If you were in Atlanta during the final weekend of September, Centennial Park was the place to be. Good food, good weather and OUTKAST! Yes ladies and gentlemen, I said it, OutKast! The hometown heroes ended their reunion tour in the heart of Georgia with a 3 day sold out stint.
Originally the duo was only scheduled for a Saturday performance but promoters received an overwhelming response and a second show was added for Friday and a third show for Sunday, all of which sold out. I was hoping for tickets for Saturday but in ten minutes tickets sold out and I ended up with Friday tickets, but that turned out being a very good thing. There were other artists scheduled for Saturday, Kid Cudi and Childish Gambino, but I personally only listen to Cudi sparingly. Friday however was where I belonged (well, I could have really felt like an ATLien at Sunday’s show, but I’ll get to that later). I was fortunate enough to witness Janelle Monàe, Future, 2Chainz, Big Gipp of Goodie Mob, Bun B of UGK, and other first generation Dungeon Family artists.
The show began a little after five with an opening performance from Lil Will of the Dungeon Family and Young Ralph. In between sets DJ Greg Street took us all on a funky ride through the 90s and the 2000s mixing tracks from 8-Ball and MJG, Biggie, MC Lyte, the Youngbloodz, Kilo Ali, MC Shy-D, and more. The scheduled opening artist Janelle Monàe was wheeled out on a gurney from which she was unstrapped to begin her performance. Although the sound quality was not up to par for her set, Monàe still gave a wonderful show. Performing songs from her first and second albums including “Tightrope”, “Prime Time”, and “Q.U.E.E.N”, Janelle Monàe thanked the crowd for their support after about a forty-five minute show and exited with a crowd surf!
Next up was Future, a last minute slot replacement for Solange, who is also a member of the Dungeon Family. His performance included a “Karate Chop,” “Chosen One,” and “Racks.” Honestly his set was more so songs that he’s been featured on instead of songs he’s actually released. Needless to say, you can tell he was a last minute option. 2Chainz took the stage around his scheduled time and opened with his last album’s intro, “Fork”. Since he is one of my favorite rappers of course it would be hard for me to find anything wrong with his performance. He took control of the audience and kept everyone on their feet as he rendered “I Luv Dem Strippers” and “Crack” alongside his other features, including “Bands Ah Make Her Dance.”
As the anticipation grew stronger to see OutKast you couldn’t help but feel the tension in the crowd. The moment we had all been waiting for was now closer than we could have ever imagined and we had no clue what was going to happen next. Throughout the concert we were able to watch the stage crew set up for the different performers but for OutKast that was NOT the case. Then stage was covered in a black sheet to keep the secret of instrument arrangement and microphone placements. Most importantly, the stage was covered so we wouldn’t see the living legends take the stage. After close to thirty minutes it was show time, not a drill, but actually show time. Centennial Park went completely black, a few chords were played and the beat dropped for “Bombs over Baghdad.” From that point forward Big Boi and Andre 3000 belted out hit after Grammy winning hit after history making hit. What made their performance historic is the fact that they truly proved why they’re the greatest to ever do it. For an hour and thirty minutes roughly I was on my feet rapping and dancing with them. I refuse to list every single song from their set, but my personal favorites that I will disclose include “Aquemini,” She Lives In My Lap,” “Crumblin’ Erb,” “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,” “International Playas Anthem,” featuring Bun B, and “Elevators.”
No one can EVER say that a rap group has to jump around stage with a mass of people with them because OutKast put on a wonderful – no, an AMAZING show with few appearances from other artists. Dressed in a jumpsuit displaying the words “the hardest times of our lives,” a blond wig and a pair of sunglasses, 3 Stacks made me fall in love with him all over again! Daddy Fat Saxx wore a personalized leather Braves jacket with his name across the back and pair of retro Jordans. They thanked us all for the twenty years of support and love over and over again, introduced the band and backup singers, and told a few jokes in between. Overall they gave us a show… and for that I am forever grateful. If you were not in Atlanta this final weekend of September in the year 2014 I feel sorry for you; You definitely missed a piece of history being made. So to my fellow ATLiens I say, “peace up, A-Town DOWWWNNNN!” – TaShara Marshall