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Outkast ATLast The summer of 1996 was the heyday for the city of Atlanta. It went from a growing city, to the capital of the south in business and culture. The summer of 96 put Atlanta on the map in a number of different ways. The first and most obvious event to happen was the 96 Olympics. The Games changed the entire landscape of the city. New housing was built for the athletes, which later became dorms for two different universities in the city. New stadiums were built which later became the homes for Atlanta’s pro sports teams. Parks, restaurants, and numbers of other forms of entertainment popped up all over the city. Atlanta was booming. The second major event that happened in summer of 96 was Atlanta finally breaking through in the Hip-hop community. I know that seems crazy now but in 96 Hip-hop was a growing force in music that truthfully only had major artists out of New York or California. But in August of that summer, Outkast released their second album, ATLiens. Thrusting them into key players in the music world. After the summer of 96 everyone knew about Atlanta. [ezcol_1third] [caption id="attachment_1081" align="alignright" width="246"]Andre 3000 at Outkast ATLast Andre 3000 at Outkast ATLast[/caption] [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Now fast forward 18 years. It’s 2014 and Outkast has gone from stars to living legends, and two of Atlanta’s favorite children. Yet they've been on an almost eight year hiatus from working, and touring together. So when they announced a show in Atlanta, #Outkast #ATLast, the three night event sold out in a matter of seconds. The location being in Centennial Olympic Park, a park built for the Olympics in the heart of downtown. The site of the Eric Rudolph bombing during the 96 games. [/ezcol_2third_end] [ezcol_2third]Walking into the park, it felt more like a celebration of the city than a concert. People decked out in all sorts of Atlanta gear. A sea of Braves hats, Hawks shirts, and Falcons jerseys filled the crowd. The World of Coke, Georgia Aquarium, and the CNN center where just some of the buildings in the backdrop of the venue. When looking around you can truly understand the melting pot that is Atlanta, and how far Outkast’s reach was. The fans were a combination of race, age and culture. Inner city meets suburbs and everything in the middle. [/ezcol_2third] [ezcol_1third_end] [caption id="attachment_1082" align="alignright" width="246"]Andre 3000 and Big Boi at Outkast ATLast Big Boi and Andre 3000 at Outkast ATLast[/caption] [/ezcol_1third_end] [ezcol_1third] [caption id="attachment_1083" align="alignright" width="246"]Big Boi and Andre 3000 at Outkast ATLast Big Boi and Andre 3000 at Outkast ATLast[/caption] [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]The openers for the event changed every night. I’m sure whichever night you attended, you were convinced you had the best experience. Artist like: Janelle Monae, Kid Cudi, Childish Gambino, 2 Chainz, Future, Bun B, and the entire Dungeon Family. Finally, after a couple of different sets, the openers would leave, and ATLast, Andre 3000 and Big Boi graced the stage. Going through a setlist of their greatest hits, the duo crushed every song. Dre was smooth, lively and humorous, taking the time to add in some jokes between songs. Big was gracious and energetic; between songs he would constantly ask the crowd if we were having a good time. How could you not answer, “Yes!”? The emotional roller-coaster of songs ended and the dream team left the stage. Not going too far the crowd hoped, as they begin yelling for an encore. The same way a slow clap builds you can hear a faint chant of the Atlanta Braves’ Tomahawk Chop. It grows, and takes over the whole crowd. Even the encore chant becomes a celebration of our city. Outkast comes back for one last song (Whole World) and then that was it. Who knows the next time we’ll see those two back home on an Atlanta stage? As we turned to walk out of the park, looking at the Atlanta skyline, it was something we would remember, “Forever, forever ever, forever ever.”[/ezcol_2third_end]    


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