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Nov 01

OUTKAST – “The Whole World”

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Or, the further adventures of Outkast in the Land of Do-As-You-Please. Like no other hip-hop group since maybe De La Soul, Outkast have their commercial and critical bases dependent on the idea that they can — and will — do anything they want to with their music. Playfulness, curiosity and pop radicalism aren’t just something Andre and Big Boi can get away with — since ‘Ms Jackson’ those qualities are their unique selling point. It’s a heady, wonderful, dangerous place for a band to be. Where do they go from here?

Broadway, as it happens. ‘The Whole World’ rolls merrily along on an audaciously jaunty clap-your-hands chorus, and Big Boi’s back-up ba-ba-ba-da’s are an extra, charming, swish of the theatre curtain. There’s a rinky-dink piano, a brassy pit orchestra, a chorus line with snare-drum tap-heels: such a swell party! ‘The whole world loves you when you don’t get down’ Dre mugs. What’s going on?

‘The Whole World’ is Outkast waking up famous and writing about it — most hip-hoppers end up doing that (if they’re lucky), few do it with this kind of humour and humility. ‘Yeah I’m afraid, like I’m scared as a dog, but I’ve got a new song and I want y’all to sing along is how it starts. They understand that the spotlight of fame — the whole world’s eyes on you — is basically a neutral one, that the problem and wonder of being famous isn’t the envy of the hatas but the faithful scrutiny of the lovas. The whole world loves you when you don’t get down, but they love you when you ‘sing the blues’, too. What’s a Boi (and Dre?) to do? Keep on surprising, if this sweet, sauntering track is anything to go by. They could do anything right now — nice of them to do this.

Comments

  1. 1
    Patrick Mexico on 3 Nov 2013 #

    Unlikely Songs Which The Aforementioned Song Sounds Like No. 5,318,008 – Richard Hell – Blank Generation.

    (They’re both fantastic as well, very different genres, times, and places, but both slightly off-key, stream-of-consciousness pop genius – as if someone’s slowly brought down the pause button on an archaic tape recorder. I used to love doing that with my dad’s Lou Reed “Transformer” cassette.. misspent youth indeed)

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