Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
The whole idea of making Speakerboxxx/The Love Below double solo albums came from a DJ by the name of Greg Street in Atlanta, who is our homeboy. We were sitting outside the studio and he was like, ‘Man, I’m telling you what y’all need to do. Two CD’s…one with Dre and one with you. Ain’t nobody ever did that before. Show these motherfuckers that y’all are a supergroup that happens to be two stand alone niggas.’ And we were like, shit, let’s do it! We were known for taking chances. But people had never heard a song like “Hey Ya” coming from a hip-hop group. And with “The Way You Move,” people had never heard that more mature side from us. If we were going to go into different musical realms to get to that ‘rock star’ status, those were going to be the two songs that did it for us. Both songs went no. 1.
But those records were not even supposed to be our first two singles. It was originally “She Lives In My Lap” and “Ghetto Musick.” But when we first put them out the label said, ‘Nobody is reacting to these songs. It’s not going the way we planned.’ I remember it like yesterday…we were shooting the cover for VIBE at the time and Dre was like, ‘Shit, let’s put out “Hey Ya” and “The Way You Move.’” Word came back to the label and they just told us, “We don’t think we can do no “Hey Ya.’” But Dre stood his ground like ‘Fuck that shit.’ He asked if I was backing him and I was like, ‘Hell yeah!’ We stuck to our guns and those two songs came out and blew the fuck up. The label never doubted us ever again.
That whole period was just surreal. We had just got finished performing on the Grammy’s. We had 25 members of my family and 25 members of Dre’s family there to support. We flew them all out…I’m talking about cousins, aunties, uncles, and grandmothers. We are coming off two songs that have been going at no. 1 for a minute and they called our name [for Album of the Year]. When they said ‘the winner is Outkast’ we were like, what the fuck??? It was like a dream and our whole family was there to celebrate with us. That was the most beautiful moment of our career.