There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
OutKast’s Dre and Big Boi have a broader worldview than most of the rhymers you’ll hear in heavy rotation on hiphop radio. Sure, the Atlanta duo loves its ‘hood tales and Cadillac nights, but that stuff merely provides a starting point for songs about Middle American values. Consider some of OutKast’s recent hits: The narrator of “Ms. Jackson” only wants what’s best for the baby. The delicate irony of “So Fresh, So Clean” could apply equally to half-baked gangstas and guys who conspicuously use their new riding mowers. And “The Whole World” is essentially a singalong for folks who find themselves annoyed by the press. Anybody poking around for references to social activism and class warfare will have to be satisfied with occasional subtle references. And that’s exactly why OutKast is the perfect headliner for this year’s “Smokin’ Grooves” tour—Dre and Big can go suburban without really altering their game plan. Still, the pop charts are a relatively new phenomenon for the duo: The vibe of the older cuts on last year’s singles collection, especially “Elevators (Me & You),” is intended for a swampy hiphop nation where the people are more important than anything at an outlet mall. OutKast performs with Lauryn Hill, the Roots, Jurassic 5, Truth Hurts, and Cee-Lo at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Nissan Pavilion, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow. $25-$40.50. (202) 432-7328. (Joe Warminsky)