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The lyrics are a message to the mother of singer Erykah Badu. Andre 3000 (Andre Benjamin), one of the rappers in the group, had a child with Badu out of wedlock named Seven Sirius Benjamin. He wanted Badu's mother to hear his side of the story, as he felt he was being portrayed as a bad father. He felt Badu kept him away from their child on purpose.
Andre 3000 explained in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “I probably would never come out and tell Erykah's mom, 'I'm sorry for what went down.' But music gives you the chance to say what you want to say. And her mom loved it. She's like, 'Where's my publishing check?'"
"Ms. Jackson" is a name Outkast made up. Badu's mother is really named Kolleen Wright. She knew it was about her the first time she heard it.
An intro at the beginning of the song dedicates it to "baby's mamas' mamas'."
Outkast performed this at the 2002 Grammy Awards complete with a full band, backup singers, and stage full of children playing on a playground.
This won the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by Duo or Group. Outkast also won for Best Rap Album.
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