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Double Dose Of 'Love'

OutkastIn a declining market, Outkast has enjoyed nothing but success. The duo's four studio albums have shown steady artistic and commercial growth; combined U.S. sales total 9 million units to date. So, when the duo of Andre 3000 and Big Boi decided to mess with their recipe for success, opting to record solo albums and bundling them into a two-CD set under the Outkast banner, they were definitely taking a risk.

The result is "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" (Arista), featuring solo albums from Big Boi ("Speakerboxxx") and Andre 3000 ("The Love Below"). In creating the unusual project, each artist lent production assistance to the other's set, but the albums were recorded separately. This created a host of new opportunities.

"The best part of it was the challenge of writing a whole song without having Dre come grab the baton when it was time to pass it off," Big Boi says. For Andre 3000, the opportunity to experiment with his own sound was most welcome. "My album isn't really a hip-hop album but rather an album done by a hip-hop person," he says. "It's more melodic, more singing, and that's why I wanted to do it as a side project."

Highlighting both MCs' respective personalities, Arista released dual singles, Big Boi's "The Way You Move" and Andre 3000's "Hey Ya!," to introduce the new project. The former track is No. 43 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks.