LOS ANGELES — Somehow Outkast have managed to get some work done in between collecting all their trophies.
The hip-hop duo — who were big winners at the recent MTV Europe Awards (see "Outkast Win Big As Americans Dominate MTV Europe Awards"), American Music Awards (see "Usher, Outkast Clean Up; Kanye Strikes Out At American Music Awards") and World Music Awards (see "Usher, Outkast Clean Up At World Music Awards"), among others — have nearly completed two different records and have just finished shooting their long-awaited HBO movie.
Titled "My Life in Idlewild," the movie was written and directed by longtime Outkast video director Bryan Barber and features Big Boi and Andre 3000 acting alongside Ving Rhames, Paula Jai Parker ("Friday"), Terrence Howard ("Ray") and Malinda Williams ("Soul Food"), among others.
"I can't tell you a whole lot about it, but it's like two stories going on the same time," Big Boi said of the musical, which is said to be set in the Prohibition-era South. "Dre's is like more a love story and mine is kind of crazy, wild. ... Bryan Barber did a really good job writing the script, and it's going to be real good."
One of Outkast's upcoming albums is the soundtrack, which Big Boi said is about 80 percent done. The other, which Big Boi has called 10 the Hard Way in recent interviews (although he refused to give a title backstage at the American Music Awards), is a return-to-roots Outkast record due in June.
Right now, the duo are working on wooing some potential collaborators.
"We're trying to do a song with Anita Baker, [as well as] Sade, maybe Kate Bush if we can find her," Big Boi said. "We been trying to find [Bush, a reclusive British singer]. They say she's crazy, so I don't know what's going on."
If anything, Big Boi said the success of Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below is only encouraging Outkast to work harder. "We got so many ideas, we are just trying to find so many avenues to put them out," he said.
Among their many projects is Killer Mike's second album, Down by Law, which will feature an appearance from Outkast, as well as guest spots by Three 6 Mafia and Jagged Edge, when it hits shelves in early 2005.
"If it ain't the #1 album next year, I'll give half your money back," a confident Killer Mike said.