At the peak of their success, Outkast suddenly stopped appearing together and has not released any new music since 2006. Individually, members André 3000 and Big Boi have focused on solo projects, thus leading to speculation that Outkast disbanded.
The duo only briefly reunited under their famous moniker once and there’s no telling whether new projects will follow.
Did Outkast Break Up?
OutKast ushered Atlanta as a powerful contender into the rap music game, which was previously singularly influenced by rappers from New York and LA. Credited with redefining music, the duo maintained a hard-hitting presence since their debut in 1994 before separating in 2006.
Outkast disassociated shortly following the release of their feature film, “Idlewild”. Although the disbandment is largely conjecture, the transition to solo careers, and not performing as Outkast for 9 years, heavily supports this theory.
The Early Years
André Benjamin and Antwan Patton were high school seniors when they collaborated on their first group 2 Shades Deep in 1992. Their creative partnership derived from a mutual love of music, and particularly, the regard they held for masterful hip-hop and funk musicians like Parliament-Funkadelic and Prince.
Under the tutelage of Organized Noize, Outkast was born with André becoming André 3000 and Antwan, Big Boi.
Their unique style catapulted them to fame within a year.
Dubbed “artistically ambitious”, Outkast proved a multi-faceted entertainment powerhouse, receiving critical acclaim for writing, producing, and performing. They effortlessly conquered the charts, their talent, and meteoric rise landing them among the most successful, and one of the greatest duos of all time.
As testament to their greatness, Outkast received 17 Grammy nominations, winning six. In 2003 featuring in six categories, they claimed three wins, including the coveted “Album of the Year” award.
That same year smash hit, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” shot to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Between 1997 and 2008, Outkast was celebrated with awards from MTV, Soul Train, and BET among others.
The (Supposed) Break-Up
Just after releasing their concept movie, Idlewild, Outkast disappeared.
Individually André 3000 and Big Boi are still involved in music; collectively as Outkast, they have released no new material since 2006.
After a prolonged absence from music, André 3000 released a poignant tribute to his late parents in 2018. He has somewhat retreated from music delving further into acting instead. He has also diversified into fashion with his clothing label Benjamin Bixby.
Bog Boi released his first solo album in 2010, continues to produce music, and has his own record label. He is noted as the first rap artiste to collaborate with the Atlanta Ballet Company, in a production entitled, “Big”.
Outkast – The Reunion
Outkast launched a summer tour in 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut.
Outkast – The Resurgence
Whether we have seen the last of Outkast remains in question. Speculatively, without an official statement to the contrary, Outkast still exists. Conversely, no evidence of new projects lends credence to the belief that indeed, one might be reminiscing about a rap group that once was.
Their official Instagram page reads more like a fan page than one which is held by celebrities, with a mere 189,000 followers.
Perhaps Outkast is on hiatus. The puzzle might well be solved by either the release of a statement or the release of a new record. Only time will tell.