Big Boi Explains Just How Real The OutKast & A Tribe Called Quest Joint Album Was (Video)
Between 2007 and early 2016, two of the most exciting Hip-Hop acts on Epic Records were seemingly inactive. Through a series of label moves, restructuring, and dissolving imprints, Outkast and A Tribe Called Quest were label-mates. LaFace/Arista rolled into Jive, which restructured into Epic. Both groups had fans and media constantly asking about new material. Both groups teased too, with Tribe performing together and promoting the 25th anniversary of their debut. ‘Kast saw several Big Boi and Andre 3000 moments, as they stretched a decade past Idlewild.
There had been whispers of Tribe and ‘Kast working together. At Phife Dawg’s 2016 funeral, 3000 told attendees at The Apollo Theater, “I’m going to say some interesting news and some disappointing news at the same time. About a year or two ago maybe, we were talking about doing a Tribe Called Quest and Outkast album…Please people, don’t let the time go by…That’s one of the biggest things that I regret now. For whatever reason we didn’t do it, it was on our plate and we just… Let it go.”
Appearing HOT 97, Big Boi certified those claims. At 8:30, he spoke about what really went down: “We were talking about doing a Tribe Called Kast album, with Outkast and A Tribe Called Quest. It was real. Not [just] a conversation,” Daddy Fat Sax told the morning show. “Q-Tip flew to Atlanta [with] Ali Shaheed Muhammad, we all met at Dre’s house…We got to the point of picking out beats for the album. Then, some kind of way, everybody started doing [their own] stuff, and then Phife [died]. [But] it definitely was happening.”
It was unclear if Phife met up with the groups at Andre 3000’s Georgia pad. ‘Dre was a guest on last year’s We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service album on the song “Kids.” However, one of the biggest collaborative albums of all time never came to be.
Interestingly enough, around the era that this meeting took place, mash-up specialist Nappy DJ Needles made a mix album called…A Tribe Called Kast:
On Epic, Big Boi just released his third solo album, Boomiverse. While no A.T.C.Q. or 3 Stacks participated, Killer Mike, Jeezy, and Snoop Dogg are among guests.
Earlier in the interview, Big Boi confirms that Andre 3000 is taking a “rest” right now. He describes the pair’s touring chemistry in recent years.