Outkast (sometimes written as OutKast) was an American hip hop duo formed in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1992, consisting of rappers André "3000" Benjamin (formerly known as Dré) and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton. The duo achieved both critical and commercial success from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, helping to popularize Southern hip hop with their intricate lyricism, memorable melodies, and positive themes, while experimenting with a diverse range of genres such as funk, psychedelia, jazz, and techno.
Benjamin and Patton formed Outkast as high school students. They released their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik in 1994, which gained popularity after the single "Player's Ball" reached number one on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart. With successive releases such as the critically acclaimed albums ATLiens (1996) and Aquemini (1998), the duo further developed their sound, experimenting with a variety of styles and achieving commercial success. Outkast then achieved more mainstream and crossover success with their critically acclaimed fourth album Stankonia (2000), which included the singles "Ms. Jackson" and "B.O.B.", the former being their first single to reach the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The duo then released the double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003), their only album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, which featured the number one singles "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move." The album won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America. Outkast starred in the 2006 musical film Idlewild and recorded the film's accompanying soundtrack, which was released as their final album three days before the film's release. The duo split the following year and both members have since pursued solo careers. Outkast temporarily reunited to celebrate their debut album's 20th anniversary by performing at more than 40 festivals worldwide, beginning at the Coachella Festival in April 2014.
Outkast is often regarded as one of the greatest and most influential hip hop acts of all time, and are one of the most successful, having certified sales of 20 million records between six studio albums and a greatest hits release, as well as having earned six Grammy Awards. Rolling Stone ranked them No. 7 on its list of the 20 Greatest Duos of All Time, while publications such as Pitchfork and the aforementioned Rolling Stone have listed their albums among the best in all of hip hop and of all time.
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