VIDEO AS OUTKAST TAKES THE STAGE SATURDAY NIGHT
“Lend me some sugar — I am your neighbor!”
Atlanta loves OutKast, and the superstar hip-hop duo’s three-night stand downtown is proving it.
Crowds packed Centennial Olympic Park on Friday and Saturday nights, and more will for the last show tonight, Sunday, Sept. 28. Hometown rappers André “André 3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton have been on a reunion tour this summer, the first time fans have had the chance to see them play songs from their landmark CD “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.” It came out 11 years ago, sold millions and and won the Grammy for Album of the Year.
Tonight might be the last show for them. The weekend’s appearances, called “ATLast” after “ATLiens,” one of their earlier records, aren’t even listed on the tour T-shirt.
I couldn’t make it, so I asked hip-hop expert and friend Sonia Murray to share some thoughts, which she did after attending Friday and Saturday. She’ll be there again tonight. Sonia was a music writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for many years, where she covered Atlanta’s emerging (now dominant) hip-hop scene. She’s now with V-103 The People’s Station.
Her Top 3 reasons why this was more than just a concert.
1. It’s probably never going to happen again. “I really do believe that this will be the last time we see them together.” The duo formed when Benjamin and Patton were in high school. They were stars as teen-agers and living legends now in their 30s, with Benjamin looking to movie roles, including Jimi Hendrix.
2. “People didn’t get to see them during their highlight period, since they didn’t tour to promote (“Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”),” she said. So it’s the first time audiences saw Andre do “Hey Ya!” or Big Boi on “The Way You Move.”
3. The location. “It’s Atlanta — and it’s not just Atlanta, it’s right in the center of Atlanta. They remarked about how great it was (from the stage). The venue itself is really spectacular, especially to bring a hometown act to. They even had the ferris wheel lit up.”
Sonia says that when Outkast was getting started, rap artists didn’t want to associate themselves with Atlanta. The genre was dominated by the East and West coast factions. OutKast changed that, with songs calling out local streets, neighborhoods and high schools.
“They were immediately and proudly Atlanta,” she said “And I think that’s why people have always been so proud of them.”
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