It’s official: Outkast is back. Live, at least. Fans would no doubt love to hear the duo is back in the lab working on something new, but knowing that they’re headlining Coachella in April and then Governors Ball in June is good enough. Dre and Big Boi can, of course, patch together a set of big hits for the Everyman fan–open and close with “Sorry Miss Jackson,” a couple “Hey Ya”s thrown in the mix–but to make true OutKast stans happy they’d be well advised to go a different route. Like, say, playing the 10 songs on this list which will please their most dedicated of fans.
See also: The 25 Best OutKast Songs of All Time
The title track from Outkast’s Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was actually the second single released from their debut album. The first, “Player’s Ball,” is likely more popular and yes, among the best Christmas songs ever, but “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” is fast paced and the ’70s funk feeling that was pervasive on the album is strong. Plus, the latter part of the hook features the “We’re gonna get you high” line. There’s little concert attendees enjoy more than singing about being intoxicated while actually intoxicated.
“Spaghetti Junction” was produced by Organized Noize, but its dark sound reminiscent of something the RZA would do. When a track has a Wu-Tang vibe to it, it must be
Attending an Outkast concert without hearing “ATLiens” is like eating pizza made anywhere other than New York–not as good as it could have been. Dre and 3000 are relentless on this track, and the thud and crack of the drums is bound to whip any crowd into a frenzy.
Damn. Never has a single word so accurately described a song. This is Outkast at their finest: ridiculously complex production that matches the lyrics perfectly. There’s no doubt everyone at these reunion shows will want to fuck with Hollywood Courts.
“The Art of Storytellin’ Part 4”
Let’s all go ahead and thank Don Cannon (Cannon… Cannon) for creating this record and then allowing 3 Stacks to promptly destroy it. In a good way. Released in 2007, it had been quite some time since the hip-hop world had heard some Dre bars, and he responded here with some of his best. In fact, he’s so good on “Storytellin’ Part 4” that Big Boi’s contribution sounds downright awful by comparison.
The slight strumming of the guitar in the background on “Millennium” makes it a classic. It’s a subtlety in hip-hop production that you just don’t get anymore.
“Watch for The Hook”
This 1999 banger includes some dope bars by Dre and Big Boi along with great work from Goodie Mob. Both groups performing this would be a nice reminder to the world that Ceelo–before he started hosting an American Idol knockoff while dressed like a drunk circus act–was once an extremely talented MC.
“Wailin'” doesn’t seem like a good concert song, but go ahead and give it a listen again. The deep bass line (sampled from Lou Bond’s “To The Establishment”) is perfect for a live show. Not only that, at just under two minutes, it would serve as a great bridge between two longer songs.
“Da Art of Storytellin’ Part 1”
The first installment in Outkast’s take on Slick Rick’s classic is the best. It’s the kind of song that instantly makes you reminisce about days gone by. Of course things get sort of depressing when Dre spits the tale of Sasha Thumper, but remember, she’s a fictional character. If you do catch yourself getting a bit misty eyed hearing about her, it might be time to stop drinking.
“Wheelz of Steel”
The scratching on ATLiens is some of the best ever, and “Wheelz of Steel” comes packed with plenty. Also, “Touched by the wheels of steel” is the perfect metaphor for what happens when you listen to great hip-hop. Though it isn’t official Coachella or Governors Ball policy, anyone who shows up rocking flip-flops with socks and sweatpants should be issued a backstage pass.