The idea was too good to be true, but they tried their best to make it happen: two of the greatest rap groups of all time, Outkast and A Tribe Called Quest, almost made an album together.
On a recent episode of Ebro In The Morning, Peter Rosenberg asked Big Boi about how he felt about Phife Dawg's death last March. When answering the question, Big Boi said that the two groups had planned to create one of the biggest supergroups ever - and that they actually began to put the album together.
"We were talking about doing a Tribe Called Kast album, with Outkast and A Tribe Called Quest. It was real. Not [just] a conversation - Q-Tip flew to Atlanta, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, we all met at Dre's house," Big Boi said. "We got to the point of picking out beats for the album. Then, some kind of way, everybody started doing [their own] stuff, and then Phife [died]. ... [But] it definitely was happening."
While the Outkast/A Tribe Called Quest album never happened, we're going to get the next best thing: Big Boi said he plans to release songs that he completed with Phife Dawg before Phife passed away.
"We actually have a couple records that me and Phife did together. Oh yeah. I'm going to put them out, too," he said, adding that they knew each other when Outkast was working on their first album. "...When he came to the studio and played me some records, like, 'I got the joints, me and you. A couple of joints where we go back and forth, line for line.' I said, cool. So I've got that in the vault."
Andre 3000 first revealed the origins of an Outkast and Tribe Called Quest collaborative album last year, at a memorial service for Phife Dawg at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City. He said that he regretted that they never did it.
"Please people, don’t let the time go by because you never know. That’s one of the biggest things that I regret now," Andre said. "For whatever reason, we didn’t do it. It was on our plate and we let it go for our own personal reasons or whatever.”
Still, both acts are continuing the legacy of their respective groups. A Tribe Called Quest released We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service - their first album in nearly 20 years - in November 2016, and Big Boi released his latest solo album Boomiverse last week (June 16).