If you were able to get OutKast's crossover hit song "Hey Ya!" out of your head, count yourself among the few.
Before dropping out of the race for Democratic presidential nomination, retired Gen. Wesley Clark even quoted lyrics from the infectious tune in his stump speech for young voters.
"I don't know much about hip-hop," he told one audience. "But I do know OutKast can make you shake it like a Polaroid picture."
OutKast, a rap duo consisting of Andre "3000" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, is one of the hottest groups around right now, shooting up the charts thanks to a potent combination of funky, danceable songs and flashy music videos. But they're not new.
The duo has been in the music business together for a decade. The two men met while attending high school in Atlanta and put together their first album in 1994. They sold 1 million copies of that debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.
A Growing Buzz
With each subsequent album, the critical buzz and the fan base got bigger for the decidedly different sounding rap act. Their sound is hip-hop, but it is also a mix of jazz, blues, soul, rock and world music, all delivered with a Southern-fried twist.
At the 46th annual Grammy Awards in February, OutKast won three Grammys and became the first hip-hop group to win the album of the year award for their sixth album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, a double CD featuring one disc from each member of the group. They also won best rap album and best urban/alternative performance for "Hey Ya!"
The double album has sold 8 million copies.
In addition to all the critical acclaim, the group has had its share of controversy.
For their flashy performance of "Hey Ya!" at the Grammy Awards, the group wore costumes with feathers, fringes and war paint, and danced around a green teepee. The performance angered American Indian groups, for whom feathers, in particular, are a sacred symbol. They said that the performance was disrespectful of their culture and perpetuated stereotypes.
CBS, which broadcast the awards, issued an apology.
There were also rumors that the group was splitting up, but the duo have said they have no plans to go separate ways. They are already working on a new album. To find out more about the band, and its concert schedule, go to outkast.com.