Outkast History: The Beginning Top
The Outkast history extends as far back as the early 90s. Outkast, one member of which is a self-proclaimed player and the other a poet, is an eccentricity in popular music. Innovative, street-savvy rappers, the duo's appeal cuts across all borders, even within the feudalistic, highly competitive world of hip-hop. Dre and Big Boi's impressive success can be accredited to their ability to pioneer new sounds with each song, as well as their ability to acknowledge their differing personalities and build on their common interests throughout the Outkast history — a shared love of Parliament/Funkadelic, James Brown, and Jimi Hendrix.
The Outkast history begins in Atlanta during the early '90s, where the duo both attended Tri-Cities High School in the East Point area. An only child, Andre (Dre) Benjamin lived with his mother for the majority of his earlier childhood, then moving in with his father at 15. On the opposite spectrum, Antwan (Big Boi ) Patton lived in Savannah with several brothers and sisters. He moved to the East Point area of Atlanta as a teenager and first met Dre at a party. He remembers walking in the room and seeing Dre in a corner with a beer in one hand and a glock in the other.
At Tri-Cities High School, the two became attached fairly quickly and the Outkast history was set forth. "When everyone was wearing Starter pants, we were wearing flower print shorts. We were just a tad bit different," Benjamin told Details for the Outkast biography magazine.
In 10th grade, Dre dropped out of school, temporarily diverging the duos path. Big Boi, however, went on to receive his diploma. The two continued to rap together and soon started their first group, 2 Shades Deep.
While pursuing their undertakings in music, the duo did what most teenagers in the area did — worked different jobs, partied, while running their streets. "I remember Dre in a Cadillac with his Glock, getting high, waiting for niggas to run up," Angelo, Dre's cousin, said as recollected the Outkast history to Vibe magazine in 1998. "He had a lot of ladies back then too." Big Boi, meanwhile, contemplated beginning to sell drugs to get the needed money for studio time, similar to the Wu-Tang Clan, Eazy-E, and many other groups had also done.
Outkast History: The Signing Top
Luckily, before that occurred, Big Boi, and Dre were signed by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and L.A. Reid to LaFace records. They were signed months before Big Boi graduated from high school. In 1993, the two released their first single, "Player's Ball." It was an immediate hit. Although, other Atlanta rappers had seen success (most notably Kriss Kross), Outkast was the first to see success with direct references to their city and city neighborhoods, naming places such as College Park and East Point. "
The "Player's Ball" single eventually went gold and was soon followed by a full-length album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, the first album of the Outkast history. An important and commercial triumph, Southern was chiefly produced by Organized Noize. The album produced two additional hit singles: "Get Up and Get Out" and the title tack. It achieved platinum status later on that year. The contrast between "Player's Ball", a song describing their current lifestyle and "Get Up and Get Out," a motivational anthem would become a trademark for Outkast. Since then, the duo has made sure to keep a careful balance between constructive messages and street-oriented tales.
|Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, also acted as a stepping stone for fellow Atlanta rappers Goodie Mob (which stands for "Good Die Mostly Over Bulls--t") as well producers Organized Noize. Over the next two years, the latter would work on several rap and R&B hits, including Curtis Mayfield's comeback LP, New World Order; TLC's Crazysexycool; and Goodie Mob's debut, Soul Food, as well as its own side project, Society of Soul's Brainchild. The close relationship led many to believe that Outkast's success was due to Organized Noize's production genius, a misconception the former would soon dispel.
Outkast's second album, ATLiens, did even better than the first, selling 1.5 million copies and spawning another gold single, "Elevators (Me and You)." During this time, Dre began to develop the outrageous image for which he would become famous, wearing large wraps and dressing in white linen. "I done changed totally," Dre proclaims in an 1998 interview with Source magazine in describing his change from designer gear to vintage clothing.
Despite the acclaim for ATLiens, many of Outkast's fans couldn't handle its current fascination with space travel and consciousness-raising. Others thought Dre, based on his eccentric choices in choice, had gone crazy, inciting a chain of bizarre gossip, from homosexual behavior to suspected drug abuse, that would continue to haunt the Outkast history.
