|Big Boi||Antwan André Patton||February 1st, 1975 Savannah, Georgia|
|Andre 3000||André Lauren Benjamin||May 27th, 1975 Atlanta, Georgia|
Label: LaFace, Arista
OutKast is an American hip hop duo based out of East Point, Georgia, a city south of Atlanta, Georgia. Their original musical style was a mixture of Dirty South and G-Funk; since then, funk, soul, pop, electronic music, rock, spoken word poetry, jazz, and blues elements have been added to the group's musical palette. The duo consists of Atlanta native André "André 3000" Benjamin (formerly known as "Dre") and Savannah, Georgia-born Antwan "Big Boi" Patton.
The duo is one of the most successful hip-hop groups of all time, having received six Grammy Awards. Over 20 million copies have been sold of OutKast's eight releases: six studio albums, a greatest hits release, and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, a double album containing a solo album from each member. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is one of only four hip-hop albums to be certified Diamond in the U.S. for shipping over 10 million units. Along with OutKast's commercial success, they have maintained an experimental approach in their music and are widely praised for their originality and artistic content.
Benjamin was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Sharon Benjamin Hodo, a single mother who sold real estate, and Lawrence Walker, a collections agent. Being an only child and growing up in East Point, Decatur and Bankhead, Benjamin saw many different lifestyles (clothing and music) that he combined throughout his career. He attended Sutton Middle School, where a renowned orchestral teacher named Mrs. Natalie Colbert taught him how to play a violin.
Patton was born and spent the first half of his childhood in Savannah, attending School before moving to Atlanta with his Aunt Renee to pursue his interest in music at Tri-Cities, a high school for the performing arts
Benjamin and Patton met in high school when Andre's parents were divorced and Andre was visiting his father. Meanwhile, Patton had to move with his three brothers and two sisters from Savannah to Atlanta. on July 12, 1991. They eventually teamed up and were hunted down by Organized Noize, a group of local producers who would later make hits for TLC. While searching through a dictionary, Big Boi and André 3000 came across the word "outcast" and decided this would be a perfect group name because at the time, the hip hop industry was dominated by East Coast and West Coast rappers who saw southern rappers as outcasts. OutKast, Organized Noize, and schoolmates Goodie Mob formed the nucleus of the Dungeon Family organization.
OutKast signed to LaFace Records in 1992, becoming the label's first hip hop act and making their first appearance on the remix of labelmate TLC's "What about your friends". In 1993, they released their first single, "Player's Ball". The song's funky style, much of it accomplished with live instrumentation, was a hit with audiences."Player's Ball" hit number-one on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart.
Their full-length debut, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, was issued the next year. This initial effort is credited with laying the foundation for southern hip hop and is considered a classic by many of their southern fan base. Every track on Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was produced by Organized Noize and featured other members of the Dungeon Family. Follow-up singles included the title track and "Git up Git out", a politically charged collaboration with Goodie Mob that was later sampled by Macy Gray for her 1999 hit "Do Something." On this early material, both André and Big Boi contrast lyrical content reflecting the lifestyles of pimps and gangsters with politically conscious material commenting on the status of African Americans in the South. OutKast won Best New Rap Group at the Source Awards in 1995.
ATLiens was OutKast's second album, released in 1996. The album exhibited more self consciousness and further solidified Outkast as the flagship representatives of the 1st generation Dungeon Family and the Southern hip hop movement. The album helped the group earn more recognition among East Coast hip hop fans in the East and West coasts.
For this album, OutKast joined with partner David "Mr. DJ" Sheats to form the Earthtone III production company, which allowed the group to produce some of their own tracks. "ATLiens" was the group's second Top 40 single (following "Player's Ball" from their first album), and reflected the beginning of André's increasingly sober lifestyle: "No drugs or alcohol/so I can get the signal clear," he rhymes about himself. "Elevators (Me and You)," OutKast's first self-produced single, became the group's first Top 20 hit the same year.12345next ›last »