10 Years Of OutKast And ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’

When Andre 3000 and Big Boi dropped their fifth album, the double-disc Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, on September 23, 2003, it was hard to tell what the album would do. The duo, long known as one of the leaders of the Southern hip-hop world, was certainly delving into new territory, with each member essentially crafting a solo album, then the two stitching them together to form an eclectic mix of funk, soul, blues, jazz, psychedlia and hip-hop. The album would go on to sell more than 11 million copies in the U.S. alone, becoming one of only three hip-hop albums to receive the RIAA’s Diamond certification and eventually landing as the highest-selling hip-hop album of all time. But something shifted after the album came out—the duo, for so long an indestructible force, was drifting apart. With Andre focusing more on his acting career and Big Boi reacting by throwing his energy into his solo work, rumors abounded that the two had broken up. Not even 2006′s Idlewild—the film and soundtrack, which would be their last official release together—could dispel the rumors, and these days neither of the two can get through an interview without being asked whether there will ever be another OutKast project. They say they haven’t—and never will—break up, but the much-rumored seventh album has taken on a mythic, Detox-like status.

Today, on the 10th anniversary of the release of their biggest album, XXL has compiled an exhaustive timeline of OutKast’s collective mentions in the media—the album delays, the label issues, the breakup rumors, and, of course, the accolades. Three Grammys, numerous Billboard chart distinctions, and acclaim from all corners of the hip-hop and mainstream worlds has come along in the past decade, and we’ve tracked it all, leaving their solo and side hustles alone. Here’s to the possibility of a new OutKast project some time in the future…we’re just not sure if we’ll ever believe it. —Dan Rys (@danrys)

  • BrianRaider

    Damn Man Y’all Did It Again! It Took Me Forever To Get Thru This So I Know The Work Y’all Put In!!! Now Outkast Is Forever My Favortie Group Of All Time. I Enjoyed Speakerbox, But I Love The Love Below! Dre Black’d The Fuck Out!!! 2003 Was Good Times Also! I Remember XXLMag Had Got Renovated In 2006 Too With The Edition Of The Bangers Section! Hollywood Divorce! I Remember Being Here 7 Years Ago Just Fuckin Hypnotized By That Song! Its Good To See Y’all Still A Fuckin Major Factor On The Net! #SALUTE Ok About The Reunion! Now I Would Love Another Album But… Kast’s 1st 4 Albums & This Double Disc Are So Epic, So Classic, So Special, So Mind Bending They Don’t Have To Do Another Record! All Their Material Is Still In Heavy Rotation And They Made So Much Music It’s A Big Body Of Work! I Do Want Them To Do Another Though Its Obvious They Still Have It & Have Gotten Better! I Would Love To Hear Some New Organized Noize Classic Shit, Some Bangin Earthtone 3 Shit And Andre 3000 Is An Exellent Producer Too! Outkast’s Production Was Always Airtight! I Really Enjoyed This Article! Thank You!!!!

  • Tyler Durden

    Even 10 years later, This shit is still their worst album !!!

  • Lex

    Why people so hard dickride their far worste album? Cause it went diamond? It is completely overrated. Just a couple Big Boi joints are good, and Roses is kinda interesting. Rest of it was garbage and it is not real OutKast. If you want to listen real OutKast, listen first 4 albums. Now those are classics! Especially Sounhernplayalisticadillacmusic! Pure classic!

    • http://www.living-silver.com Living Silver

      “Real OutKast” is whatever OutKast puts out at any time. That’s why they’re the best group of all time: they can switch up their style. You want funk? They do funk. You want R&B? They got it. The old stuff was just raw hip-hip, then they started to hella experiment with Stankonia (and further with Dre and Big Boi Presents). By the time SpeakerBoxxx/Love Below came out, they pushed the boundaries of what Hip-Hop could be and blew people’s fuckin minds.

      People ride their dicks cuz they did something that had never been done before and it was incredible. If you are a fan of the old stuff, that’s all good ‘cuz you got four albums of it. For people that want something new, diverse, and experimental (which seems to be the great majority, hence the diamond plaque), there’s the two new albums. Boom. Everybody happy.

      • Mark Johnson

        YES!! i couldn’t agree more. you speak the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. so help you hip hop.

  • OC


  • Navers

    Stankonia any day!

  • Kizman

    a seriously great album, a MUST HAVE for any hiphop fan!