For anyone who’s been living under a rock for the past 20+ years, OutKast’s “Rosa Parks” off the 1998 album Aquemini would be a proper introduction to the duo’s iconic sound.
Much like the group itself, it’s hard to find a place to start when trying to describe this song. It lands from outer space with Andre 3000’s classic otherworldly ambiance while being grounded by the influence of Southern roots that Big Boi brings to the table.
For some reason, the introductory conversation between Dre and Big Boi in the video–where both are trying to agree on how the video should look– actually sounds like an exchange that takes place often. After all, OutKast wouldn’t be as influential and effective as it is today if either side dominated the sound. The tactful fusion of new-age and classic musical genres created an experience that may never be replicated again.
Fun fact: the actual Rosa Park’s lawyers sued OutKast over the use of her name in the song. The case was eventually settled through a cash payment.