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OutKast, pronounced outcast. Adjective meaning homeless, or unaccepted in society. But let's look deeper than that. Are you an OutKast? If you understand and feel the basic principles and fundamental truths contained within this music, you probably are.—True Dat (Interlude)
Getting their start in 1990, hip-hop duo OutKast ended up becoming one of the most vital and dynamic music groups of the 2000's. Benjamin and Patton met while attending Tri-Cities High School, a Visual and Performing Arts School. Benjamin's parents were divorced and he was living with his father. Meanwhile, Patton had to move with his four brothers and six sisters from Savannah to Atlanta. Benjamin and Patton eventually teamed up and were pursued by Organized Noize, a group of local producers who would later make hits for TLC. The duo initially wanted to be called "2 Shades Deep" or "The Misfits", but because those names were already taken they later decided to use "OutKast" based on finding "outcast" as synonym for "misfit" in a dictionary. OutKast, Organized Noize, and schoolmates Goodie Mob formed the nucleus of the Dungeon Family organization.
OutKast signed to LaFace Records in 1992, becoming the label's first hip hop act and making their first appearance on the remix of labelmate TLC's "What About Your Friends". During the holiday season of 1993, they released their first single, "Player's Ball". The song's funky style, much of it accomplished with live instrumentation, was a hit with audiences. "Player's Ball" hit number-one on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart. Afterward they would continue to bang out hit album after hit album. The group's original musical style was a mixture of Dirty South and G-Funk. Since then, however, funk, soul, electronic music, spoken word poetry, jazz, and blues elements have been added to the group's musical palette.
- Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994)
- ATLiens (1996)
- Aquemini (1998)
- Stankonia (2000)
- Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
- Idlewild (2006)
OutKast as a group is currently on hiatus, with both members pursuing solo careers. The two have said that they'll record new material together once they've both put out solo albums. Big Boi's album, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, was released in 2010 after repeated delays; the general consensus is that it was worth the wait. Andre 3000's album is tentatively scheduled for a late 2011 release.
OutKast provides examples of:
- Album Filler: "West Savannah" on Aquemini, while not a bad song at all, this record was a leftover from the first album and was included for the sake of being included.
- It was probably a service to fans who had asked about it since a small clip was used in the beginning of the Benz Or A Beamer video in 1995. It would never have fit on ATLiens but fits well on Aquemini.
- Wailin' on ATLiens just seems to be there, as does the remix of Elevators (Me & You) at the end.
- The intros and interludes on all albums that have them are filler in their broadest form. They are entertaining for the most part, but didn't really need to be there. ATLiens only has one intro and is considered their most mature and cohesive album.
- Black Sheep Hit: Most people who heard Hey Ya don't even know they're a rap group.
- Bishonen: Andre.
- Canon Dis Continuity: The soundtrack to Idlewild, the nature of which makes it easy to ignore.
- Concept Album: ATLiens. The album's booklet contains a graphic novel containing a story. The album's single Jazzy Belle includes a continuation of this story in its booklet.
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: "Gangsta Shit", though in a more humorous or parodic way.
- The whole Southernplayalisticadillacmusik album.
- The Dandy: Andre.
- Determinator: In "Da Art of Storytellin Part 2" the world is coming to an end, but they're still trying to make music.
- The End of the World as We Know It: "Da Art of Storytellin' (Part 2)".
- Fun with Acronyms: B.O.B = Bombs Over Baghdad
- Operating Under the (K)Crooked American System Too long (same song the page quote comes from) - seriously though, this is 90s hip-hop. Acronyms abound.
- The Jimmy Hart Version : "Speedballin'" is this of "B.O.B."
- Last-Note Nightmare: "Funky Ride", one of their most smooth and relaxing songs, ends with a woman's orgasm over some rather creepy sounds.
- Lyrical Dissonance: The iconically upbeat "Hey Ya!" is a song about breaking up, and goes in depth into the question of whether or not love is really worth it.
- Same can be said about "Rooster" from Speakerboxxx.
- The album ATLiens has very mature backing tracks, something which is slightly undermined by the lyrics still being somewhat gangsta orientated.
- Mr. Fanservice: Andre 3000.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly
- New Sound Album: While all their records did something new, ATLiens established them as the type of group that does not shy from the prospect of trying something new.
- Non-Indicative First Episode: 'Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, while generally considered to be on par with the rest of their work, had more urban themes than their later releases, and didn't feature the eclectic mix of genres they would later become known for.
- Overly Long Title: Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.
- Pop Culture Isolation:They have been rapping since the 1990s and were very popular rap artist in the south but people thought they were new rap band in the 2000s when the made big Hits like Ms.Jackson and Hey ya and the way you move.
- Sharp Dressed Men
- Shout-Out: The music video for "Hey Ya!" is The Beatles' Ed Sullivan Show performances.
- And the artwork for ATLiens is very similar to the typical cover of a comic book published by Image.
- Signature Song: Ms.Jackson
- Something Something Leonard Bernstein / Word Salad Lyrics - "B.O.B"
- The lyrics aren't actually random if you pay closer attention to them. The song itself is actually about being able to follow up after you start something, the song is just filled with crazy metaphors. A lyrical break down of the song is available here
- Witch with a Capital B: OutKast sing this in the Bowdlerised version of "Roses":
Caroline... see, she's the reason for the word "witch".