Its Coachella performance was set up to be one of the most anticipated reunions of the decade, and for good reason: Outkast is still the ultimate pioneer of future-driven hip-hop. It's given us immortal singles in "Hey Ya!" and "Miss Jackson" and made it possible for urban-pop mavericks like Kanye West and Drake to exist.
Plus, it's been 12 years since the band last performed together. But, it appears the stars didn't align in Big Boi and Andre 3000's favor last night when they took the desert stage in front of 75,000 eager festival-goers. It started off with would-be bombast, as the duo launched into the cataclysmic 2001 single "B.O.B." (one of the best songs ever, to be honest), but the evil Indio winds destroyed the set's acoustics, rendering the up-tempo beats limp and unconvincing. For a song about dropping bombs, metaphorical and otherwise, this was brutally ironic.
And, it only got worse from there — the crowd drifted away as the pair broke into its lesser-known '90s material. Naturally, it wanted to hear "Hey Ya!," and the harsh reality was that a.) most of the audience was too young to remember Outkast before that song and b.) aside from a few news tracks on the Idlewild soundtrack in 2006, it hasn't done anything after the song that dominated the world. And, since then, several pop microgenerations have come and gone.
Perhaps, the warning signs were already there in Andre's surprisingly understated appearance, which The Guardian's Rebecca Nicholson glumly reported as "a dungarees-and-cap combination that made him resemble a long-lost Super Mario brother." She eventually awarded the performance a paltry two stars, but noted that the pair's rapping was still "impeccable." Here's to sincerely hoping Outkast was just having an off night. With more than 40 additional performances lined up this year, there's no doubt it can only improve from here. Check out its classic video for "B.O.B." and respect the technique.