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Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s: #7 Outkast “Ms. Jackson”Posted by Nathan S. on 12/14/09 | Filed under Features, Best of the 2000s, Outkast
Outkast had long been on the outside of even hardcore hip-hop circles for their willingness to experiment and often impossible to define sound, but when they dropped the second single of their "Stankonia" album, the mesmerizing "Ms. Jackson", the whole country fell in love with their unique style. "Ms. Jackson" topped the U.S. charts for a full week in February, 2001, and won a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, no small feat for a group who includes Andre 3K, a man who wears outfits so strange they make Lady Gaga looks like Mr. Rogers.
On a purely musical level "Ms. Jackson" certainly isn't my favorite Outkast song of the decade (though the fact that I had to listen to it 300,000 times admittedly doesn't help), but when you factor in its crossover appeal there's no doubt which Outkast song belongs on our countdown. This is the track that, for the most part, introduced Outkast to America, and even more impressively they made that jump into the mainstream spotlight without sacrificing an ounce of their innovative sound or hip-hop credibility. Catchy as hell but still lyrically complex, "Ms. Jackson" should serve as a blueprint for rappers looking to make widely enjoyed music for generations to come.
In terms of the track itself, "Ms. Jackson" might also be the most quoted song of the decade. A track that spawned a million covers, copies and parodies, I don't think there was a person alive in America in 2001 who didn't at some point try singing, "I'm sorry Ms. Jackson" followed by that unforgettable "oooooooo!" Normally songs with that kind of appeal have a bright message, but instead "Ms. Jackson" is about divorce and relationships gone wrong, with Andre 3K rhyming about his break-up with Erykah Badu and Big Boi in the early stages of his "practice safe sex cause women will take all your money" campaign. Come to think of it, maybe the theme of "Ms. Jackson" is the reason it was such a hit. in a country where over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, who can't relate? Whatever the reason for its popularity, "Ms. Jackson" earned its way onto our countdown. Congratulations gentlemen, you are outcasts no more.
Oh, I almost forgot: "Forever? And ever ever? And ever ever?"
For a complete list of the Top 25 picks so far click here.
Love this selection/hate this selection? Comment below, write about it on your blog or email me at nathan[@]refinedhype.com. Come on, don't be shy.
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