Atlanta - Chalk another award up for the dynamic duo of Andre 3000 and Big Boi. Collectively known as the group Outkast, they took the music world by storm last year with the release of the double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. The album quickly went from gold to platinum and the recognition hasn't stopped yet. This week marks another milestone for the pair as middleclass white folks around the nation have tabbed the two-disc set "My proof that I don't hate minorities".
The album finished first in an online poll complied by Salon.com, well ahead of the second place finisher, the "VOTE Alan Keys in ‘96" bumper sticker.
Radio trampled hits like "Hey Ya", "The Way You Move", and "Roses" have propelled the album into the hands of even the whitest whiteys. Denton, Texas high school senior Brittany Jean Clemmons says the album "gives my CD book real range. I wrote ‘BJC' on both CD's because my friend Whitney is a total klepto, and then I put them right next to my Brooks and Dunn Live album." Brittany Jean paused momentarily to catch her breath and then continued, "I can definitely say that spending the thirty dollars for these CDs has really put my white guilt at ease, plus I really like it when all of us girls get to ‘Shake it like a Polaroid picture.'"
From corner to corner of the lower Forty-Eight middleclass Americans are "raising the roof" to the album's sometimes thoughtful but always bumpin' jams. Mike Ingersol from Seattle admits to "rocking out to Outkast, or whatever the ‘street' equivalent to that is."
Ingersol, a systems analyst for Boeing, regularly pops off about his new found love to his co-workers. "I listen to it really loud, all the way into work," he told his cubical mate James Fugouwa earlier in the week, "Except when I go through that seedy area by the on-ramp, then I turn the volume down."
The recognition seems to hold larger meaning than it did twenty-five years ago when the TV miniseries Roots got the nod and most Caucasians got a "pass" on race relation issues by claiming to have "lots of black friends."
The Center for the Advancement of Pseudo Relations Chairman Patrick Xavier spoke about the growing significance owning an album like the Grammy Award Winning Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, "With the advancement of media formats, it is no longer good enough to claim to have an Al Green record at home." Xavier continued, "Today's pseudo-well rounded person must play the CD in their car, be familiar with the group's videos, and know whether or not Big Boi rolls on 24's in his tricked out Hummer. Anything less is just being a poser."
The next Outkast album will have big expectations and could potentially suffer under the large shadow cast by the acclaim and recognition the current one presently enjoys. History shows us that many groups sophomore albums do not hold up well under sometimes unreal expectations. (Editor's note: This is actually Outkast's third album but the first to achieve the status of being listened to-apologies to Mrs. Jackson.) Some of the former poll winners in this category that have peaked and were never heard from again includes:
The Macarena (1996)
Chef Emeril Lagasse (1999)
Hilary Clinton (2001)
Neither Andre 3000 nor Big Boi could be reached for comment about this achievement as they were on the set of their upcoming Pepsi commercial titled "Hey Ya…Have a Pepsi."