“Ms. Jackson” by OutKast


Outkast is a hip-hop group from Atlanta that is comprised of Andre 3000 and Big Boi. Known for their contrasting styles and funkadelic beats, the two are pioneers in Southern hip-hop. Their song “Ms. Jackson”, from 2000’s Stankonia, catapulted the southern rap duo into the mainstream. “Ms. Jackson” was Outkast’s first song to top the Billboard 100, a feat that wouldn’t be reached by the group again until the release of 2003’s “Hey Ya!”.

 

Ms. Jackson still 1 

Andre 3000 in his broken down house and black chucks.


The song is a beautiful work of art, brilliantly showcasing the dynamic between Andre 3000 and Big Boi. The lyrics are based on Andre 3000’s real-life struggle with Erykah Badu and her mother over his and Badu’s child. Andre apologizes to “Ms. Jackson” (a stand in for Badu’s mother) and says that he never meant to make her daughter cry during their relationship. However, Andre resolves that while his relationship with Ms. Jackson's daughter might have been a failure, his relationship with his daughter won’t be. He wishes he could go back and take away all the sadness, but goes on to say that it all happened for a reason. Big Boi’s verse is a bit more playful, as he talks about a more ambiguous, unnamed girl with drama rather than a known failed relationship like Andre. Their different styles of rapping are what made OutKast so special, and that dynamic is on display here perfectly.

 

 Ms. Jackson still 2

Andre dealing with a leaky roof.


The music video starts out with Ms. Jackson driving up to a dilapidated, run down house that should be abandoned, but is instead occupied by Big Boi and Andre. The video features OutKast attempting to keep their crumbing house together, repairing everything from leaks to a busted car engine. It’s an apt metaphor for the song about keeping broken relationships together. Andre 3000 wears a pair of black chucks throughout the video, as he fixes the roof and falling wallpaper. The video is very visual and fits the song very well, showcasing the message of the song and the soul of the group as well.


Ms. Jackson still 3

Fixing one problem after another.

 

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