Outkast, coachella, reunion

As Outkast’s classic track “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” begins:

Damn, damn, damn!

After a ten year hiatus, the stars have finally aligned to bring Atlanta’s Andre 3000 and Big Boi to the same time & place, and have them perform as Outkast. Last seen together releasing the less than memorable Idlewild movie & soundtrack, late Wednesday night saw “OUTKAST” sit at the top of the lineup for the April 11 & 18 dates of the Coachella music & arts festival, held annually in Indio, CA. The festival, known to pay exhorbitant amounts to get bands to reunite, has previously booked elusive acts such as Kraftwerk, Prince, and The Stone Roses.

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Rembert Browne at ESPN’s Grantland had tweeted that for rap, this is as unlikely and longed for as a Smiths reunion is for rock music — and for good reason. Their most successful and popular record — the dual/split release Speakerboxxx/The Love Below — is seen by most as their least interesting, since it’s basically two solo records.

Their first four records (SouthernplayalisticadillacmuzikATLiensAqueminiStankonia) are simultaneously the epitome of consistency in quality, and show a strong progression of experimentation of their sound, and this combination is rare in rap music, especially on such a grand scale. Most people may know them for The Love Below’s “Hey Ya,” and it’s lyric “shake it like a polaroid picture,” but a quick jaunt through their back catalogue on Spotfify can demonstrate that the Atlanean duo are as meaningful to rap as any other pair of MC’s, if not more.

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In the time since they put the name Outkast on hiatus, their talents have been active, but sparingly. Whenever Andre 3000 has appeared on a guest verse, he’s stolen the track from under the person whose album it appears on, and for the attention his appearance gives the album, that other person is quite fine with that. Big Boi’s two solo records have both been great, with Sir Lucious Left Foot, The Son of Chico Dusty being an especially memorable release. The buzz had been that record contracts forced the two to release obligatory albums before they could work together again. Outkast fans had taken a decade to accept the band wasn’t getting back together.

So, the news that their Coachella headlining was official sent twitter ablaze. Fans in every part of the globe started to consider airfare to California, but before the tickets could go on sale, Governor’s Ball, a NY-based music festival held on Governor’s Island, called up RollingStone.com and made it known that Coachella does not have an exclusive lock on the Outkast reunion. Nevertheless, Friday saw tickets to Weekends 1 & 2 of Coachella sell out, with only VIP packages remaining for sale.

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So, it’s safe to say that absence has only made Outkast’s fans more rabid. How else, would they be willing to pay the minimum $375 to enter the festival? Sure, that gives you a three day pass (there are no single day tickets), to what fans of the festival tout as an amazing experience, but the rest of the lineup of other bands, except for The Replacements, are all regularly touring. On these sales alone, Outkast has been elevated to the top tier of bands, and hopefully, their festival sets back up the hype.

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