February 1st – Big Boi of Outkast was born Antwan Andre Patton in Savannah, Georgia, on this day in 1975.
Big Boi studied music at Atlanta’s Tri-Cities High School, a Visual And Performing Arts Magnet School where he met Andre Benjamin who later formed Outkast with the Savannah native.
Benjamin would use the stage name Dre and then later Andre 3000.
Outkast signed a record deal with LaFace Records and released their classic platinum selling debut album “Southernplayalisticadillacmusik” in 1994. Outkast’s futuristic sci-fi funk, heavily influenced by their southern upbringing became an instant fan favorite and placed in a musical category all by itself.
Their double-platinum selling sophomore set “Atliens” released in 1996 was testimony to this, producing unique sounding hit singles like “Elevators (Me & You)” and the title track.
Their third album, 1998’s “Aquemini”, whose title came from the duo’s zodiac signs of Gemini and Aquarius, received 5 mics in The Source Magazine, the magazine’s highest critic’s rating possible.
2000’s “Stankonia” album took creative leaps to yet another level with an extremely versatile collection of songs. With hit songs that sounded like nothing on the charts and like nothing ever heard before in hip-hop.
“Ms. Jackson”, with its hypnotic church organ went to the top of the charts. “B.O.B.” had a break neck pace never heard before in rap music and the cool funk of “So Fresh, So Clean” was reminiscent of 1980’s Minneapolis band The Time.
During this time the duo also opened a recording studio called Stankonia in Atlanta where they would record most of their future work as well as renting out the double studio facility. Their clients have included Sevendust, Goodie Mob and Lil' Jon & The East Side Boyz to name a few.
Outkast would release a special album project in 2003. The duo would release a double album made up of two single albums which would both be almost like unofficial solo albums by both members.
Andre’s would be entitled “The Love Below” and contain the new wave-ish smash hit “Hey Ya.”
Big Boi’s collection would be called “Speakerboxxx” and produce the straight ahead cool funk smash “The Way You Move” (featuring Sleepy Brown), an Earth, Wind And Fire cover.
Outkast would then star in the 1996 Universal Pictures musical fantasy “Idlewood” and released the extremely underrated and musically diverse accompanying soundtrack.
The two decided to take a hiatus from Outkast with Andre pursuing an acting career and Big Boi continuing to produce and release music.
In 2010, Big Boi released his official solo debut album called “Sir Luscious Left Foot - The Son Of Chico Dusty” on Def Jam Records. The album spawned the hit “Shutterbug” (featuring Cutty) as well as guest appearances by George Clinton, Yelawolf, Janelle Monae and Gucci Mane.
Big Boi will be releasing another solo album in 2012 and has told This Day In Hip-Hop And Rap History that a new Outkast album is forthcoming sometime in the near future and that he was also producing tracks for a solo Andre 3000 album.