Known for their psychedelic, funk-infused hip-hop rhythms and all-around off-the-cuff attire, Outkast, with four studio albums under their belt, are just about ready for a greatest-hits record.
Unlike the typical lists of memorable hits put together for most musical collages, Big Boi & Dre Present Outkast will feature songs that make fans not only shimmy and shake, but also stop and think.
The message Outkast hope to get across takes form on the album's first single, "The Whole World," which is one of three new songs on the collection. A "The Wiz"-meets-"Alice in Wonderland" musical extravaganza, "The Whole World" is half tripped-out melodies and half social commentary.
" 'The Whole World' is like a new-school jam, you know. It's like ... put it like this, it's all about that swang. That's what it's about this season," Outkast's Andre 3000 offered. "It touches on issues serious ones and playful."
With a chorus reminiscent of an upbeat, self-esteem-boosting elementary-school anthem, Outkast sing, " 'Cause the whole world loves it when you don't get down/ And the whole world loves it when you make that sound/ And the whole world loves it when you're in the new/ And the whole world loves it when you sing the blues."
While the chorus may transport listeners to a place where there are purple skies and it never rains and pink teddy bears dance pirouettes, it's Big Boi's lyrical finale that brings the song home, as it reflects on the recent tragedies in the U.S.
"Basically it was a time, right after the terrorist attacks, that every time you turned on the TV, you would see a big pile of rubble, steam and big cranes," Big Boi said, "and at one point I thought it was really desensitizing people to what happened. They kept showing things over and over again, which is like trying to keep people down." Hence, the hook that prompted the song. Even more prominent than the numbing effect was the need to counterbalance those who indulge in hatorade.
" 'The whole world loves it when you don't get down' is basically [saying that] people like to see you doing bad, whether it's terrorists or republicans or democrats, government officials, whoever," Big Boi explained, "so you, as an individual, have got to take it upon yourself to really push forward, 'cause there is always going to be negativity. But with positivity, it cancels it out."
Big Boi & Dre Present Outkast arrives in stores on December 4, following the release of Even in Darkness by the Dungeon Family. That compilation album, which features Outkast, Goodie Mob and Organized Noize, comes out November 6 (see "Outkast's Dungeon Family Collective Seeks Spotlight With Darkness").
The track list for Big Boi & Dre Present Outkast:
- "Funkin' Around"
- "Ain't No Thang"
- "So Fresh, So Clean"
- "Rosa Parks"
- "The Whole World" (featuring Killer Mike)
- "Crumblin' Erb"
- "Ms. Jackson"
- "Player's Ball"
- "Elevators (Me & You)"
- "Spottieottiedopaliscious" (original version) (featuring Sleepy Brown)
- "Git Up, Git Out" (featuring Cee-Lo & Big Gipp of Goodie Mob)
- "Movin' Cool" (featuring Joi Gilliam-Gipp)