Ms. Jackson

Album: Stankonia (2000)
Charted: 2 1
  • 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 tried all sorts of tricks in the studio, making many odd requests of their engineer John Frye. "Ms. Jackson" is underpinned with an entire track that was played back in reverse, giving it an unusual, distorted feel to mesh with the disquieting lyric. The reverse effect is most prominent on the percussion, especially the congas.
  • 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.
  • So what does Erykah Badu think of the iconic rap hit? Speaking to Rap Radar in 2016, she admitted, "It hit kind of a sore spot."

    Badu added: "I didn't wanna hear that, especially when I heard Big Boi's verse. When I heard Andre's verse, I felt very good because his verse was really, really inspiring. He just said how he felt and it was his honest feelings and I always respected that and listened to what he felt and appreciated it."
  • How did the real "Ms. Jackson," Erykah Badu's mother, Kolleen Maria Gipson, take being the subject of a hit song?

    "How did my mama feel? Baby, she bought herself a 'Ms. Jackson' license plate," Badu said. "She had the mug, she had the ink pen, she had the headband, everything. That's who loved it."
  • Outkast was well established on the rap scene and had charted a few modest Hot 100 hits, but "Ms. Jackson" brought them to the ears of listeners well outside of hip-hop. The tender, hooky song proved palatable to pop radio, and went to #1 in America. On their next album, they landed two more chart-toppers: "Hey Ya" and "The Way You Move."
  • The first promotional single from the Stankonia album was the far more aggressive "Bombs Over Baghdad (B.O.B.)," which gave their core fans the banger they were looking for. That one wasn't sold in stores and got little airplay, so it failed to chart. "Ms. Jackson" was released next.

Comments: 19

  • Megan from Stevenson, Al"I'm sorry Ms. Jackson! OHHHH!!!! I am fo real! Never meant meant to make yor daughter cry! I apologize a trillion times..." This is just great!
  • Geron from Louisville, Kyto Don from BG in KY. its not UNION girl its you and ya girl
  • Don from B G, KyA question about the LYRICS from the song: "Without a paddle, you left the straddle and ride this thing on out
    And the union girl aint speakin no more cuz my d_ck all in her mouth". Now who is the UNION GIRL in the song?
  • Mb from Newburgh, Nythis song is just like simon and garfunkle's mrs. robinson, the lyrics anyways, and also the movie The Graduate
  • G from Potomac, MdOriginal? 2 words for ya:
    Parliament. Funkadelic.
  • Age from C-ville, PaI completely agree with everyone here that doesn't like rap or hip hop. But Outkast is extremely talented and great songwriters. This song is complex and down to earth. One of the very few reasonable rap songs.
  • Maggie from High Bridge, Njthis is one of the best songs that i have ever heard. i'm just like a lot of the other people here, i don't listen to rap or hip-hop at all. i listen to country and classic rock. but this will always be one of my favorite songs. outkast are incredibly talented and original artists
  • Steve from Toronto, Ont., CanadaI really like this song because it points out a struggle that a lot of fathers face!
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesOriginal?! The melody in this song blatantly pilfers from Mike Oldfield's New Age classis "Ommadawn" (released in 1975). Not ahead of it's time, but nevertheless, I do like this song, it's SOOO catchy!
  • Linus from Hamilton, On, CanadaAt 3 minutes into the song, a wedding song can be very faintly heard
  • Dan from Lee, NhOutkast is the only truely great group still around except for The White Stripes. I know they're very different, but both are still awesome.
  • Marianna from Anchorage, AkI'm with everyone else on this one. I'm not a fan of hip hop or rap music, but Outkast is a-ok in my books :)
  • Katie from Miami, FlOutkast is original......and that what seperates them from other blaze hip hop artists. Andre 3000 is so way ahead of his time....very cool dude!
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandI agree with everyone. I'm a rocker myself (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Guns N' Roses, etc) but Outkast are amazing. Along with Public Enemy, Beastie Boys and Run DMC, they stand head and shoulders above all other hip-hop artists. Long may Outkast continue to brighten up our lives
  • Brendan from Colts Neck, Nji dont like rap or hip-hop at all, except for outkast. every song sounds different, and their lyrics are extremely good. plus... andre 3000 is way too cool for his own good.
  • Hunter from Atlanta, GaTo tell the truth, i don't like rap much at all, but Outkast is a great group. They are some of the only rap I listen to. They're original and have a great sound. It's pretty cool that they from Atlanta too.
  • Evan from Acworh, Gabeing from around atlanta where outkast is HUGE... i must say that this is one of their greatest songs ever! I love outkast and proud they're from georgia!!
  • Ally from Hamilton, OkI like outkast because they are original....they come up with the best lyrics and beats to their songs...i love it
    -Ally Hamilton,Ohio
  • Will from Mcallen , Txoutkast are the only rappers that have an original bone in thier bodies. all thier albums sound different from the last one and thier talent is limitless. they are true musicians.
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