Back in the ’90s, rappers were recognized by the coast. The west side had rappers like Ice Cube, Dr.Dre, Spice 1, and Warren G. The east coast had The Notorious B.I.G, Big Daddy Kane, and Public Enemy. Even though greatness was already among the hip-hop scene, the world was missing something special. That is, until Outkast rose to the occasion from East Atlanta.
While in high school in 1991, Andre 3000 befriended Big Boi. They started creating music together as Outkast–which, unknown then, would become one the most innovative duos in hip-hop. Their efforts linked them with fellow ATLiens–the talented production team–Organized Noise. This fusion of talent acted like an elixir of success and brought Outkast to the accomplishment of being the first hip-hop group to signed with LaFace records in 1992.
After signing to LaFace, the duo released their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik on April 26th, 1994– which came in at number 20 on the Billboard 200 list and went certified platinum. Some of the most memorable songs off the album include, “Player’s Ball,” “Funky Ride,” “Hootie Hoo,” and “Git Up, Git Out.” With a lot of great feedback and a wide audience to match, Outkast not only contributed to defining Hotlanta, but in establishing the south as a force to be reckon with in hip-hop. Outkast brought out the soul of hip hop, were their own trendsetters and have influenced current artists like: Kanye West, Isaiah Rashad, Raury, Big Krit and Trae tha Truth.
On the album’s single “True Dat,” Big Rube explains an Outkast as the following:
“An OutKast is someone who is not considered to be part of the normal world
He is looked at differently
He is not accepted because of his clothes, his hair
His occupation, his beliefs or his skin color
Now look at yourself, are you an OutKast? I know I am
As a matter of fact, fuck being anything else
It’s only so much time left in this crazy world
Wake up n*ggas and realize what’s going on around you.”
Who knew the ATLiens would be the cornerstone that saved hip-hop? In celebration of their first album, peep the duo’s first appearance on Soul Train performing “Players Ball.”