Outkast are out to set the record straight. Their new LP, Big Boi and Dre Present ... Outkast, is not a greatest-hits album, despite encompassing many of the songs that made them stars.
"It’s more like a refresher course, ... summer school on Outkast 101," said Big Boi, who pointed out that he and Dre are both in their mid-twenties and feel their best material is yet to come. "[We're] just letting all the fans that went and got Stankonia (2000) know that there were three albums that came out before that. We picked some of the favorite songs from all the albums" for this latest release.
"After the Stankonia album we gained a lot of new fans," Dre said. "They didn’t know about Southernplayalistic[adillacmuzik], ATLiens, Aquemini. We had to give them the beginning to let them know where we're at right now."
Their latest song, "The Whole World," is emerging as another hit, partly due to its Brian Barber-directed video (Barber and Outkast have started a video production company). In a concept conceived by Dre and Big Boi, the two are the main attraction in a funky but eerie circus.
"We got together and listened to the song and felt like it kinda had a sad but happy overtone," Dre said. "[The video was also] spawned by a movie we were working on a couple of years back."
Due to biters that might steal their concept, the guys aren’t revealing anything about their upcoming movie, but they said the constantly evolving script won’t center around a circus theme. Their next album of new music will double as the film’s soundtrack, but they don’t know when either will be released.
"Right now we’re working on the story while were working on the album," Dre said. "Its kinda too early to tell it."
After those projects are released, fans will get to hear what the guys sound like on the solo tip, sort of. Outkast are working on an album with half of it devoted solely to Big Boi, and the other half devoted to Dre. If that’s not enough, the 'Kast also have plans to launch a comic book in which they play superheroes.
"They change up," Dre said of the duo’s powers. "Most comic books, like 'Batman' and 'Superman,' they stay the same. And that’s good for marketing, but I don’t know if I wanna see a comic book where I stay the same. I think I should keep changing, so our characters are changing. Just like the music, forever changing."