It’s been almost a decade since the last album from OutKast—not that we’re keeping track or anything—but at least this week you can hear new tracks from the duo’s Big Boi and André 3000. Big Boi has a long-anticipated new album coming out in two weeks, and after debuting promising new cuts “Mama Told Me,” “Lines,” and “She Said OK” earlier this year, he’s out with Atlanta anthem “In the A,” featuring a heavy synth beat and, appropriately, Atlanta rappers Ludacris and T.I.
Of course the most glaring absence at the center of “In the A” is Big Boi’s hometown partner André 3000, who is apparently the one who’s prevented the duo from putting out any new material as a group. André does some explaining on the new track “Sorry,” from T.I.’s forthcoming album Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head. “This the type of shit that’ll make you call your rap partner and say ‘I’m sorry I’m awkward, my fault for fucking up the tours,’ ” André says. “I hated all the attention so I ran from it/ Fuck it if we did, but I hope we didn’t lose no fans from it.” (He also goes on to offer a few sorrowful words apparently intended for Erykah Badu, his former flame and the mother of his son, Seven.)
In an interview with Hot 97, Big Boi responded with some confusion to the verse, saying, “He’s apologizing for being awkward at shows? Apologize for turning down a million dollars a night.” It’s sad that we only get to hear the two interact with each other through separate songs and interviews—but at least that hasn’t stopped them each from putting out, every once in a while, great new music.