It’s safe to say that Outkast has been on a media high as of late, and for good reason. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that our favorite Southern rap duo is making a comeback, and the resulting media storm triggered by last week’s Coachella announcement seems to be proliferating social networks everywhere. But what exactly justifies the hype over this recent news? Hit the jump to read some of my thoughts on why the Outkast reunion is so relevant to Hip-Hop right now.
1. An Outkast reunion will bring in more Hip-Hop fans
“Eclectic” is probably the most common adjective used to describe the general Outkast discography, and this quality is what makes them one of the most versatile groups in Hip-Hop. Whether your favorite album is Aquemini, or Stankonia, it’s clear that the trademark Outkast sound has no real trademark, and this is precisely why it appeals to music fans all across the boards – from Southern-Rap, to Soul, to Alternative Rock. After touring extensively, more people will inevitably discover (or re-discover) Outkast’s dynamic approach to production and extensive musical influences. This will lead to an even more diverse, growing fan base, while helping to propel great Hip-Hop back onto the charts in 2014.
2. An Outkast reunion will reinvigorate Coachella’s stagnant headliner situation
I’ll be completely honest with you here. I don’t choose to go to Coachella because it seems that each year, the lineup is increasingly more lackluster. Last year’s headliners were no exception. With the festival often going for “safer” headliner choices (one can only hear “Under the Bridge” so many times before madness sets in), an Outkast performance may be just what it needs to rejuvenate itself, while simultaneously throwing live Hip-Hop back into the desert’s limelight. Coachella dream moment: an André 3000 guitar solo during “Prototype,” complete with holographic alien visitors.
3. An Outkast reunion may lead to new material
Everyone has a favorite Outkast album. My top two are Aquemini and ATLiens, which are pretty old. Idlewild, their final studio album as a duo, was released way back in 2006. Although it’s been awhile since they approached the music scene as a unit, Big Boi and André 3000 have been far from inactive. Big Boi has since released two solo albums, and André has, of course, appeared on tracks with artists like Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Frank Ocean. Optimistically speaking, a full-blown Outkast reunion is bound to lead to even more exciting collaborations, and maybe even a new album (although Queen Latifah recently retracted her statement regarding this possibility). Whether you’re a huge Outkast fan or not, it’s hard to argue that they haven’t put out some of the most consistent records over the past decade or so. I don’t doubt that any new Outkast material would be anything less than game-changing.
4. An Outkast reunion may mark the re-birth of the Hip-Hop duo
Black Star. UGK. Kriss Kross. I don’t know about you, but I miss rapping duos in Hip-Hop, and the Outkast reunion may be just the thing that spurs the creation of more of them. Big Boi and André have always done a great job in matching one another’s innovative wordplay and emotional intelligence, and it would be nice to see more groups step up with this kind of dynamic. Their big announcement fell awfully close to news regarding a rumored Clipse reunion, so who knows.
2014 is bound to be the year of Outkast, which will prove to be a great year for Hip-Hop as well. Let us know if you’re going to see Outkast, and what you’re most excited to hear!