(AllHipHop Features) There can’t be a discussion about the pillars of southern Hip Hop without mentioning the Grammy-winning duo known as OutKast. Big Boi, Andre 3000, and the entire Dungeon Family crew’s artistic output influenced an entire generation of music acts, including South Carolina spitter Nick Grant.
With OutKast’s debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik celebrating its 23rd-anniversary last week and the project’s production team Organized Noize dropping a new EP on May 5, it’s the perfect time to get Grant to reflect on the classic LP that he considers a personal favorite.
The Culture Republic representative subtly affirmed himself as a musical offspring of Kast with the intro track to his own 2016 mixtape titled 88. NG’s song begins with a soundbite from Dre’s famous acceptance speech at the 1995 Source Awards where the lyrical genius declared: “the south got something to say.”
Grant had a lot to say about OutKast, Organized Noize, and the Dungeon Family as he shared experiences connected to the hitmakers and the platinum-certified Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.
[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Nick Grant Talks ‘88’ Mixtape, Getting Advice From Big K.R.I.T. & Becoming A New King Of This Era]
My Earliest Memory Connected To Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
The earliest memory I had was watching the “Player’s Ball” video and seeing Dre’s early outfit choices. I used to try to do the Kangol hats with the Braves baseball jersey. Even as a kid, it weighed heavy on me. From the jump, listening to their music and watching how they would do their thing, I would try to emulate it. They had a huge influence on me musically and how I chose to move. I’m a very big fan of OutKast.
My Favorite Song Off The Album
That’s so hard. My favorite record on Southernplayalistic… “Player’s Ball” is one, but “Git Up, Git Out”… “Crumblin’ Erb,” that was another one. “Git Up, Git Out” was probably my favorite. Being from the south, it just said a lot of stuff that stuck with me and it was just so honest. If you don’t get up and put in the work, nothing is really gonna happen for you. If you sit around all day, you’re gonna be stuck in your pain. If you sit around all day, you’re gonna be uninspired. If you sit around and complain all day, nothing is gonna happen for you. That’s what I got from that record and when you get that kind of wisdom poured on you through music at an early age, it really just sits with you and sticks with you. So that was one of the first records I heard that had a positive message – a very inspiring, motivating message. And it had CeeLo on the hook. You can never go wrong with CeeLo on the hook, whether he’s rapping or singing.
My Favorite Line Off The Album
It would be Dre’s whole verse on “Git Up, Git Out.” Everything. “They laying my mama off work, General Motors trippin.” It was just like real stuff in that verse, the realest things in those verses. They said a whole lot of honest and real stuff that people, everyday people, could relate to. They’re my favorite group of all time. They’re the greatest group ever. Without them, I wouldn’t be a rapper.
OutKast’s Impact On Me As An Artist
OutKast taught me a number of things. The number one thing was just being yourself, staying in your lane, and doing the music that you love to do from your heart. That was one of the first things I learned. Another thing that I learned as an artist was you can find fun ways to tell depressing stories. It was certain things that they would struggle with in life, just in life period, and they found fun ways to poke at their pain and still come across as dope. It was serious but it was still playful, and they were just the voice for a lot of people. It was fun music but it still had that balance where what they were talking about wasn’t a joke, even though they’re laughing and partying and the videos were colorful.
My Reaction To Going From Being A Fan To Working With The Dungeon Family
I ran into Big Boi at a party and later he told [Culture Republic head Jason Geter] I was one of his favorite artists. I feel like an honorary Dungeon Family member. I remember being in the studio with Ray Murray and him telling me when I was like, “Yo, I don’t want to rap over that beat, it has a sample.” He was like, “You are worrying about the wrong thing. If you got something to say, you need to say it. Don’t worry about the beat. You change all that later but if you got something to say, you just need to go ahead and say it. Don’t worry about samples, don’t worry about none of that ‘cause you’re gonna hinder your message. If you worry about the business and don’t focus on the art, you’re gonna lose focus of the feeling and the points you’re trying to come across within your music.” Rico… his energy is just like nobody else’s I’ve ever been in the studio with. And Sleepy Brown, we all know what he does. He’s responsible for the soundtrack to my life in a sense.
To be co-signed by Dre, have him come out to one of my shows, and for me to hear that I’m one of Big Boi’s favorite rappers, you can’t pay for that. I know where the culture sits right now, and right now a lot of platforms use popularity as the measuring stick for the culture. These guys made me look beyond it – being the popular guy – cause I’m not the most popular person. The people that are most popular don’t get the type of opportunities I’ve had which is sitting with legends, having dinner with legends, and having legendary people coming out to your shows. That’s bigger than anything to me and I don’t take it for granted. I love ‘em. I love Outkast. They changed my life; they changed music. They are to me what Parliament Funkadelic was to them growing up.
[ALSO READ: RECAP: Dungeon Family, Erykah Badu, Ice Cube & More Rock ATL At ONE Musicfest 2016 (VIDEOS)]
Nick Grant is scheduled to perform at the Made In America Festival 2017 in Philadelphia.