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OutKast on a roll

Big Boi, left, and Andre 3000
Big Boi, left, and Andre 3000

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(CNN) -- OutKast is off to a strong start in 2004.

After kicking the year off on top of the Billboard albums chart, the Dirty South duo picked up the Grammy for album of the year on February 8 for the double disc hit "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below." OutKast also won best rap album and took home the best urban/alternative performance trophy for "Hey Ya!"

Andre 3000 and Big Boi have been creating the OutKast sound for nearly 10 years now, and they're not slowing down.

TMR sat down with the pair prior to their Grammy wins to talk about the album.

TMR: Tell me about the new album "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below." It's essentially two CDs. Can you tell me about the project?

ANDRE: It's an OutKast album to start off. It's a double disc. It's pretty much to say, OutKast dissected and opened up to see what Big Boi's thinking about or what Andre's thinking about. So it's kind of like giving us our own space, our own CD, to let us do exactly what we want to do. It's always been this, so now it's just that, you know? It's two trips, talking about the same situations, some different. It's just our take, an interpretation of what's going on right now.

TMR: Does your music overlap at all on this project?

ANDRE: It connects, but I don't think it overlaps.

BIG BOI: It connects on the fact that it's OutKast, for one, and for two we've worked on each other's side -- Dre producing on my side and appearing and I'm ... appearing on his side and everything, you know? Really, it's two different perspectives is what it is. He embellishes on his and elaborates on what I'm talking about, we do the OutKast thing too. But we're both able to spit that OutKast sound out 'cause we've been marinating with that for about 10 years now, so we gotta show.

TMR: After the huge success of "Stankonia" were you a bit apprehensive about whether you could conjure up that amazing success again for this project?

BIG BOI: No, no not really 'cause when we go in making records -- when we've made the last couple albums -- we never try and reinvent the past. We try to look forward to what's going on. Like these two records we've done now. We're not thinking "I wonder what's the next one going to sound like?" We don't have a set plan -- you might have ideas, or different set pieces you might use to put inside your puzzle -- but it's like you always have to look forward to what's beyond from where you just came from.

TMR: What about you, Andre? Did you feel any pressure at all or did you feel the same way?

ANDRE: Well, the only pressure -- well, not pressure making the music -- but the only pressure is from the people that are listening. Like "Stankonia," once again you're only as good as your last hit. So you start to wonder "What if it doesn't sound like 'Stankonia'? Are they gonna get it? If it's too far left are they gonna get it?" But you can't worry about it. But those worries only come ... when we're mixing the album, when it's all recorded, you know? So it's not a lot of worrying, just those two weeks before it's about to drop.

BIG BOI: Yeah, you just put it out.

TMR: Tell me about the first two singles.

ANDRE: The first two singles ... [are] "I Like the Way You Move," which is Big Boi's single and ... to me it's a big band jam that you would play at your reception. If you get married, you most definitely gonna play this jam. And the other song is "Hey Ya." It's kind of a sophisticated funk punk, I guess that's what you could say. A sophisti-funk-punk. A sophis-ti-funk. Whatever you want to call it.

BIG BOI: It's funky.

ANDRE: It is.

TMR: What do you both think of the state of rap right now and where it's going?

BIG BOI: It's changing [but] it's pretty much for the most part stayed the same. There's certain cats out there, you know, who've got a little leverage to step out and crank it up. But it's real safe right now. This sort of music is real safe right now -- there's no one out there who's really taking any sort of risk.

ANDRE: Hip-hop is at its most commercial point right now. So, once you say that sentence, you have to pretty much say it's dead because what people are going to start doing is finding something new to do or a new way to do it. Which is, it ain't a bad thing, it just makes you go off and do other things. So probably in the next couple of years you're gonna hear some new cats, or the old cats doing new stuff.

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