"Everybody want to be a thug man," Dre charged in an interview with Source in 1998. "[But] people just scared to [be original]. But everybody waiting on that nigga to do it. … So you have to be a strong nigga to take that ridicule."
Meanwhile, Dre had also began pursuing a romance with Erykah Badu; and eventually had a son with her named Seven. Additionally, Andre 3000, started to begin painting professionally, while on the other spectrum of Outkast, Big Boi started his own pit bull breeding ranch, named Pitfall Kennels, located in Fayetteville, Ga.
Outkast History: Aquemini Top
In 1998, the Outkast history continued to prevail when the duo released its third composition, the double-platinum album Aquemini, which achieved the status of their most successful album yet. Landing at No. 2 on the Billboard charts, it gained widespread praise from music critics and fans, satisfying the audience who bought ATLiens in addition to the hardcore fans who were down with them since Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.
"This album is a mixture between the music on the first album and the lyrical styles of the second," Big Boi informed Source, which awarded Aquemini its top rating — five mics —only awarding that rating nine other times in its 12-year history. Spin magazine also gave Aquemini a rank of No. 35 in its 90 greatest albums of the 90s.
Dre and Big Boi also took a major step into their musical career by taking control of their own sound as well, using sounds produced from live instruments, finally stepping away from Organized Noise, Outkast’s longtime collaborators. Their tight bond was indicated in the album's title — an amalgam of Dre (Gemini) and Big Boi's (Aquarius) astrological signs
The next year, Outkast received a Grammy nomination for the album's first single, "Rosa Parks." The real Rosa Parks, however, took offense to the language used in the song and brought a lawsuit against them for unlawful use of her name. In a statement, the group said, "It was never, nor has ever been, our intention to defame a woman who we consider a role model and a civil rights pioneer. We hope to be able to work out this situation amicably." The suit, however, went to court, where the judge ruled in Outkast's favor. Parks did not end her pursuit there, however, and appealed the court decision, enlisting the help of famous lawyer Johnnie Cochran. The appeal was eventually dropped, however.
Outkast History: Success Top
Outside of the courtroom, Outkast contributed to the Dungeon Family all-star track and Cool Breeze's hit single "Watch for the Hook." Big Boi guest-starred on Missy Elliott's "All N My Grill" and the Youngbloodz' "85." This year, Outkast contributed to soundtracks for The Wood ("Neck Uv Da Woods" with Mystikal) and the updated Shaft ("Tough Guy" with UGK).
On Halloween 2000, Outkast released the highly anticipated CD Stankonia. Thanks to the response accorded its first three platinum releases, Stankonia is something of an event on the scale of Madonna and Radiohead's new albums. As Big Boi told Details, "Our influences are so vast that if we drop something, you better believe it's going to be groundbreaking."
There years later, Outkast released another album, this time a double album, in September of 2003. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was basically a collaboration of two solo albums from Big Boi and Andre 3000, released under the Outkast name. Big Boi created the album Speakerboxxx and the record, was essentially, a party record, that included some politically-minded tracks like "War". Dre’s named his record The Love Below and the recorded included sprawling and ambitious work that included only short occasions of hip hop, and instead more funk and pop music inspired by legendary musical artists as Prince, James Brown, the late Rick James.
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below has received what is perhaps the most rapturous critical reception in the Outkast history; both discs earned very high acclaim and were considered vastly innovative and accomplished. The album was Outkast's biggest commercial success and debuted on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart at #1, staying there for several weeks.
The album eventually sold over five million copies, and, because double-album sales count double for Recording Industry Association of America certification, the album was certified diamond (10 million units shipped) in December 2004, an accomplishment only a few musical artists have ever done before.
Back To Top of Outkast History
Do you like this site and would you like to see us continue running? Then show your support by helping out with a small donation.
As an added bonus, if you donate over $5 you will receive this FREE eBook:
Donate $5 or More:
Click Here to Donate Less Than $5:
Click Here To Go from Outkast History Back To Home