The Good, The Bad, And Hell Freezes Over (2006-2014)
It was bound to happen. When an act is blessed so gloriously by the music gods, you can almost cue the pretentious bullshit. In the case of OutKast it's the dreadful Idlewild film (2006) and its largely uneven soundtrack. Andre 3000's evolution has pulled him well beyond the confines of hip-hop. Soon talk turns to the adventurous visionary abandoning hip-hop all together. Three Stacks mentions that he is bored with rap and leaves Big Boi holding the bag as OutKast goes on an unofficial hiatus. Dre literally goes Hollywood (a Cartoon Network series here, a series of high-profile film roles there), but his former partner keeps up the good fight. Big proves his skill as a true talent scout (his impressive compilation Got Purp? Vol. 2 is highlighted by a then hungry newcomer Killer Mike and future critical darling Janelle Monáe). Big Boi's stellar 2012 solo debut Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty is hailed as one of the year's most noteworthy triumphs proving—once and for all—that Patton is every bit the equal of his celebrated cohort.
Meanwhile, Andre 3000 methodically returns to the rap fold. Fans marvel at his lack of rhyme rust. Guest verses are treated like a Big Foot sightings. "Your white tee, well to me, look like a nightgown/Make your momma proud, take that thing two sizes down/Then you'll look like the man that you are or what you could be," Andre spits, shocking followers on the remix to the 2007 DJ Unk dance craze anthem, "Walk It Out." Still, an OutKast reunion seemed as likely as Mimi snapping a shower rod. That is until it's announced in mid January that the boys would return to the stage for a series of dream live shows. An kick-off gig headlining Coachella comes off as rushed and uninspired. A follow-up showing meets high expectations as Dre and Big Boi operate like a well oiled unit as opposed to the two strangers that kicked off their return. What can we respect from OutKast. If it's anything like this, we are in for some shit.