For the past seven years, the second-to-last question in any interview with Big Boi or Andre 3000 has inevitably been, “So, um, when are you guys gonna get Outkast back together?”
Well, according to Billboard, that eternal dead-end query might finally have an answer: April. The magazine, citing unnamed sources, said that the pair is planning to end its hiatus next year when they reunite for a headlining set at Indio, California, at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The pair are reportedly in talks to play the festival, which kicks off on April 11, as the start to a year of reunion gigs that could include other festival dates. Coachella has a reputation as the place where classic groups get the band back together, hosting such iconic reunions over the years as the Pixies, Rage Against the Machine, My Bloody Valentine, the Stooges, Pavement and, in 2012, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg with a hologram Tupac Shakur.
A source told Billboard that there have definitely been “some conversations” about Dre and Big Boi reuniting, while another said “all systems are go.” If they do come together, it could provide fans of their landmark 2003 double album, Spearkerboxxx/The Love Below , the first chance to see the duo perform a live set of songs from that collection, for which they never officially toured.
Spokespeople for Outkast’s current label, Epic Records and for Coachella promoter Goldenvoice could not be reached for comment at press time. Outkast announced they were taking an indefinite hiatus in 2007 after the 2006 release of the soundtrack to their film, “Idlewild.”
“I was approached as a solo artist by both Frank Ocean & Tip. I discussed musical direction with each artist and completed my verses. It was after that when Big Boi’s name came up,” he said in a statement. “I never want to mislead our audience — I worried that some would think these were Outkast collaborations. These songs are not Outkast collaborations. I discussed this rationale with Big, Frank and T.I. and everyone agreed. That is why I was surprised to read about these remixes.”
“Yeah, for sure, we’re good. That’s my brother, man,” he said of rumors of a beef between the two. “Y’all don’t see us. We do us. So people want an Outkast album so bad they’ll stir up somethin’ but you can’t break that bond … Until you see me and Dre sit side by side… when you see both of us together then you’ll know it’s coming.”
Big Boi has since released two solo albums, while Andre has been featured on songs by Chris Brown, John Legend, Drake, Young Jeezy, UGK, T.I. and Rick Ross. Dre has also branched out to acting, with a lead role in the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic, “All is by My Side.”