Now that they've taken the mothership for a few spins around the universe, Andre 3000 and Big Boi of Outkast are ready to bring it back to earth, where they will begin their next step in world domination. They've already conquered the hip-hop nation, recently jump-starting it into the 21st century. They also saved rap from the shallow-minded bling-bling and pretty much made the most exciting music released last year. Their fourth album, Stankonia, was part playa fantasy, part anti-gangsta fable, and part funked-up Southern bounce. More remarkably, its two super singles, "Ms. Jackson" and "B.O.B.," took on, respectively, deadbeat dads and President Bush's (senior, although junior seems to be following his old man's missteps already) questionable military strategy -- moral and political subjects rarely touched on in the hip-hop community, which is more concerned with ice and strip clubs these days. But Outkast has always been a bit different. How many scowling rappers do you know who would throw on a wig and a screaming, brightly colored outfit more appropriate for a queen's ball? And how many revenge-seeking rhymers would forgive Rosa Parks, she of the back-of-the-bus thing, after the civil rights legend tied them up in court because she wasn't comfortable with a song named after her? More typical is the clothing line being formed by the Atlanta duo, coming this summer to a retailer near you (we're personally adding a fly, shiny silver jumpsuit to our wish list). The Stanklove tour, currently making its way across the country, is Outkast's biggest yet, complete with flashing lights, numerous stage sets, video screens, dancers, a live band, and an hour and a half of its very special Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Rock da house, y'all.
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