Artist Spotlight: Outkast
The overjoyed reaction from music fans to Outkast's announcement that they would reunite for Coachella and follow the festival with a national tour reaffirmed them as one of the most beloved musical acts of modern times. Few artists have managed to encapsulate the best traits of hip-hop culture -- its regional slang, its knowledge of "gangsta sh*t", its sympathy toward working-class folks in "the back of the bus," and its unapologetic love of big-tent popular culture -- with as much humor and aplomb. Their absence from the music scene for nearly a decade, thanks to a bad label deal and Andre 3000's rejection of pop success following the diamond-selling Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, has endeared us to them even more.
Outkast's catalog is so essential to the modern hip-hop canon that it seems wrong to cherry-pick from it for a two-hour playlist. This one mostly consists of hits, but there are a few asides, like the overlooked "Hollywood Divorce" and Andre 3000's autobiographical "Life in the Day of Benjamin Andre," that hint at the depths of a hip-hop legend.