April 26th, 2014 marked the 20th Anniversary of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Outkast’s debut album. What better way to celebrate than by performing for a sea of fanatics in the duo’s home state of Georgia.
Many described Outkast’s much anticipated reunion at Coachella as underwhelming. However, disappointed fans complained on Twitter that the real issue was that the Coachella audience, unfamiliar with many classics and only into mainstream hits since Outkast’s fourth album Stankonia which featured “Ms. Jackson” and “Bombs Over Baghdad”, didn’t give Kast the energy they needed and in-turn received a lack-luster performance. Their performance at CounterPoint Music Festival quickly erased that memory and reinstated the veterans as one of the best Hip Hop groups to hit the stage.
Traffic to the event in Atlanta moved at the crawl pace. It was clear everyone was going to see Outkast. Even I made the one hour trek. The forecast showed to expect a sunny 82 degrees but just hours before the show a violent thunderstorm moved in and eventually delayed their start time by a hour and a half.
The anxious crowd waited patiently as the elaborate set was pieced together for Andre 3000 and Big Boi to take the stage. The light turned up and ‘Kast opened the show with none other than one of their most exhilarating songs “Bombs Over Baghdad” followed by hit after hit. Outkast didn’t miss a beat and neither did the fans as we found ourselves creating cypher circles with fellow fanatics we had never met but were suddenly kindred spirits as we recited every lyric to every song while reminiscing mentally on how that was once the soundtrack of our lives growing up in Atlanta.
From “ATLiens” to “Rosa Parks” to “Player’s Anthem” to “Crumblin Erb”, Outkast took the high-energy crowd on a journey through some of the most innovative rhymes of all time. They finally ended the 90-minute set with “The Whole World” featuring Killer Mike. Being that Killer Mike is an Atlanta native, this was a welcomed climax along with the fireworks display the lit up the night sky. The perfect ending to the perfect show. I do have to admit that there was something missing. And, it was Goodie Mob as most of us expected a Dungeon Family reunion since this is home. Regardless of that missing element, to have Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton back on the stage together again performing for the hardest of die-hard Outkast fans, will be hard to match in any other state.
Welcome back Big Boi and 3000. More importantly, welcome home.