Last night, I went to a listening session for Big Boi’s newest album, in which BB himself actually deigned to take the stage and perform a few of the tracks rather than what I’d figured it would be, which is a bunch of slightly awkward rap nerds sitting around in a room silently listening to a stereo. As far as I could tell, the new songs sounded like new songs; the sound in the room was a little muddled, and an open bar is not quite conducive to a contemplative listening experience. That said, it was interesting how the night opened up with a DJ set of OutKast jams like “Rosa Parks” and “B.O.B.,” as to acknowledge what most people who come to see Big Boi want to hear just as much as his excellent solo output.
It’s also interesting to wonder if OutKast will ever reunite for another album—one of rap’s greatest hypotheticals—considering the two seem to be on the quasi outs with each other, at least musically speaking. In an interview with the Village Voice, Big Boi didn’t mince words when talking about why Andre 3000 isn’t on the new record. “He could’ve been on any song he wanted to,” he said. I gave the motherfucker about 5 songs, but I guess he was just too busy. He said he had to do some Gillette shit.” The Voice notes that the room erupted in laughter, after which Big Boi clarified that he was being 100% serious. It seems like a strange reason, considering 3000’s popped up on plenty of other songs over the last year, like Frank Ocean’s “Pink Matter.” Speculating why is nothing but idle speculation, though maybe it’ll make for an excellent oral history in a few years. “The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of the South’s Greatest Rap Duo.” Get at me, publicists.