. One of these new tracks was the single "The Whole World", which won a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Killer Mike also was featured in the song, gaining some exposure among areas outside of his native Atlanta. The other two new songs were called "Funkin' Around" and "Movin' Cool (The After Party)".

Big Boi and Dre Present… Outkast (2001)

The album peaked at number 18 on the Billboard 200 and number 4 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums in the United States. On March 6, 2002, it was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for 1,000,000 copies sold in the US. It also made it to No. 25 in New Zealand and No. 78 in Germany. Some of the songs from the album would be featured on the Idlewild soundtrack and the film as well.

Speakerboxxx/LoveBelow

This album was something different for the hip-hop duo. Honestly, I had no idea that this was a solo-joint album or whatever people call it.

In their fifth album, the duo issued as a double album, the length of over two hours is spread across two solo albums from both of the group's members. Big Boi's Speakerboxxx is a Southern hip-hop album with progressive qualities and influence from the P-Funk sound; André 3000's The Love Below largely departs from hip-hop in favor of pop, funk, electro, psychedelia, and jazz styles while drawing inspiration from artists such as Prince and D'Angelo. Their fifth album, Speakerboxx/LoveBelow was released on September 23, 2003. The album hit singles "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move" both reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the top-10 hit "Roses". It eventually amassed a total of seven non-consecutive weeks at the top of the chart and 24 weeks in the Top 10. It has been certified diamond and 13 times platinum by the RIAA (each disc in the double album counted as a separate unit for certification). As of March 2012, it has sold 5.7 million units in the United States.

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)

The album received critical acclaim and became the first number-one hit album since their five albums. The album won Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the 46th Grammy Awards, while "Hey Ya!" won Best Urban/Alternative Performance.

Idlewild

After Speakerboxxx/LoveBelow, the duo started working on a musical joint film called Idlewild directed by Bryan Barbar who has previously directed Outkast's music videos. This film tells two friends: Percvial and Rooster (One is a shy musically inclined songwriter who works at a funeral and the other is a gangster, rapper, and constantly cheating on his wife) both working at a club called Church in Idlewild, Georgia during the 1930s era. The film contains an all-star cast including Andre3000 as Percival and BigBoi as Rooster, hip-hop music from OutKast, and outstanding choreography. The film received mixed reviews and it was nominated for six Black Reel Awards, NAACP Image Awards, and a Grammy. Idlewild would be the last OutKast project together.

The Breakup

In 2006, after winning Grammys for their album Speakerboxxx/LoveBelow and Idlewild, BigBoi and Andre3000 decided to go their separate ways. Rumors have circulated Sleepy Joe Brown is taking Andre's place which I don't believe is true because Joe has been working with Outkast for years or something behind the scenes has happened. However, the two remained good friends and haven't had a feud with each other.

Solos

Before their breakup, the duo made features with other artists singles. In November 2005, Big Boi released a mixtape/compilation album, Got Purp? Vol 2, in conjunction with the Purple Ribbon All-Stars through Purple Ribbon Records. The first single from the album was "Kryptonite", which reached 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. Outkast was also featured on the song "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)", the first single from UGK's album Underground Kingz.

André 3000 appeared on various remixes, including: "Walk It Out", "Throw Some D's", "You", Jay-Z's "30 Something", and original songs such as UGK's "International Players Anthem", Devin the Dude's "What a Job", Fonzworth Bentley's "Everybody", and with Big Boi "Royal Flush" and the leaked single "Lookin For Ya". He also appeared on John Legend's album, Evolver, on the track "Green Light", which was released on October 28, 2008. Andre would also appear in Beyonce's single "Party".

Reunion

In 2014, the former duo reunited at the Coachella Music Festival would headline the festival on April 11 and 18.

There’s no word whether OutKast would make another album or go on tour. After all, things have been going well with the two. Andre3000 recently won a Grammy in 2024 with rapper Killer Mike who also won a Grammy for Best Rap Album for Michael.

Meanwhile, Big Boi still working on music and featuring other artists' singles. Hopefully, we will see them work on another album or a reunion tour. Fugees did it so why not Outkast?

Source

YouTube

Wikipedia

Britannica

I love OutKast and I have been loving them since Stankonia came out. My favorite Outkast album would have to be Stankonia, Speakerboxxx/LoveBelow, and Idlewild.

Comment below on your favorite Outkast album

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About the Creator

Gladys W. Muturi

Hello, My name is Gladys W. Muturi. I am an Actress, Writer, Filmmaker, Producer, and Mother of 1.

Instagram: @gladys_muturi95

Twitter: @gladys_muturi

Facebook: facebook.com/gladystheactress

YouTube: @gladys_muturi

patreon.com/gwmuturi

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