Looking back on OutKast’s “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad),” which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, it’s natural to assume it was made as a response to the war in Iraq—but in reality, the song came out before George W. Bush had even been elected president. More than a critique of America’s intervention in the Middle East, the track was, eerily, a prophecy of what was to come. It was also a groundbreaking artistic achievement—a rap song that blended elements of electronic music, gospel, drum and bass, and rock in a way that somehow worked, thanks to the musical genius of André 3000 and Big Boi.
Part radio hit, part club banger, and part political protest song, “B.O.B” is a piece of music unlike any other, with a backstory that’s almost unbelievable. For a look at how and why “B.O.B.” got made—along with a breakdown of its lasting cultural impact—check out the video below.
You can purchase the reissue of OutKast’s Stankonia on vinyl here, and stream the deluxe edition of the album, featuring previously unreleased recordings, on the streaming service of your choice.