Old Favourites: Outkast – “Hey Ya!”

“Thank God for Mom and Dad for stickin’ two together, ’cause we don’t know how…”

I’m, admittedly, pretty insufferable with my “can you believe this is ten years old?!?” schtick sometimes. Especially this year, where I get to go all crazy nostalgic on my twelve/thirteen year old self. But please, you will just have to forgive me for this one. We’re about to take a look at one of the defining videos of the 2000s, the visual accompaniment to what is regarded as one of the greatest pop songs ever written. Yes, friends, we’re tuning up the band for OutKast‘s video for Hey Ya!

Although the song wouldn’t majorly dent the charts until 2004, it was around this time ten years ago that we were introduced to The Love Below – the frenzy-inducing superstar pop band, comprised entirely of versions of Andre 3000Big Boi makes a cameo at the beginning of the video as the band’s manager, which I loved. The two would always appear in one another’s videos for the duration of the Speakerboxxx/The Love Below promotional cycle, and I remember really digging that – even though these were solo records, it was still being presented under the OutKast name and there was never any rivalry between the two.

Once we get to the actual performance – that’s Benjamin Andre, Possum Jenkins, Johnny VultureIce Cold 3000 and Dookie, not to mention the three backing vocalists known as The Love Haters – it’s magical stuff. It captures the kind of utter madness that would ensue when popular bands would play the Ed Sullivan show or some kind of equivalent. I remember this video so vividly, I barely had to watch it again to write about it. Benjamin’s cheeky little smile after he finds some girls in the audience lusting after the shy one; Dookie glaring directly into the camera while hitting the snare drum during the song’s breakdown, not to mention Ice Cold’s wild dancing.

I love this video as much now as I did back then – it captures one’s imagination and sends you directly into what makes the whole song so magic. Even the old dad watching from home can’t stop himself when this song comes on. No doubt you’ll be the same when you watch this again.

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