Have you ever sat down and watched all the videos that had anything at all to do with Outkast? Of course you haven’t. Because you have a life, and you realise that at some point, some loser will do it for you, punctuating it with some of the more obscure videos that you may not have seen before. Furious Styles is that loser and he's going to look back at the duo’s highlights in front of the camera.
Outkast have been on the mind recently. A new Big Boi LP for one thing, and an almost collaboration on this Frank Ocean remix of “Pink Matter”. The OutKast boys guest on the track at the same time…but NOT together OK? Andre 3000 was a bit too keen to point that out.
Now we know brothers normally have their disagreements, and it’s probably no thing, but looking at it from the outside, you can’t help wishing that Andre 3000 and Big Boi would play nicer - be all harmonious and all that. Only last month, Big Boi hinted at some discord, bemoaning the lack of collaboration on his album because his partner was “busy on some Gillette shit”…
…And boy that Gillette advert, was pretty special it must be said. Andre 3000 pimping and primping his way through characters with pretty absurd facial hair. Because sometimes the corporate cock is just too tasty.
It’s a long way from the early days of 1994 when when Dre (He used to call himself that, before some no mark namesake called Dr Dre got a bit more popular, pfffft) and Big Boi wandered around in the style and fashion of
The Hip Hop Cliche. "The Player’s Ball" video is all baseball caps, baggy tees and drop-top cars, with Andre 3000 sporting a close crop, and a chubby Big Boi rocking the unkempt afro steez. Less “So Fresh So Clean”, more “So Young So Obvious”. The video, in fact, was directed by a pre-Diddyfied, pre-Puffy, plain ol’ Sean Combs.
Around the same time as the album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, they did "Benz or Beamer", the best song on a soundtrack to a film that actually no-one in the world can ever remember watching, called New Jersey Drive.
And there's always the fact that Outkast are credited for putting Atlanta hip-hop on the map. But they didn’t do it by themselves. Remember when YO MTV RAPS came to visit in 94, Fab 5 Freddy was introduced to the underground studio that OutKast and crew called The Dungeon.
They shared the space with The Goodie Mob, who released their pretty dope debut LP Soul Food a year later than OutKast. You see that fat bloke three-minutes into the "Soul Food" video? Ummhumm, Cee-Lo Green, looking less like a chubby Derrick Carter and more like a doorman for Showtime At The Apollo.
The Dungeon Family rarely recorded together, but when they did, it was gold. “Watch For The Hook” has to be rated as one of the finest posse cuts in hip-hop (Yeah, yeah “Scenario”, yeah yeah Wu-Tang. But still…), with Big Boi handling OutKast responsibilities in an homage to Reservoir Dogs.
By the time the crew got to the technicolour head twister that is “Trans DF Express”, the offkey identity OutKast were cultivating had really come into it’s own. And there was no going back.
The list of Outkast collaborations is another article in itself. Particular Furious Styles favourites from the way back when’s are: "The Art Of Story Tellin’" with Slick Rick, the return favour of "Street Talkin" on Rick’s own album. The Big Boi cameo on the remix of Killer Mike’s “Ready Set Go”, and Big Boi again on Janelle Monae and BOTH of them on UKG’s "International Playas Anthem". Pretty stellar, right?
But it’s all good them going off and working separately, but the magic happens properly when they're together dammit. While Big Boi seems to be able to cope by himself (new LP is worth a listen), if you leave Andre 3000 to his own devices for too long, he’ll come up with something mental like an entire cartoon series for kids. Which just takes us full circle to that Gillette advert…
So, come on Threestacks, get back in that studio. I mean, the cameos are cool and all that, but dang….!