Saturday, February 17, 2001

OutKast hit #1 with “Ms. Jackson”

Ms. Jackson


Writer(s): André Benjamin, Antwan Patton, David Sheats (see lyrics here)

Released: October 24, 2000

First Charted: October 28, 2000

Peak: 11 US, 14 RR, 12 RB, 2 UK, 9 CN, 2 AU, 19 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 1.2 UK, 5.26 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 313.21 video, 856.0 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

André “André 3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton formed the hip-hop duo OutKast in Atlanta in 1992. They released their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, in 1994 and became a critical and commercial favorite at the forefront of the Southern rap movement. They “posed as laid-back gangsters, but they rapped dense thickets of words with rare levels of nuance and empathy, and playfulness.” SG They “may be remembered as hip-hop pioneers not for their outlandish clothes or for their hard beats or even their psychedelic jams, but for their humanism.” TC

In 2000, their fourth album, Stankonia, became the duo’s third consecutive album to peak at #2 on the Billboard album chart and go multi-platinum. The group had previously had just two songs reach the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad),” the lead single from their fourth album, Stankonia, didn’t change their fortunes any. It served as a “metaphor for the group’s bombastic potency” TB but failed to chart.

However, the next single, “Ms. Jackson,” not only gave OutKast their first top-ten hit on the pop charts, but it went all the way to #1. The song “strips the group of a considerable amount of its machismo.” TB It is “a relatively low-key affair…rendered through wordily heartfelt writing and hazily funky music.” The group weren’t aiming for a crossover hit “though sheer novelty, through party-ready catchiness, [or] through immediate-bellringer samples” SG like previous #1 songs from rappers. OutKast “just made a slinky, memorable song about a real situation, and that song arrived at the exact right moment.” SG

The “ode to their babymama’s mamas” TB is a mix of real-life experiences from both rappers. André 3000 and the singer Erykah Badu had a relationship for a few years and even had a son together. André essentially uses the song to try to explain himself to her mother, writing the chorus as an apology. However, Big Boi’s “verses come from a place of hurt and resentment” SG as he scolds his ex’s mother that “her grandchild is a baby and not a paycheck.” SG


Related Links:

First posted 6/24/2023.

Missy Elliott” Get Ur Freak On” charted

Get Ur Freak On

Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott

Writer(s): Melissa Elliott, Tim Mosley (see lyrics here)

Released: March 6, 2001

First Charted: February 17, 2001

Peak: 7 US, 20 RR, 3 RB, 4 UK, 12 CN, 44 AU, 23 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.2 radio, 93.8 video, 246.16 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott was born in 1971 in Virginia. She started her music career with the R&B girl group Sista in the early ‘90s before launching her solo career as a rapper in 1997 with Supa Dupa Fly. It debuted at #3 on the Billboard album chart, the highest charting debut at the time for a female rapper. It was her first of six studio albums, all of wich went platinum and five reached the top 10.

She also reached the top 10 on the pop charts with eleven songs as the lead artist or a featured artist. Two of those songs (“Hot Boyz” and “Work It”) reached #1 on the R&B chart. Interestingly, though, her most celebrated song wasn’t her biggest hit nor was it from her biggest selling album. “Get Ur Freak On,” however, was still a top 10 hit on the pop and R&B charts. It was the lead single from her third album, 2001’s Miss E…So Addictive. She wrote and produced the song with childhood friend Tim Mosley (aka “Timbaland”). It was a last minute addition to the album because they thought the album needed more more cut. SF

The song owes its unusual sound to Bhangra music. Timbaland discovered the musical form while traveling in India. He used a tumbi, which is a one-stringed guitar, to record individual notes into a keyboard. SF Elliott said the song, “could be about dancing – the bedroom, whatever. You’re cleaning your house? Get your freak on!” SF

A remix of the song with Nelly Furtado was used in the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. It was also remixed with AC/DC’s “Back in Black” for 2003’s The Rundown and with the Black Keys’ “Keep Me” for the soundtrack for the 2014 movie Neighbors. It was also used in 2005’s The 40-Year Old Virgin.


Related Links:

First posted 2/3/2023; last updated 6/18/2023.

Train charted with “Drops of Jupiter”

Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)


Writer(s): Train, Patrick Monahan (see lyrics here)

Released: February 20, 2001

First Charted: February 17, 2001

Peak: 5 US, 3 RR, 8 AC, 114 A40, 112 AA, 19 AR, 11 MR, 10 UK, 5 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 1.2 UK, 9.62 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.8 radio, 344.16 video, 817.16 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The rock band Train formed in San Francisco in 1993. Their self-titled debut came five years later with single “Meet Virginia” making a splash as a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. However, they really broke through with 2001’s Drops of Jupiter. The lead single, “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” was a top 5 hit in the United States, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. It also went top 10 in Demark, Italy, Scotland, and the United Kingdom. The song also took the longest time to reach the top 10 – 49 weeks – of any song on the adult contemporary chart. WK

Lead singer Patrick Monahan said the song was inspired by his late mother, who died from lung cancer in December 1998. When the band were working on their sophomore album, Monahan went back to his childhood home in Pennsylvania home and got the inspiration for “Drops of Jupiter.” He said, “I woke up from a dream…with the words ‘back in the atmosphere’…it was just her way of saying what it was like – she was swimming through the planets and came to me with drops of Jupiter in her hair.” WK In another interview, he said, “Loss of the most important person in my life was heavy on my mind, and the thought of ‘what if no one ever really leaves?” SF

When he played a demo of the song Donnie Ienner, president of Columbia Records, Ienner told him it was his Grammy Song. It did, in fact, win two Grammys – for Best Rock Song and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). It was also nominated for Grammys for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. It won for

Billboard’s Chuck Taylor said the song “demonstrates a truly artistic lyrical bent that merits instant acceptance.” WK He called it “a runaway track for Train” with its “splendid orchestral backdrop and a vocal shimmering with passion and personality.” WK


First posted 2/28/2021; last updated 4/16/2024.