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Top Ten Songs by OutKast

Andre 3000, Big Boi, Drum and Bass, Electronica, Outkast

Some artists gain fame by conforming to and copying what’s popular. Not OutKast. Instead of adhering to the same tired trends that have defined commercial hip hop in recent years, OutKast has become the world’s most popular hip hop group by going against the grain and re-defining what it means to be a modern hip hop artist.

The Atlanta duo – composed of Antwan “Big Boi” Patton and Andre “Andre 3000” Benjamin – has scored #1 hits, Grammy Awards, and diamond record sales (11 million sold of their double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below) by completely flipping the typical rap script and incorporating sounds, imagery and subject matter that push the envelope.

With music influenced by funk, soul, electronica, jungle, pop, R&B;, blues and jazz as well as hip hop, lyrics that are culturally aware and informed but still touch on real-life topics, an upbeat outlook, and those outfits, OutKast has blazed new trails in the genre of hip hop.

Their popularity seems to grow with each record, and with the recent release of their film and accompanying soundtrack “Idlewild,” many more are likely to jump on the OutKast bandwagon. The following Top Ten list includes many songs that may not be hit singles, or were released before the group achieved huge mainstream success, but are tops nonetheless:

Rosa Parks

Off their third album, “Aquemini,” this is classic Kast – an uptempo, Southern-flavored beat, a catchy chorus, typical OutKast lyrical prowess and subject matter that definitely defies the typical formula. The song sparked a controversy as OutKast was sued by Rosa Parks for the use of her name, but the use stems from just one line in the chorus “ah-ha, hush that fuss, everybody move to the back of the bus,” and the lawsuit was eventually settled in 2005. The reference is mostly metaphorical, as Kast is talking about ushering in a new order in hip hop.

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Also off “Aquemini,” this is electronica-inspired funk that features George Clinton and finds OutKast questioning the increasingly artificial nature of our society. Definitely not something you’ll hear on the typical rap album.

Da Art of Storytellin’ (Part 1)

This is another joint off “Aquemini.” As soon as the first note plays you know this song is going to be something special. An uptempo beat that manages to be melancholy, with Big Boi and Dre doing what they do best, telling stories. Listen to Dre’s verse in particular, it’s deep.


Off the album by the same name, this is OutKast at the top of their game. A beat that literally sounds out of this world, and lyrics that are impressive in terms of sound and content. This song was released as one of the album’s singles, and it peaked at #3 on the rap charts.

Elevators (Me & You)

Classic ‘Kast, if you haven’t heard this song then you shouldn’t consider yourself a true OutKast fan. Off “ATLiens,” this is the ultimate chill track, a laid back beat and adept rhyming by Big Boi and Dre. This single went to #1 on the rap charts.


This is to “ATLiens” what “Da Art of Storytellin (Part 1)” is to “Aquemini.” A song that is technically upbeat (in terms of the beat, anyway) but is undeniably melancholy. Not so much depressed, but pensive.

B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)

This isn’t one of my personal favorites, but I added it to this list because of how groundbreaking and important it is for the genre of hip hop. This song is an experimental mix of jungle, electronica, rock and rap that was played more often on rock radio stations than rap ones. It is further proof of just how far OutKast pushes the envelope. This is off OutKast’s fourth album, “Stankonia,” which went four times platinum and catapulted Kast into even higher levels of recognition, though their previous albums had sold fairly well, between one and two million copies each.

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Off “Speakerboxxx,” BIg Boi’s half of “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” this is similar to B.O.B. in terms of how far it pushed the envelope. Though it’s technically Big Boi’s, Andre 3000 worked on the production, not to mention adding vocals, and his influence is obvious. This is a mixture of electronica, drum and bass, and hip hop.The kind of song you want to bump in your car, it definitely makes you want to move. The soul interlude is hilarious, as well as perfect.


The kind of thoughtful rap that could only come from a member of OutKast. This song, which appears on “Speakerboxxx,” is reminiscent of “Jazzy Belle” off “ATLiens” because of the female vocals, with a beautiful, otherworldly, slightly melancholy beat. This song is about starting over.
Hey Ya!

Again, not one of my personal favorites, but one of their biggest hits, and a truly innovative song. This is almost pure silliness, strange sounds and fun, except there is a message. Dre is talking about the trials adn tribulations of love, albeit to a a super high-energy track.
Honorable Mention:

“She Lives In My Lap” off The Love Below

“Unhappy” off Speakerboxxx

“Jazzy Belle” off ATLiens

“Ms. Jackson” off Stankonia

“Player’s Ball” off Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik