Now Reading: Outkast & Organized Noize: Pioneering Southern Hip-Hop and Setting a New Standard

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Outkast & Organized Noize: Pioneering Southern Hip-Hop and Setting a New Standard

We’re all familiar with Outkast and the significant role they played in shaping hip-hop culture. For many, Outkast was the gateway to southern hip-hop, a genre that would eventually sweep across the airwaves and dominate the music industry. Billboard magazine crowned Outkast as the top contender on a list of the all-time greatest rap groups, affirming their undeniable impact on the culture.



Who is Outkast?

Formed in 1992, Outkast united Andre’ Lauren Benjamin (Andre 3000) and Antwan Andre Patton (Big Boi). The duo connected at a high school in Atlanta, initially performing as 2 Shades Deep. After joining forces with Organized Noize production, they rebranded themselves as Outkast and released “Player’s Ball” in 1993.


Outkast’s 1994 debut album, “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,” was a commercial sensation and critically lauded masterpiece. The duo continued to build on their success with “ATLiens” in 1996, which sold 1.5 million copies and featured the hit single “Elevators (Me and You).” The double-platinum “Aquemini” (1998) included the Grammy-nominated single “Rosa Parks.”


Known for their eclectic and inventive style, Outkast’s music combined thought-provoking lyrics, broad musical influences, and a unique sense of humor. André 3000’s bold fashion choices also became a staple of the group’s identity.

Their fourth studio album, “Stankonia” (2000), marked a major crossover success, propelled by the hit “B.O.B” (“Bombs over Baghdad”). The album secured Grammys for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Duo/Group Performance, notably for “Ms. Jackson.”



In 2003, the groundbreaking double album “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” revealed the distinct talents of Big Boi and André 3000, bridging traditional hip-hop with daring new styles. The album clinched three Grammy Awards in 2004, including Album of the Year.


By 2006, both members ventured into acting with the musical “Idlewild” and its accompanying soundtrack. However, in 2007, Outkast took a hiatus. During this break, Big Boi pursued a successful solo career, and André 3000 collaborated with various artists.



The Integral Role of Organized Noize


Organized Noize was instrumental in Andre 3000 and Big Boi’s entrance into the music industry. Facing hurdles, they tirelessly advocated for L.A. Reid, head of LaFace Records, to sign Outkast. The duo’s big break came when Reid tasked them with contributing to “A LaFace Family Christmas” compilation album. Although initially hesitant, Outkast’s unique take on their track led to unexpected success. “Player’s Ball” became a national hit, securing Outkast’s future in the music industry.



Who is Organized Noize?


In the mid- to late-’90s, Organized Noize emerged as Atlanta’s leading production crew for contemporary R&B and rap. Crafting hits like TLC’s “Waterfalls” and En Vogue’s “Can’t Let Go (Love),” they played a key role in the careers of OutKast, Big Boi, and Goodie Mob. As part of the Dungeon Family collective, which included OutKast, Goodie Mob, Joi, Killer Mike, and Future, they solidified their status as hitmakers.


While Organized Noize’s mainstream visibility dimmed in the early 2000s, they remained active, collaborating with artists such as Gnarls Barkley, Janelle Monáe, and Run the Jewels. The 2016 documentary “The Art of Organized Noize” reignited interest in their work, and their 2017 EP featured collaborations with Joi, Big Boi, CeeLo, and 2 Chainz, further demonstrating their enduring influence.

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