On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
OutKast – Ms. Jackson (2000)
” Ms. Jackson” is a song by American alternative hip hop duo OutKast, consisting of André 3000 and Big Boi. It was released on October 24, 2000, as the second single from OutKast’s fourth album, . It topped the US Hot 100 chart for one week on February 17, 2001, and also reached number one in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.
Time to bring an end to 2000. We’re staying in the US today, dear reader, but leaving California and making our way to Atlanta, Georgia. Formed in 1992, OutKast were a hip hop duo made up of Andre “3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton. When we join the duo in 2000 it is with the release of their fourth album, Stankonia, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Ms. Jackson.
Ms. Jackson was inspired by Andrew Benjamin’s relationship with Erykah Badu (1995 – 1999) during which time they had a son. The song sees the narrator addressing the “Ms Jackson” of the title who is the mother of his girlfriend. In the song, the narrator apologies to Ms Jackson for he has hurt her daughter badly. It sounds like she had reservations about him being with her daughter from the start, that it was a mere infatuation, but he assures her that it was true love. He continues to apologise and wishes he could turn the clock back but it is too late and all he can offer now is to say sorry.
Ms. Jackson had a very interesting backdrop and proved to be a song that, in places, was inspiring to Erykah Badu but other times she was hurt by it. The song would ultimately top the US charts and propel the duo to significant commercial success. It is an honest and open piece, an unburdening of the heart and being vulnerable. OutKast would enjoy further success in the years that followed but went on hiatus in 2007 to pursue solo projects. Despite the odd reunion appearance, they have yet to reform.
Favourite songs so far: