Outkast manager Blue Williams says you can't rush art, so he lets the guys create at their own pace.
"You gotta let creative be creative, that's what it is," he said earlier this week about why it's taken Andre 3000 and Big Boi so long to complete the soundtrack to their oft-delayed film "Idlewild" (not to mention the film itself). "It ain't always when I want it. What it comes down to is, even when I'm ready to hit people with the wham-wham, the guys gotta be ready. I might be sitting there with the ill marketing — 'We gonna do this, this and this' — [but] if they ain't ready, they ain't ready."
Well, they still "ain't ready." Blue says the duo have about a week to finish up recording, but they have picked out a first single and plan on shooting a video soon. An Outkast record called "Rats and Roaches" dropped late last year, and some thought it would be the first single, but Williams insists the song is a very old recording that Dre and Big did with producers Organized Noize some time ago. Nor is it the previously announced "Idlewild Blues" (see "Outkast's New Album Pushed Back Until At Least February") — the real single looks likely to be a song called "The Train," which is actually a solo offering from Big Boi.
"It looks like we're gonna start off with a new single that Big has, just to get the ball rolling," Williams explained about why Outkast's return is a Big solo joint. "[The album] is still coming together. I'm letting them live. I don't know what's what yet."
You'd think he'd be panicking — since the "Idlewild" soundtrack is supposed to come out on Valentine's Day and the movie on March 10 — but Williams isn't worried about the lack of set-up time, or the competition.
"There's not a lot of dopeness out there, ain't nobody coming and blazing it through," he said. "And we don't need 18 weeks of set-up. For us it's just, 'Let's get it out there, let's get the movie out.' The proof is in the pudding. All I gotta do is let people know the date [the album is coming out]. Our fans will find it. We got core fans and once we tell them the date, they gonna get it."
Last year, Big Boi said he and Dre were also going to be putting out an album tentatively called The Hard Ten (see "Big Boi Busts Out New Label, Divulges Details About Outkast Film") but nothing has been solidified.
"I think that was the original name for it, but I don't know when it's coming," Williams admitted about the Outkast studio album that will follow the "Idlewild" soundtrack. "As soon as they drop an album and everyone gets an opinion of it, they get the urge to go in [the studio] and do [another] one right away. Sometimes they be like, 'We gotta reload up.' I don't know what it will be this time.
"I think after your fourth and fifth album, it starts to feel like a job, too. Sometimes you gotta do other things. Like how Dre enjoys acting and it's fun and fresh to him, I think Big Boi feels the same way about Purple Ribbon Records. I think fresh things give us fresh perspectives to come back and do what we do, but there's no timetable on that [album]."
Yet another album Outkast are looking to make is a tribute LP to Rosa Parks. It's still very early in the talking stages though, Williams said, and there are no details yet. The group, however, does have an outline of a TV special in honor of Parks.
"We're trying to do a tribute special for her and get a lot of entertainers involved," Williams said. "Then turn the special into a DVD we can put in the schools and let teachers have it to show kids. It'll be performances, people speaking on there, a history montage. A nice special that would give her just due especially for people who don't know what she did.
"I thought it would be a great way to show we always had good intentions," Williams added about honoring Parks — who passed away in October at the age of 92 — despite her suing Outkast years ago (see "Civil-Rights Icon Rosa Parks Dead At 92" and "Rosa Parks To Have Legal Guardian In Outkast Case"). "It was my idea to figure out how we could ensure that everyone always understood we always had good intentions towards Ms. Parks."