'Da Art of Storytellin': My Discovery Of The Real Outkast

'Da Art of Storytellin': My Discovery Of The Real Outkast

They are more than just a one hit wonder.

When I first found out about Outkast and their song 'Hey Ya!" in the early 2000s, it was one of the most exciting and well-remembered songs that I've ever come across. You'd know what I mean if (or when) you watch the music video on their YouTube VEVO channel, which currently has over 280 million views.

A full ensemble of Andre 3000's singing and dancing I thought were the norm for Atlanta hip-hop duo composed of Andre Benjamin and Antwonn Patton. Even in the music video of the hit song 'Roses,' Benjamin is seen playing multiple different characters, dancing and frolicking about and having himself a mighty good time expressing his fun side.

However, as I grew older, they started to grow apart from me. I started listening to older, New York-based hip-hop (A Tribe Called Quest, Fu Schnickens, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Big L, etc.) and started to dig more into my city's roots. My music playlist began to evolve into more story-telling-based lyrics rather than exciting, kick-down-a-door-while-drunk-in-your-dorm-room party lines. So, Outkast, for me, seemed outdated at the time.

Until I discovered the album "Aquemini."

Released in 1998, "Aquemini" was a concept album based solely on life itself, with many of the songs incorporating live instrumentation. It was a psychedelic 90s sound I've never heard before and was far different from the 2000s version of Outkast.

Almost every song choice had a specific story to tell. It was not the popular 90s New York hip-hop everyone was so accustomed to. It was a pure, Southern sound that made the storytelling of the album that much more compelling to listen to. The song that caught my attention the most was part one of "Da Art of Storytellin'."

Part one of "Da Art of Storytellin'" is lived through the eyes of Andre and Antwonn as they depict the struggles of two female fictional characters named Sasha Thumper' and Suzy Skrew. Suzy's story told by 'Big Boi' Antwonn as she is depicted as a prostitute looking to have sex with anyone in sight.

Antwonn, however, does not pay her with money, instead vying to give her a 'Lil Will CD' and a 'poster.' Prostitution is sometimes common in urban communities like Atlanta and Suzy is treated very harshly by Antwonn. Sasha Thumper's story, however, seems to be the most tragic of the two stories. Andre speaks of Sasha Thumper in a very kind light, remembering her "number like the summer."

Sasha changes Andre's life when she tells Andre that, more than anything, she wants to be "alive" in the future. Once Andre reaches fame, he looks for Sasha, but finds out through her mother that she was with a man "that be treating her wrong." Then, sadly, Sasha is found in the back of a school "with a needle in her arm, baby two months due" two weeks later.

I finally understood Outkast's purpose in rap: they reminded everyone that southern rap can make it in the business. They've gone through struggling times just as much as any rapper had. Their experience seemed fresh to me, although the same things occur around New York. They made me believe that maybe, just maybe, that Outkast are kings of "Da Art of Storytellin'."

Cover Image Credit: Marvel Universe Wiki

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13 Taylor Swift Lyrics About Love

“We could get married. Have 10 kids and teach em how to dream."


Taylor Swift is the only reason I've gotten through every love, and every break-up. Here's a list of 13 lyrics/quotes about love from Taylor Swift's albums.

“Losing him was blue like I’ve never known. Missing him was dark grey all alone. Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met. Loving him was red.”

"Red" from the album "Red." This song perfectly describes every feeling that radiates through your entire being when you love and then lose someone.

“I wish we could go back, and remember what we were fighting for. I wish you knew that, I miss you too much to be mad anymore. I wish you were right here, right now, it’s all good. I wish you would.”

"I Wish You Would" from 1989. Sometimes I wish it was acceptable to just blast Taylor Swift during an argument because I totally would.

“You learn my secrets and you figure out why I’m guarded. You say we’ll never make my parents mistake.”

"Mine" from Speak Now. Let's surpass everyone's expectations.

“My baby’s fly like a jet stream, high above the whole scene, loves me like I’m brand new.” 

"Call It What You Want To" from the Reputation album. Once in a lifetime, there's someone who looks at your scars and calls you strong and brave, instead of damaged.

“My mother accused me of losing my mind, but I swore I was fine.” 

"Dear John" from Speak now. Love makes you do crazy things.

“One night he wakes, strange look on his face. Pauses then says ‘you’re my best friend’. And you knew what it was. He is in love.” 

"You Are In Love" from the 1989 album. Swift gives me chills with this song. Every time you think you're in love, you realize that the last time wasn't even close. True love, happens once or twice, and not for everyone.

“You pull my chair out, and help me in. And you don’t know how nice that is, but I do. And you throw your head back laughing like a little kid. I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause, he never did. I’ve been spending the last eight months, thinking all love ever does is break, and burn, and end. But on a Wednesday, in a cafe, I watched it begin again.”

"Begin Again" from the Red album. One of my top five favorite songs. Real love shows you how you should've been treated all along.

“Why would you wanna make the very first scar? Why would you wanna break a perfectly good heart?”

"A Perfectly Good Heart" from the first Taylor Swift album. Some people are only here to take. Never to give or share.

“The rain came pouring down, when I was drowning that’s when I cold finally breathe. And by morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean.”

'Clean' from 1989. It can take years, even lifetimes, to finally feel free from love.

“There I was again tonight, forcing laughter, faking smiles, same old tired lonely place. Walls of insincerity, shifting eyes and vacancy, vanished when I saw your face. All I can say is it was, enchanting to meet you.”

'Enchanted' from Speak Now album. Love at first sight?

“Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone, I’ll be waiting all that’s left to do is run. You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess, it’s a love story, baby just say yes.”

'Love Story' from Fearless album. This song makes me want to take a chance and escape with a stranger.

“I once was poison ivy, but now I’m your daisy.”

"Don't Blame Me" from Reputation. I'm only better when I'm with you.

“We could get married. Have 10 kids and teach em how to dream.”

"Starlight" from the Red album. Only certain people are worth growing with.

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