DAR Hip Hop: 6 Of The Greatest Outkast Singles

By @TrueGodImmortal

Outkast is my all time favorite duo. Period. They are legends beyond belief, and their albums are classics for the most part. With that said, one underrated aspect of this legendary duo is their ability to pick solid singles. Whether the first single or the second single for an album, Outkast always delivered with the catchy hits and the songs that either impacted the charts or the urban radio. Today, I wanted to look back at 6 of their greatest singles. Which singles make the list? Read on to find out.

*Rosa Parks (1998)

-Of all the singles, I found this one to be the most daring in many ways. There was melody, there was a jazzy blues feel to it, and it sounded nothing like the music of the current era. Outkast was determined to stand out with Aquemini and this single definitely helped them do so. This single would end up getting the duo into a lawsuit battle with Rosa Parks, making the single a bigger headache than need be, but the verses here are truly classic and the single is one of my favorite from the duo by far. Who could forget the level of greatness Andre brought to his verse? All in all, "Rosa Parks" is a classic and definitely one of the greatest Outkast singles by far.

*Ms. Jackson (2000)

-Their biggest single signaled a change in their visibility as artists easily. While their first three albums were huge in their legendary status, it was Stankonia that really brought Outkast to the mainstream even more. First, it was the solid "B.O.B." and the blitz of that single that made the world take notice, but it would be the single targeted to bitter moms of scorned lovers that truly set them on a different trajectory career wise. The song would hit no. 1 on all the charts and catapult Outkast to one of the most famous music duos of our time. Sure, they had hits before, but nothing on this grand level. Before the singles like "Hey Ya" and "The Way You Move" (which aren't here because they are Andre 3000 and Big Boi solo singles) took over the charts, "Ms. Jackson" was the breakthrough single for mainstream domination. The production was different, the lyrics were brash and honest, and the hook was silly in essence, but worked well enough to make fans sing along and solidify this as the biggest Outkast single (that features BOTH members). 

*Player's Ball (1993)

-The original. The arrival. When Outkast entered the game, none of us knew what to expect. Their styles have changed so much that you almost wouldn't believe that the duo you see now is the same duo that made a huge single based around Christmas. That's right. Player's Ball was intended to be a Christmas song. A Christmas song. While the content doesn't reflect that exactly, it manages to provide a smooth and pimped out vibe that only the greatest southern artists can bring. Sleepy Brown delivers an amazing hook, and the verses from Big and Dre are solid enough. This was a single that put the world on notice and the hip hop game was never the same again honestly.

*The Whole World (2001)

-I was on the fence about including this song, because I think "Jazzy Belle" is actually better, but there was something about "The Whole World" that stuck out to me. It was a bigger hit than "Jazzy Belle", and the content in the song was actually darker than expected. It was a window into the world at the time, with Andre and Big Boi providing a glimpse into their thought process. Killer Mike gets his biggest look as an artist up until that point here and he steals the show with his verse in a way. The production here is solid, with bouncy drums and a slightly sinister melody behind it. This is probably the most intriguing of the singles on this list, not because it is the best song, but because it is the most topical of the Outkast singles listed.

*Elevators (Me And You) (1996)

-One of the most well known songs in the catalog of this iconic duo is "Elevators". It is perhaps their most relaxed single of all, with a very simple production backed by bristling boom bap style drums and minimal melody, allowing Big and Dre to rap some of their greatest lyrics ever over this bare bones track. The hook is the catchiest part of the record, but the final verse from Andre remains the most memorable part of the song IMO. Overall, this single was their most successful up until that point and helped pave the way for their second and greatest album, ATLiens.

So Fresh, So Clean (2001)

-I chose this song because it is one of my favorite Outkast songs ever and the video is truly iconic. We used to hit this dance back in school when the video came out, and every time I see the video now, I still manage to break the dance out. Aside from that, this is just another smooth anthem from Outkast with Sleepy Brown providing the amazing hook which sticks in your head instantly. The song features a bridge from Andre near the end that is extremely infectious and every verse here is solid enough to draw in the listeners and fans. For me, this is the best single on Stankonia by far and the best example to show how the Player and the Poet were different, but together an unstoppable force.



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