OutKast reunites at Pemberton Music Festival 2014 [Review]
Pemberton, BC – On Jul. 20, OutKast hit the stage at Pemberton Music Festival 2014 to wind down the final day of the festival. On paper, Andre and Big Boi were easily the most anticipated act of the evening – if you asked any of the hip-hop heads at the festival at any point up until a few months ago. Then a couple funny things happened…
First, the ATLiens started popping up on every possible festival line up imaginable. Ok, but that doesn’t take away from the excitement from the end-of-the era-long wait for an OutKast performance; only the fact that you couldn’t hold it over all of your friends anymore. The second was from the rumblings about their set on the first weekend of Coachella. Rusty. No chemistry. Keep getting them cheques… With that, everyone – so geeked to see the legends live – were now doing what they could to temper their excitement. There’s nothing worse than being disappointed.
Walking into the supposed-to-have-been closers for the weekend and I was doing my best to not focus on the fact that I was watching one of my Top 5 MCs and one of my Top 3 rap groups. Thing is, though, that’s exactly what I was about to step into. And the set went off from jump.
Sarosh: An OutKastian spacey intro showed the stage with a holographic cube centering a full band. Out came Big Boi, hoodied with a big chain, a hat turned low and aviators; and Andre, in a full black jumpsuit with a white wig and sunglasses on, “I pray there is a god at the end of all this” written across his chest and a price tag showing he was sold hanging from it.
They started off with a bang as they went right into “B.O.B.” and you forgot just how many monster hits OutKast actually has. Hits on hits on hits followed. The two briefly disappeared inside the cube as classic images of them were projected on to the outside and you could see their shadows pace along the inside. A nice addition to the set, too, was some love for their day-one fans, when they jumped into a few tracks from Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Eventually, Andre disappeared and Big Boi went into a short solo set until he left himself, leaving Andre to his own as well. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the 16 verse from him, but “Hey Ya” is always a highlight. Especially when Andre brought out a handful of girls, telling them “Your dads are gonna be so mad at you.”
That was actually one the great things about the set. Both guys are pretty damn funny. And I have a good feeling Andre would have been better than any of the comedians on the bill for the weekend. At one point, when they were just talking, Andre kept mentioning that he wasn’t expecting so many kids in the audience, and apologized for some of their actions. He followed by using at least two more random objects as makeshift…well…you know. So take that with a grain of salt.
Later, the cameras panned to girls propped on shoulders. The guys – along with most of the crowd – egged the girls on to flash some skin. Now, as a guy who’d been through the ugliness of this at Woodstock ’99, the novelty of show-me-your-tits wore off decades ago. That being said, when Big Boi is straining to see because of the spotlight in his eyes and Andre is mocking him for not being able to, it’s pretty funny. When Andre remembers (again) about the kids, breaks into an apology but then breaks out of it to tell the kids not to be ashamed of their bodies, it’s hilarious.
After their solo sets, they finished off their hour-and-a-half set with a whole lot more classics. There were a few in the crowd that were a little salty when the two didn’t come out for an encore. But after an hour-and-a-half of a monster set, no more was needed.
Sarah: The hype surrounding OutKast’s reunion felt eerily similar to that of when Jay Z announced Magna Carta Holy Grail last year. It came out of nowhere, and set the hype-callibrator off the charts. The bar was set really high for this set. People have been hyping up the OutKast reunion all year. It’s become a thing; a very big thing. And with good reason, too. OutKast holds a special place with most heads.
I was in the fifth grade when my parents let me purchase Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below (despite its parental advisory). I listened to Speakerboxxx all the way through. And then I listened to The Love Below all the way through. I made my parents listen to it in the car with me, too (Thanks, guys!). I was knee-deep into OutKast. Then I went back and discovered the gems that were Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and ATLiens. Holy diggity. I was hooked. I did a project in the sixth grade on some astronomer-mathematician named Ptolemy. I was in a gifted program so they were pretty lenient when it came to following homework guidelines. Anyways, for my assignment I re-wrote all of the lyrics to “HeyYa” and called it “Ptolemy.” Then I performed it in front of the class. I got 100%. A+. Like a boss. What I’m getting at here is that OutKast is foundational to my existence. So when I heard they were reuniting, I had to see them. Bless y’all at Pemby Fest for making that happen for me.
It all opened up with a next-level performance of “B.O.B.” And by “next level,” I mean that it was obvious we were in for a real show; an all-senses-engaged expedition into the world of Andre 3000 and Big Boi. Andre came on rocking this black puffy jumpsuit and a white wig. He also had a price tag on him – because the industry sells you out; obviously. Big Boi had a red brass knuckle microphone. YES. A mother**king brass knuckle microphone. Because he’s Big Boi. And he does that. After hitting us with a few of their collaborative hits, the guys performed some solo work. Which means I got my nostalgic dose of Speakerboxxx and The Love Below.
The hits kept rolling throughout the night: “The Way You Move,” “Rosa Parks,” “Ms. Jackson,” “HeyYa,” “So Fresh, So Clean.” OutKast has had so many classic jams. There was some really jacked dude near me who was sitting on the ground by himself for most of the set (umm — ya weirdo). This was near the front of the stage, too. Anyways, by the time that “Ms. Jackson” happened (only about a third of the way into the set), he was up on his feet and shaking it. Because that’s the effect OutKast has on people; it’s a trip over to the funkiest and freshest part of the South.
