In the volatile world of hip-hop, where fans are as fickle as a two-headed coin, it is extremely hard to stay in the game, let alone stay on top of your Game.
Hip-hop history is replete with many artists who came in with a big bang, only to leave the next year with nothing more than a fizzle. Many of those lucky enough to hang on the scene for more than a couple of years do so by regurgitating the popular formula of the day.
Then there is the chosen few of hip-hop. Those unique individuals whose work constantly display the kind of innovation that commands both respect and adulation from fans and peers. These individuals are not only listed among the hip-hop elite, but are counted as champions of pop culture.
Throughout the history of their illustrious career, Outkast has consistently delivered a string of hit albums that have displayed the highest levels of musical creativity while remaining true to the spirit of hip-hop.
From their platinum debut Southernplayalisticadallacmuzik to the multi-platinum critically acclaimed Stankonia , LP, Outkast is one of the few contemporary recording, acts who manage to gain at least a half a million new fans with each record.
Their foray into hip-hop began in 1994 with their classic hit "Player's Ball," one of the singles on La Face's Christmas album. The tremendous response to that single convinced the label to sign Dre (Andre Benjamin) and Big Boi (Antwan Patton) as the R & B based label's first hip hop act. The subsequent debut, LP Southernplayalisticadallacmuzik, filled with sparse samples and live instrumentals that hark back to the golden era of '70s soul, sold a million copies and announced to the world that, in the immortal words of Dre, "the South got something to say."
Their sophomore LP, A TLiens based duo showed the world that the South really did have something to say. This time around a million and a half people were more than willing to listen to Outkast's brand of space age hip-hop funk. Filled with a spaceship full of trunk rattling funk gleaned from the spirit of Sly Stone, Mandrill, and George Clinton, plus Dre and Big Boi's clever lyrics celebrating everything from growing old to the wheels of steel, A TLiens solidified the duo's position as one of the leading groups on the cutting edge of hip-hop.
Their third album, Aquemini placed the two MCs at a major plateau in their career. Declared a hip hop classic by several hip hop publications including tile Source and Rap Pages, the duo's third LP blended elements of both '70s soul, funk, jazz and reggae with hip hop to create a record that opened three million people up to new musical possibilities for the genre. It also inspired a whole new wave of Southern hip hop groups such as the Field Mob, Nappy Heads, Crooked Lettaz, and others to step to the forefront with live instrumentation and advance lyricism.
On their fourth offering, Stankonia, Outkast took their boldest step to date by dropping four million listeners into a big old vat of stinking funk. Once again Outkast garnered rave reviews with their latest studio offering and, true to form, the duo picked up a couple of million fans along the way, selling a staggering 4,000,000 units.
"That was the real reason why we decided to do a greatest hits album," says Andre. "We've picked up so many new fans who don't know about our other records. There are actually some new fans who think that Stankonia is our first record. So we wanted to catch our new fans up on our old stuff just to let them know that we have more than one album under our belt. Hopefully, this will inspire them to go out and buy our old stuff."
Assembled on Outkast's Bia Boi & Dre Present Outkast are a bevy of their greatest hits along with a few key album tracks and a couple of surprise tracks that are sure to keep their loyal fans happy until the new album drops next year. Included among the many hits are classics like "Player's Ball," "Elevators (Me & You)," "Rosa Parks," "B.O.B.," and "So Spottie0ttieDopaliscious." While the hits make up the bulk of Big Boi & Dre Present.. Outkast, there are three new records especially recorded for this album.
The first one is the cool and smooth "Funkin' Around," a deep bass-driven track with a tight percussive horn part that would make the horn sections of '70s funk groups like Cameo and the Commodores.
Likewise tile bluesy track "The Whole World," evokes the spirit of great pop/rock groups like the Beatles and Chicago. "Movin' Cool," featuring Joi Gilliam-Gipp on vocals the last of the new tracks, is a jazzy song that ends the album oil a high note.
With an impressive line-up of solid hits, classic album cuts and the three new songs showcasing the duo's musical diversity, Big Boi and Dre Presents.. Outkast, offers fans, both old and new, an excellent progress report on their dynamic eight-year career, plus announces to the world that there’s much more music to come.