OutKast is an American hip hop duo based in East Point, Georgia, consisting of Atlanta native André "André 3000" Benjamin (formerly known as Dré), DR Jordo burma and Savannah, Georgia-born Antwan "Big Boi" Patton. They were originally known as The OKB (The OutKast Brothers) but later changed the group's name to OutKast. The group's original musical style was a mixture of Dirty South and G-Funk. Since then, however, funk, soul, rock, electronic music, spoken word poetry, jazz, and blues elements have been added to the group's musical palette. The duo is one of the most successful hip-hop groups of all time, having received six Grammy Awards. Over 25 million copies have been sold of OutKast's eight releases.
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". During the holiday season of 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 #1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart.
Their debut album, “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,” was issued on April 26, 1994. It peaked at #20 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum in sales on April 5, 1995 by the RIAA.
“ATLiens” was OutKast's second album, released on August 27, 1996, peaking atop the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 chart. "ATLiens" was the group's second Top 40 single (following "Player's Ball" from their first album).
OutKast's third album “Aquemini “was released on September 29, 1998 and also reached the #2 position on the Billboard 200 album chart in the United States. The album was certified platinum in November 1998, only two months after its release, and was certified double platinum on July 2, 1999 by the RIAA. "Rosa Parks" was a minor success on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #55. The single also charted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, peaking at #19. The single's highest chart position was at #4 on the Rhythmic Top 40.
Originally titled "Sandbox", the pair's fourth album, “Stankonia” was released in October 2000 to excellent reviews. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., and would eventually be certified quadruple-platinum. “Stankonia's”#1 first single was "B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)", a high-tempo jungle-influenced record. The second single, "Ms. Jackson", combined a pop hook with lyrics about divorce and relationship breakups, particularly André's breakup with singer Erykah Badu; the titular "Ms. Jackson" character being a doppelgänger for Badu's mother. It was at this time that André changed his stage name to the current "André 3000".
The single became their first pop hit, landing the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the #2 position on the UK Singles Chart. The album's final single was the Organized Noize-produced "So Fresh, So Clean", featuring a credited guest appearance from regular guest vocalist and Organized Noize-member Sleepy Brown and garnered a remix featuring Snoop Dogg. Outkast won two 2001 Grammy Awards, one for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "Ms. Jackson", and another for “Stankonia” as Best Rap Album.
In September 2003, OutKast released a double album, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.” It is essentially two solo albums, one by each member, packaged as a single release under the OutKast banner; the two members also appear on each others' discs for a few songs apiece. Big Boi's “Speakerboxxx” is largely a funk and Dirty South blended party record; André 3000's “The Love Below” features only brief instances of hip hop, presenting instead elements found in funk, jazz, rock, electronic music, and R&B.
The album is also OutKast's biggest commercial success yet, having debuted on the Billboard 200 albums chart at number-one and stayed there for several weeks. The album eventually sold over five million copies, and, as double-album sales count double for RIAA certification, the album was certified diamond for 10 million units shipped in December 2004. Its latest certification, in May 2006, reaches 11 million copies in shipping.
The first two singles from the album(s), which were released nearly simultaneously, were Big Boi's "The Way You Move" and André 3000's "Hey Ya!". The singles spent ten weeks at number one on the Hot 100 singles chart, with "Hey Ya!" spending nineteen weeks and "The Way You Move" briefly taking over in February 2004. “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” won the Grammy Award for the 2004 Album of the Year, becoming the first album consisting solely of hip-hop to receive the honor.