Rap doesn’t have a royal family. The closest we have is a pair of misfits from Atlanta–a duo that, since they first popped up in 1994, has shifted hip-hop on its axis time and time again. Outkast is unimpeachable, and Outkast is forever.
Starting with Coachella all the way back in April, Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton have dedicated the year to surveying their kingdom. In honor of their two-decade reign (the beginning marked by their seminal Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik), the duo has toured the country, stopping at festivals and celebrations on each coast and everywhere in between–not to mention a series of dates in Europe, Australia, Canada, and even Japan. All told, Outkast’s reunion has touched down thirty-five times, with seven more dates scheduled before the end of October.
Despite the long gap since their last recorded material–eight years since the Idlewild soundtrack, ten since Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, fourteen since Stankonia–it is, in many ways, a tour of firsts. In exclusive footage, our man Sama’an Ashrawi captured Outkast sharing the microphone with Southern legend Bun B for the first time. In June, at the BET Experience in Los Angeles, the Port Arthur, Texas native joined Andre and Big Boi for “International Players Anthem” on the Staples Center stage. The performance brought down the house, especially for the touching tribute to the late Pimp C.
The song, from UGK’s 2007 double album Underground Kingz, is the most recent official release to feature Andre and Big Boi together. (“Royal Flush” and “Lookin’ For Ya” were kept off Big Boi’s 2010 solo debut due to label red tape.) It was produced by DJ Paul and Juicy J, who each rap on the song’s
The footage also features Killer Mike joining Outkast for “The Whole World”, the politically-charged hit single from the 2001 greatest hits compilation Big Boi and Dre Present… Outkast.