Outkast & Goodie Mob Had Some Great Collabos But 1 Of The Best Was Pure Soul Food (Video)
In 1997, Outkast were riding high. Big Boi and Andre 3000 had taken not only the South, but the entire Hip-Hop world by storm, in 1994, with their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, and had avoided the dreaded sophomore slump with their acclaimed album Atliens. Their success propelled not only themselves, but also various members of their Dungeon Family crew, including fellow MCs Goodie Mob and the crew’s production outfit, Organized Noize.
Due to their kinship and close proximity, Outkast and Goodie Mob had a fair number of collaborations, particularly on the first couple of albums for each group. The first came by way of “Git Up, Git Out,” from Southenplayalistic’, which featured verses from both crews, as well as Cee Lo’s scintillating hook encouraging self-empowerment. The joint efforts continued well into the 2000s, with members of the Mob joining Big Boi on 2 songs on Big Boi’s portion of Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
One of the finest joint offerings from members of both Outkast and Goodie Mob, however, did not come from one of their albums. Instead, it was tucked away in the latter half of the soundtrack for the film Soul Food, starring Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Mekhi Phifer and more. The film’s adult fare was complemented primarily by the smooths sounds of R&B and Soul, with Puff Daddy and Outkast being the only 2 Hip-Hop acts invited to the party, with assists from Lil Kim and Cee Lo Green, respectively. The break out hits were “A Song For Mama,” by Boyz II Men, “What About Us,” by Total and “We’re Not Making Love No More,” by Dru Hill. However, for those fans of Hip-Hop who bothered to pick up the album, Outkast’s “In Due Time” was a diamond in the smooth.
To match the tone of the rest of the soundtrack, “In Due Time” found Dre and Big Boi in laid-back, grown man mode. Big Boi’s verse is a tale of a hustler contemplating his life at a fork in the road. He’s made enough money selling drugs to buy fancy cars and clothes, but knows he’s living on borrowed time and his luck will run out if he doesn’t make a change. Andre complements with a conscious verse, questioning the government’s role in maintaining poverty and keeping the downtrodden down with disease like HIV, and arguing that the lifestyle of which Big Boi speaks in his verse is not really ballin’.
Though both verses stand tall in Outkast’s copious catalog, it is the hook and bridge provided by Cee Lo that makes “In Due Time” timeless. His harmonious hook opens the song and sets the tone. “Just keep your faith in me. Don’t act impatiently. You’ll get where you need to be in due time. Even when things are slow, hold on and don’t let go. I’ll give you what I owe, in due time,” he croons mournfully and hopefully at the same time.
Cee Lo’s bridge resonates even more powerfully. He balances a message of hope and faith with the practicalities of needing to “git up, git out and do somethin’,” as he did in his first collabo with ‘Kast. “Strugglin’s just a part of my day. Many obstacles have been placed in my way. I know the only reason that I make it through is because I never stop believing in you,” he sings. He goes on to add “But even when you pray, the next day you gotta try. Can’t wait for nobody to come down out the sky. You’ve got to realize that the world’s a test. You can only do your best and let Him do the rest. You’ve got your life and got your health, so quit procrastinating and push it yourself.”
Whether one subscribes to religion or not the message and tone are inspirational and stand the test of time.