Outkast


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Ms. Jackson is Erykah Badu’s mother!

Before Hey Ya! became a worldwide hit in 2003, leading everyone and their mum learning there was an artist or band or whatever called Outkast, the hip-hop duo consisting of Andre 3000 and Big Boi was mainly releasing tunes with rap, not so much singing.

They’d had a big hit in Ms. Jackson (2000) but you’d have to watch MTV and be into the genre to know about it.

And before Ms. Jackson, the boys had spent almost a decade honing their craft.

Formed in 1992, they came to pioneer southern hip-hop, a genre that would blend funk, jazz, and even techno with psychedelia. Their first three albums came in 1994, 96, and 98.

These three albums formed a platform that made them known and respected, laying the groundwork for the 2000 release Stankonia which had Ms. Jackson on it and made them big as it hit the top 10 in twenty countries.

Still, grandma didn’t know about Outkast, which would take another three years.

But before we get to that, let’s go a bit deeper into the tune of Ms. Jackson. Written on the acoustic guitar by Andre, it was developed into what we know as Big Boi who rapped on it.

The song was actually written about Andre’s relationship with singer Erykah Badu and her mother who loved the song so much she even changed her car license plate to Ms. Jackson! Erykah herself was apparently hurt by the lyrics.

Anyway, Hey Ya! Is released in 2003 and made Outkast a worldwide phenomenon. Even grandma knows who they are now.

Funnily enough, when you study charts from this era, Ms. Jackson actually ranks higher, but looking at longevity, DJs, radio and what we care about in this neck of the woods, bands, still play Hey Ya!

A couple of decades later, it is a must-know for any professional guitarist, just like Sex On Fire, Fallin’, Last Nite, Crazy In Love, Seven Nation Army, I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, Crazy, Single Ladies, and I’m Yours are from the same decade.

And since it’s only a few bars on a loop, you must learn how to play Hey Ya!’s chords immediately.


Outkast | Tunes


Hey Ya!

G | C | C | 2/4 D | 4/4 Em | Em |
My baby don’t mess around because she loves me so and this I know fo sho (uh).
G | C | C | 2/4 D | 4/4 Em | Em |
But does she really wanna but can’t stand to see me walk out the door? (Ah).

Go to Hey Ya! chords.