The boys prefaced their performance of “So Fresh, So Clean” with some dialogue about the lack of hygiene at music festivals (because – you know – no one showers and everyone is really stanky). And it was one of those moments where I knew EXACTLY what track they were about to perform and I got really really fan-girly. But of all the tracks they performed, “Roses” was my jam. I sang every word and felt so many feelings. They also performed their verses from their UGK-collaborated “International Players Anthem.” I sang along to every word, too, because I made it my mission to memorize this particular track a while back. Because reasons.
Now let’s take a minute to talk about panties, here. Because Andre 3000 really doesn’t like panties. Prior to the performance of “HeyYa,” Andre asked the commando ladies in attendance to join him on stage. Andre is really deadpan in his delivery, though. So it was one of those weird situations where people were like, ‘Yo. I’m not wearing underwear. Is it actually legit for me to go up on stage, or nah?”. Andre was serious, though. So a handful of Pemby babes hit the stage and danced for the duration of “HeyYa.”
For the record: Boi and Dre weren’t just getting the panties to drop. They were also getting a solid dose of titties. This was a very fleshy set. It was the rap game-equivalent of strip poker. As the crowd went through the set, they gradually stripped down. And then we found ourselves in the closing performance of “The Whole World” and girls were whipping around their lady lumps. And as the set wrapped for the night, the final parting words ran deep: “Stank you smelly much. This is for y’all.”
Written by Sarah Sussman and Sarosh Rizvi for HipHopCanada
Photography by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Notice: The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the author and are not necessarily those of HipHopCanada or its affiliates.
Photography by Sarah Sussman
About Huka Entertainment
New Orleans, LA-based HUKA Entertainment is a privately held full-service production, talent-buying and promotion company that specializes in festivals, concerts and events of all sizes. Known for groundbreaking innovation at festivals throughout North America, HUKA Entertainment produced the Concerts for the Coast series featuring Jimmy Buffett, Bon Jovi and Brad Paisley; is the co-founder, producer, talent-buyer and promoter of the award-winning Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival (Ft. Lauderdale, FL); is the co-founder, producer, talent buyer and promoter of Pemberton Music Festival (Pemberton, BC); and the co-producer and co-promoter of BUKU Music + Art Project (New Orleans, LA) and is the co-founder, producer, talent buyer and co-promoter of the award-winning Hangout Music Festival (Gulf Shores, AL). HUKA Entertainment also books talent for and/or promotes a variety of concerts and events throughout the Southeastern United States.
About The Sunstone Group
The Sunstone Group is a Canadian owned family business with operations in both the real estate and entertainments sectors. In addition to the Pemberton Music Festival, the Sunstone Group has a number of other business interests in the Pemberton Community, including a land development, establishment of an independent boarding school, and ownership of the Meadows at Pemberton Golf Course.
About the Village of Pemberton
Pemberton is one of the fastest-growing communities in BC and home to family farms, fresh outdoor adventures and stunning vistas. The Village of Pemberton (VOP) is home to over 2400 residents and works in cooperation with neighbouring communities and key business and tourism partners such as Tourism Pemberton http://www.tourismpembertonbc.com and the Pemberton Chamber of Commerce http://www.pembertonchamber.com on community planning, service provision and events. Pemberton’s mild winters, warm summers and unique pioneer heritage provide an ideal place to enjoy arts, culture, history, recreation, dining, shopping and comfortable lodging.
About Whistler Blackcomb
Since 1992 Whistler Blackcomb has been focused on the development and execution of an environmental management strategy with the goal of developing a model of environmental and social stewardship for ski and mountain resort operations. Since that time, the company has been recognized for its efforts with countless awards, and has the honour of being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers (2009, 2010, 2011). Today, Whistler Blackcomb is a four-season resort with a world-renowned Mountain Bike Park on Whistler Mountain, a 22-feet Olympic-sized halfpipe on Blackcomb Mountain, and five Terrain Parks to fuel progression at every level from beginners to elite athletes. The mountains play host to countless festivals and events each year including the legendary TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival each April, and Kokanee Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival each August, in addition to playing host to the world as the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
About Tourism Whistler
Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.WHISTLER and whistler.com – Whistler’s official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.
About the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Located in southwestern BC, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) is a local government federation consisting of four rural electoral areas (A, B, C, and D) and four member municipalities (Lillooet, Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish). Headquartered in Pemberton, the SLRD delivers a range of local, regional and sub-regional services to approximately 38,000 residents. Straddling the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains and encompassing 16,500 square kilometers of land, the SLRD features some of the province’s most spectacular forests, glaciers, rivers and lakes as well as an abundance of fertile agricultural land, much of which is found in Electoral Area C, near Pemberton.
About Tourism Pemberton
Tourism Pemberton is an independent not-for-profit destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting tourism and travel for Pemberton, BC and surrounding region. The area was developed at the turn of the century as a result of forestry and agriculture. The Pemberton Valley lies northwest of the Village and is famous for its seed potatoes. The Pemberton area offers world-class activities and recreation including snowmobiling, horseback riding, skiing, golfing, hiking, rafting, jet boating and gliding. The district also provides a variety of shopping, dining, accommodations and a thriving service and light industrial sector. Pemberton – Adventure Begins Here.