Outkast has long been the subject of reunion rumors ever since Andre “Andre 3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton put their Grammy-winning duo on hiatus in 2007. Could 2014 at long last be the year that the Mighty O becomes whole again?
The Atlanta hip-hop duo is indeed in talks to reunite next year for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, multiple sources have confirmed to Billboard. Under the current plan, Coachella, which kicks off on Apr. 11, 2014 in Indio, Calif., would be the start of the reunion run and would be followed by additional festival dates in 2014.
One source tells Billboard that there have definitely been “some conversations” about Outkast reuniting, while another says it is “all systems go” for Big Boi and Andre 3000 to end their hiatus next year. A rep for Outkast did not comment for this story, while reps for their current label home, Epic, as well as Coachella organizer Goldenvoice, did not respond to request for comment at press time.
Outkast’s 2003 double album, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” spawned two No. 1 singles (“Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move”) on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned the Grammy award for album of the year in 2004. After Outkast released the film “Idlewild” and its accompanying soundtrack in 2006, Big Boi and Andre 3000 parted ways to focus on solo endeavors. Big Boi has since released two albums, 2010’s “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty” and 2012’s “Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors,” while Andre has turned in guest verses for songs by artists like Drake, B.o.B and Ke$ha. He will also star in the soon-to-be-released Jimi Hendrix biopic “All Is by My Side.”
In September 2011, Outkast was among numerous artists shifted to Epic Records following the restructuring of Sony Music — although the move did not herald a new project on the horizon. “There’s been a lot of talk on the Internet about an Outkast album and I have to say that as of now, there are no plans for another Outkast album,” Andre 3000 told GQ in February 2012. And although Big Boi and Andre 3000 were both featured on a remix of Frank Ocean’s song “Pink Matter” last year, the latter clarified that the song was not an official Outkast gathering.
Over the course of its 14-year run, Coachella has hosted numerous memorable artist reunions, from the Pixies in 2004 to Rage Against The Machine in 2007 to Pavement in 2010. This year’s headliners included the Stone Roses and Blur, who made Coachella’s two weekends their only U.S. dates of their recent reunion runs.
(Additional reporting by Brad Wete, Billboard)