Outkast Turned Down a Super Bowl Performance & It’s Ms. Jackson Who’s Sorry

Big Boi was a guest this week on ESPN’s The Dan Le Batard Show. As he’s done in the past, he made predictions about this week’s NFL match ups but, in between the sports talk, he made a revelation about something that could have changed Super Bowl history. Halfway through the conversation, the Outkast MC stated that he and Andre 3000 actually had an opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl and turned it down. Big Boi does not state the year, but he does say the reason why they turned down the opportunity is because they wanted to perform both “The Way You Move” and “Hey Ya,” and the NFL’s time restrictions would have required the group to shorten the songs. At the time, Andre 3000 was opposed to altering the tunes and they ended up performing at the NBA All-Star Game, instead. The opportunity certainly would have been huge for Outkast, likely putting them in front of their biggest audience ever, but, with a little sleuthing, the story gets even more interesting.

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Outkast performed the two songs in question at the 2004 NBA All-Star Game. Assuming, their Super Bowl invitation was offered in the same year, that means that Outkast would have performed at the halftime for Super Bowl XXXVIII. What’s significant about that game beyond the fact that the New England Patriots won 32 to 29 over the Carolina panthers? It was the halftime show in which Janet Jackson’s nipple was shown to the world for 1/16 of a second, courtesy of an unfortunate “wardrobe malfunction” that involved Justin Timberlake. The event would send shockwaves throughout the world, raising questions about race, gender, politics, decency standards, MTV and much, much more. Though Justin Timberlake would go on to recover from the incident, things have never been the same for Janet.

So, in addition to Outkast passing up on what may have been a career-changing opportunity, they might just have one more Ms. Jackson to whom they are sorry. In spite of it all, Big Boi harbors no resentment toward Andre. He said to ESPN, “It’s bigger than music for us…Our friendship is bigger than anything we’ve done in music.”

Click here for the full interview.

Related: Dungeon To Mountain: Sign A Petition To Honor Outkast Alongside Robert E. Lee