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OutKast Kept It Moving With Classic Single "Rosa Parks"

Mitch Findlay
March 23, 2020 13:03
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1998 Arista Records1998 Arista Records
1998 Arista Records

Rosa Parks

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OutKast kicked off a new era with "Rosa Parks," the lead single off the group's classic third album "Aquemini."


There are two types of people in life -- ATLiens people and Aquemini people. While both parties surely hold Outkast's mid-to-late nineties projects dear to heart, the discourse more often than not finds the classics pitted against one another. And for the latter camp, the success of the iconic single "Rosa Parks" is a major selling point. Having already solidified itself in history as one of the game's timeless tracks, it's important to remember the climate in which the tune was released. 

OutKast

 Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

The year was 1998 -- Andre 3000 had already confirmed that the South indeed had something to say. ATLiens had turned enough heads to slam the pair onto many-a-radar. When "Rosa Parks" arrived, it became the group's most successful single of their young career, despite going on to elicit a lawsuit from the civil rights icon herself. Musically, the OutKast produced guitar-driven track is steeped in southern charm, coming alive with understated funk.

"We takin' another route to represent the Dungeon Family," raps Big Boi, in the track's opening verse. "Like Great Day, me and my n***a decide to take the back way, we stabbin' every city then we headed to that Bat cave." Three Stacks closes things out like only he can, painting a picture with hyper-realized imagery and heightened spiritual game. "I met a gypsy and she hipped me to some life game, to stimulate then activate the left and right brain," he spits. "Said, "Baby boy, you only funky as your last cut -- you focus on the past, your ass'll be a has-what."

They don't make lead singles like this anymore.

QUOTABLE LYRICS

I met a gypsy and she hipped me to some life game
To stimulate then activate the left and right brain
Said, "Baby boy, you only funky as your last cut
You focus on the past, your ass'll be a 'has-what
That's one to live or either that's one to die to
I try to just throw it at you, determine your own adventure
André, got to her station, here's my destination she got off the bus
The conversation lingered in my head for hours took a shower

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SONGS OutKast Kept It Moving With Classic Single "Rosa Parks"
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