HEY YA!: The Unauthorized Biography of OutKast

Chris Nickson, Author . St. Martin's/Griffin $11.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-33735-3

Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton, better known as OutKast's Andre 3000 and Big Boi, have earned themselves a large and devoted audience with their quirky, well-crafted hip-hop. Each of their six albums has gone platinum, and they began 2004 holding both the number one and number two spots on the Billboard Top 100. British writer Nickson, who's churned out unauthorized celebrity bios (of Mariah Carey, Will Smith, Lauryn Hill, Brad Pitt, etc.) with the efficiency of a well-oiled machine, culls this serviceable fan-pleaser from interviews and reviews in the mainstream press, covering OutKast's successes and setbacks and offering a few gratifying stories from their personal lives (both Andre and Big Boi are devoted fathers and have been refreshingly responsible in their business and personal dealings). OutKast's successes have been many: six Grammies, nine million copies sold (so far) of their double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below , and five top 40 singles. The setbacks have been fewer but certainly well documented: Andre's breakup with Erykah Badu, with whom he has a child; the lawsuit brought by civil rights hero Rosa Parks over a song bearing her name. Nickson's volume is precisely what it needs to be, no more and no less: a neatly packaged tribute to a popular phenomenon, released at the apex of the group's fame. Agent, Madeline Morel. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
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