AllHipHop.com launches its recap of 2003 with OutKast and rightfully so. As one of the few acts that captured the elusive and fading art of melding creativity with endless commercial capability, the group moved millions of units and moved the souls of those that listened.
At one point the duo of Big Boi and Andre were “just two dope boys in a Cadillac,” but with the release of their album, <I>Speakerboxxx/The Love Below</I>, the group returned, reinvented itself and painted further outside the lines. Yet, with this LP the brothas split their art in half and packaged it as a double set, one half Dre and the other Big Boi. Opting to do separate albums this go ‘round, the pair further pushed the envelope until it was rumored that they were breaking up. Not true. Truth is OutKast was a beacon of hope for hip-hop and a blueprint for those that want to do their own thang.
Here are 2,249 words with OutKast – don’t miss one.
In the heart of Times Square, AllHipHop sat before the dynamic team and they discussed a myriad of topics from their thoughts on love and war, artist retirement, and the real deal with <I>Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.</I>
AllHipHop.com: The process for this album was different than the others. What were the big differences with this process than on past albums where you were working totally together?
Andre 3000: Had to write more verses. That was the real challenge with the whole thing. While we were recording the album I was letting Big Boi check the songs out and he was letting me check songs out and I was askin him ‘What you like, what you like? Like I heard his stuff the whole time, I produced three tracks on his side, so there was involvement the whole time.
AllHipHop.com: Dre, you didn’t rhyme much on your side of the album, why is that and will you keep rhyming?
Dre: I’m still rhyming like I used to, I’m just not rhyming on this album. These songs had to come out. This is what I was writin’ at the time so this is what it was. God told me to give you these songs at the time so that’s what it was. But rhyming is still in full effect just gotta build up some new ideas and new concepts that’s all.
AllHipHop.com: Andre ain’t rhyming on this joint, but Big Boi what made you stick to the script?
Big Boi: I really didn’t stick to a script. I just went in and did music how I do it. There really is no set formula that’s just how we do music. As far as me personally, I’m still into lyricism and rhyming and making songs and all aspects of it so I just go in and whatever is the funkiest sh*t that jumps out, that’s what I’m gonna use so that’s what I did.
AllHipHop.com: Big Boi, on “War” you really attacked some current social issues. What was your inspiration to do that track?
Big Boi: It actually stemmed from the election of 2000 and we were in between records at the time. The way the election went down it was like a whole blanket of conspiracy that’s thrown over things and then something else happened. So what I was doin really was letting out a little frustration from watchin the BBC and NWI, and things like that, checkin out what’s goin on in the world. Say for instance the election, it was a controversy. George Bush’s brother down in Florida, however that went, it was up in the air, then all of a sudden 9/11 happened, right? Ok throw a blanket over the election, f**k it, we ain’t got the election no more, 9/11 happened we gotta go get these people cause they’re tryin to kill us. Okay, so not only do we go look for Osama Bin Laden, who we still have not found to this day. Where is he? We’re like okay, Bin Laden done did it but we gonna come over here and f**k with you. So they go to Iraq. Why you goin to Iraq for? They didn’t bomb the buildings. “Well, they got weapons of mass destruction so we need to go over there before they come over here and kill us and our kids and all the beautiful Americans.” Okay, we go to Iraq. We go to war, throw a blanket over the World Trade Center, now we in Iraq lookin for weapons of mass destruction. And we conquered em, and you the know the battle is “so-called” over, but you know we got 10 to 15 soldiers dyin’ a day. That’s what they tell us. We don’t know the real number you know. We go to Iraq, conquer, but there are no weapons of mass destruction, you know what I’m sayin? Throw a blanket over that, now what’s gonna happen now? It’s gonna be some sh*t. That’s why you see the terror alert is elevated now and I really feel something is about to go down, and then they gonna throw a blanket over that sh*t. It’s really about getting somebody competent and responsible to run this country man, that’s what it’s about.
AllHipHop.com: As a group you all are known for addressing socially conscious topics, but Andre, on your side of the album you focused on the search for love. Have you given up on love?
Dre: Well honestly, I can’t say that I’ve given up on anything. I can say that the situation that I’m in, and being the person that I am, it doesn’t look very bright. (They laugh). But one thing I know is God is love, and love is God. If that is true, then it’s not even what I think. So, I mean, I can give up on it, but once again what <I>The Love Below</I> stands for is that deep down feeling below that we have no control over that’s gonna bubble up anyway, so even if I’ve given up on it, which some days I feel like I have, but not today. But I mean, I know if God wants me to be with somebody, I’m gonna be with somebody, that’s just it. So I’m lookin’ out.