ABSTRACT

Hip-hop duo OutKast’s 2006 Idlewild project, which comprises a feature film, album, and two music videos, is largely remembered as a minor oddity in an otherwise illustrious run, especially coming on the heels of the group’s multi-platinum dual album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003). Set in the fictional Georgia town of Idlewild during Prohibition, the film tells the story of a lifelong friendship between gangster Rooster (played by OutKast’s Antwan Patton, better known as Big Boi) and undertaker’s son Percival (played by OutKast’s André Benjamin, better known as André 3000). Music plays a central role in the film, as Rooster performs (anachronistically) as a rap artist, and Percival is a pianist and composer.1 The music runs the gamut from classic jazz tunes to new OutKast compositions that fuse hip-hop with jazz instrumentation, and the film also features a number of tracks from OutKast’s pre-Idlewild repertoire. As the audience would expect of a musical film, an album coincided with the release.