outkast's andré 3000 + big boi headline Coachella
Oh how we've missed the misfits of hip hop with their happy lyrics and green suits! André 3000 and Big Boi are back and as they prepare to headline Coachella this weekend we have a quick word with rap's major players...
Outkast by Zach Wolfe
Now in their 22nd hip hop summer (equivalent of, like, 80, in rock years), André "3000" Benjamin and Antwon "Big Boi" Patton - together as Outkast - are the undisputed greatest rap duo of all time (apart from Salt-N-Pepa, obviously). Rumours may persist that they hate each other, they're still split up and Dre is the "real talent," but it's all lies, scandal and gossip - particularly the latter. Alongside their musical co-conspirators, the Goodie Mob, Outkast helped put Atlanta on the rap map at a time when New York was the undisputed hometown of hip hop and LA was just about an honorary member. "As far as claiming it, as hard as we were claiming it, we were the first," Big Boi agrees. "Wherever we went, they knew we were from Atlanta. We was proud of being from here and we started that pride. Rappers and lyricists weren't really coming from Atlanta," he remembers.
No matter what you might read in articles, till the day we die, were gonna be Outkast, we're gonna be friends. That'll never change.
Seven albums on, they're far from throwing in their eclectic soundscapes of 808 bass claps, twisted funk and sci-fi soul. This month, the pair return to headline Coachella and will go on to be the marquee act at over 40 more festivals around the world this summer. But will there be another album, enquiring minds, internet geeks and bitter bloggers wonder? "You never know. They said after the sixth there wouldn't be another one and here we are so...," shrugs Big Boi before Dre decides to put the record really straight. "No matter what you might read in articles, till the day we die, were gonna be Outkast, we're gonna be friends. That'll never change."
Text Hattie Collins
Photography Zach Wolfe