Outkast – Hey Ya!

First Hit #1: December 13, 2003

We wrap up 2003 with Outkast, with a song that has plenty of things lurking under the surface of an otherwise glossy pop track. There’s a certain obsession with the past, made explicit in the video, but more subtle in the call and response of some of the lyrics and references to obsolete technology – Polaroids were largely irrelevant by 2003, but are referenced in the song’s most famous line. Then again, obsolescence is a theme, the relationship depicted in the song is basically the Polaroid camera – beautiful and wonderful for a time, in its death throws in 2003. The lyrics themselves are basically about a couple lying to themselves and others, stuck in a relationship that they stay in out of obligation, but since the song is so upbeat and silly it kind of paints the opposite picture. Hey Ya is a lie, a beautiful, catchy, wonderful song about something that is working its way to an ugly ending.

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One Response to Outkast – Hey Ya!

  1. RBerman says:

    Heh, I never saw this video. Love the Ed Sullivan/Beatles homage, even down to the “He’s still single!” card, details surely lost on 99% of the target audience. The best thing about the song is its willingness to commit to the frequent 2/4 measures scattered throughout. I wish more pop songs were so musically adventurous to experiment with tempo, key, or time signature. The large mass of I/V/VI/IV songs on the radio just run together into mush over time, and songs like this are a wonderful antidote.

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