On January 8th, 2014, Outkast ended their (almost) seven year hiatus, announcing their plans to headline the 2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Amongst the excitement surrounding Outkast coming out of hibernation, internet critics started claiming that “Hey Ya!” was their only “real” hit. Apart from the fact that they produced the first full hip-hop album ever to win the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2004, Outkast had been a staple of hip-hop for almost ten years by the time that song came out. “Hey Ya!” was part of the split album “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” and didn’t even feature Andre 3000’s other half, Big Boi. While there is certainly a strong case to be made for “Hey Ya!” as one of not only the best Outkast songs of all time, but one of the best pop songs of all time, it’s more of an Andre 3000 song than it is an Outkast song. There are plenty of other incredible Outkast songs, and plenty of them were radio hits. Here’s our picks for the Top 10 Outkast Songs(That aren’t “Hey Ya!”)
1. “The Way You Move” – Speakerboxx/The Love Below
“Hey Ya!” was definitely the biggest hit from Outkast’s 2003 award winning album, but it didn’t even feature half of the group! Big Boi’s big hit from this album is an equally infectious blend of pop and hip-hop that helped aid demonstrating both artists’ capability as individuals.
2. “Ms. Jackson” – Stankonia
It’s incredible to think people either forgot, or hadn’t heard this song when they labeled Outkast a one hit wonder. Outkast helped bring in the new millennium with a song that will be a classic forever. (Forever, ever? Forever, ever?) Forever!
3. “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” – Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
The title track from this album is a quintessential 90’s hip-hop jam. The outrageous title says far more than I ever could about the song.
4. “Rosa Parks” – Aquemini
“Ah ha, hush that fuss
Everybody move to the back of the bus
Do you wanna bump and slump with us
We the type of people make the club get crunk”
Rosa Parks actually sued Outkast over this hit, claiming it misappropriated her name. The lawsuit lasted years, but the song will last a lot longer. How couldn’t it, with a chorus like that?
5. “So Fresh, So Clean” – Stankonia
Hip-hop never made looking good, sound as good as the coolest motherfunkers on the planet.
6. “Aquemini” – Aquemini
Outkast might hold the record for most albums with title tracks. I’ll have to look into that. Anyways, between the beat, and the flow that tells a story, with pitch changes in the chorus, you can hear the influence this song has had on modern hip-hop. Particularly in Kendrick Lamar.
7. “Spread” – Speakerboxx/The Love Below
Andre 3000’s half of the hugely successful double LP was more rock/pop/r&b than it was hip-hop. Don’t confuse that for a complaint, “The Love Below” was an incredibly intricate album that realistically examined two lovers relationship. The hook on this song will get stuck in your head for days.
8. “Player’s Ball” – Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
Outkast’s lyrical content changed a fair amount over the years. This is probably one of the weirdest Christmas themed songs you’ll ever hear.
9. “Git Up, Git Out” – Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
Basically a call to arms for people less concerned with pursuing life, and more concerned with getting high, “Git Up, Git Out” pleads for the listener to pursue something greater. One of the more poignant messages Outkast delivered throughout their career.
10. “B.O.B” – Stankonia
Outkast do what they do best, exchanging verses at a rapid pace. From pimpin’ to cadillacs, no stone in Outkast’s history is left unturned on this amped up anthem. Try to keep up.
Catch Outkast performing at festivals across the world this spring/summer.