Outkast. Pronounced Outkast.


(written by my homeboy Sivad Davis)

I have something to say. And I have a forum. So I am going to use it. Joe, Darryl, and Jason, the “Tougher Than Leather” guys from QUE – another ENS, are the iconic, pioneering trio that forced the world down to the ground to listen to this street religion that is hip-hop. No Question. But in my humble opinion, hands down the greatest group of all time is my favorite group of all time, them “Two Dope Boyz inna Cadilliac”.

Now mind you, “two dope boyz” doesn’tmean the same thing now that it meant when 'ATLiens' surfaced in 1996. They meant it as them being dope like so fresh..(you know the rest).. Today 'dope' is exactly coke as well as other street pharmecutials. That’s where all of these thoughts stem from today.

I have a monthly argument with one of my best friends about who the best group out is right now. He starts with the disclaimer: “not including ya boyz” in an effort to get me to concede that his dudes, Push A Ton & Malicious aka Clipse, are the penultimate multiple emcee group where both members rap solely.

(more after the jump, guesss who the “friend” is)

This is where the argument begins. Because Andre 3000 does not give us those rhymes where his “crew be thick as two fat hoes sittin off in a brougham” or let us know he’s “packing {a} tag backwards if you wanna be actin grown” anymore, a minute argument continually translates into a monthly – four years in the making argument. Ok, so he sings. He may even croon somedays. But what remains is the fact that he, Big Boi,and Organized Noize may be as responsible for the epicenter of urban black radio/hip hop feeling like it’s Atlanta than any other
artists around today.

They brought the south to the metaphor-front in the summer of 1994. They proved that creative, thought provoking, southern lyrics could come from someone other than Scarface. And then received an absolutehonor (at the time), a Source award for Best Group in 1995, telling the audience “dah souf got sumthin ta say too”..

Back then, that Source Award was the grandest accolade they had received. Until almost a decade later in February 2004, the Grammy for Album of the Year officially stamped rap music as a real genre to be considered and recognized. That says it all for impact to me.

The theories that highlight “hip-hop is dead” and “the east and west are done” gain validity with each national urban radio airplay spin. And the South is still following the lead of its greatest representatives, Outkast, who are still as innovative as ever. Shifting focuses has been their trademark with each addition to their album catalog.

The resume/discography is way too extensive to list here. But of course, the consistent chemistry between Big and Dre is still unmatched (The Abstract and Phife were right there once upon a time). I have no clue what this ' Idlewild' situation is going to materialize into. But I must say that I am extremely disappointed to hear that a tour featuring the group as a whole is not in the works (heck, even bring Mr. DJ along if need be)

After reading that EntertainmentWeekly.com article displaying how seperate but equal they appear to be, my mood saddened tremendously. But it can be added to a slew of other articles chronicling the strange partnership that is 'Kast.

However, It did cause me to smilingly reflect on the five shows I have been to thus far….

Their March 1999 opening act perfromance for L. Boogie at Constitution Hall in D.C (It honestly felt like I was the only person that knew who they were. that..on top of shouting every single last word dolo… Made it one of the top 5 overall shows I've ever been to).. The Fall 2000 Stank Love Tour show in Hampton. The 2001 Spring Fling show at ODU (where they ran off the tour bus across the football field to the stage and started rocking within a matter of 90 seconds… Total. Sickest opening I've ever seen).. A Fall 2001 HMV in-store performance in NYC. And maybe the last time.. At the Camden, NJ Tweeter Center
for the 2002 Smoking Grooves Tour show (with The Roots, & L. Boogie in a somewhat of a role reversal as they were the headliners this time.)

Full Circle. If they do decide that 'Operating Under The Krooked American System Toolong', refers to the music industry more than it being an acronym for their lives and end it all, (More like if Dre does, Big Boi seems content), it’s going to be a sad day for this dope boy. In the fresh, 1996 non-literal meaning of the aforementioned term that is.

Imagine fighting the theory of hip-hop being dead with the east and west being done as well, “not including ya boyz”.

I have. And now I guess I have to let my mind “idlewild” until further notice is given.