The Dirty South, an OutKast Creation
OutKast made the south dirty in a good hip hop way. Andre Benjamin (Andre 3000) and Antwan Patton (Big Boi) are the duo that makes up the group OutKast. They showed up on the scene in 1993 with their first single “Player’s Ball”. Then releases their first debut album call Southernplayalisticadilacmuzik in 1994. I remember bobbing my head to their music. I also remember when OutKast appeared on “Martin”, the Martin Lawrence sitcom. They appeared on the episode where Martin had a player’s ball.
It was exciting during the early nineties. The only part of United States that was on the map was the east coast and the west coast. OutKast made people give notice to the south with their unique funky style.
Their debut album hit #1 on the bill boards rap chart and stayed number one for six weeks. They were the first hip hop act to be signed to LaFace Records, the Atlanta label run by Antonio “La” Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Andre and Big Boi came onto the scene wanting to make a change to hip hop. They grew tired of seeing a bunch of women in swimsuits and the guys rapping about money or jewels. They felt that it was the same videos over and over again. I also felt that way. It’s a shame that much hasn’t changed since OutKast came onto the scene but I must say that they didn’t fall into the same criteria as all of the other artist that was out during that time. The year 1994 war definitely a year of change for hip hop. Money, sex and women was more of the focus when back in the early 80’s to the early 90’s the rap style was more about telling a story. OutKast keep with the early 90’s with their music.
One song that helps put Atlanta on the map was the song “Rosa Parks” off of their album “Aquemini. That title name was a mixture of both of their zodiac signs, Aquarius and Gemini. Unfortunately they got sued by Rosa Parks for using her name without her permission, even though her name was never said in the song. The only reference use in the song about Rosa Parks was “A-ha, hush that fuss. Everybody move to the back of the bus.” Rosa Parks also stated that OutKast had defamed her name. Fortunately the federal case was dismissed in 1999.
OutKast won their first Grammy in 2000 for their single “Ms. Jackson”, which was a song that paid homage to the grandmother of his son whose mother is Erykah Badu. It was Andre’s way of apologizing to Erykah’s mother for what he put Erykah through. This Grammy won was off of their album “Stankonia”. This was a major crossover achievement for them. Stankonia put Atlanta on the map for good.
OutKast kept the hits and the music coming with the release of their duel album called, Speakerboxxx / The Love Below”. Speaker box was the creation of Big Boi and “The Love Below” was the creation of Andrea. That album was a great album and a great concept. One group two artists, two CD’s and two ideas all wrapped in one package. Nice!
I can go on and on about OutKast and their influence on the South with their innovative music and style. They are still topping charts and making unique moves with their music. Even though to me music is making a turn for the worst, OutKast continues to be true to their selves.
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