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"Ms. Jackson"
Single by OutKast
from the album Stankonia
B-side "Sole Sunday",
"Elevators (Me & You)"
Released January 16, 2001
Format 12", CD
Recorded 2000
Genre Alternative hip hop
Length 4:30 (Album Version)
4:03 (Radio Edit)
Label Arista
Writer(s) André Benjamin, Antwan Patton, David Sheats
Producer Earthtone III
Certification Gold
OutKast singles chronology
"B.O.B."
(2000)
"Ms. Jackson"
(2001)
"So Fresh, So Clean"
(2001)

"Ms. Jackson" is a song by OutKast and the second single from their fourth album Stankonia. It topped the U.S. charts for the week of February 17, 2001, and won a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. It also reached number one in Germany and number two in the United Kingdom, held from the top spot by Atomic Kitten's "Whole Again".

The titular "Ms. Jackson" is the real-life mother of Erykah Badu, André 3000's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his son Seven. The song discusses the problems that break-ups, separation, and divorce can have on a couple, and the animosity that a woman's mother can have for her daughter's former boyfriend or husband.

The single helped sell the album following mixed reaction to the lead single "B.O.B.", which failed to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and only reached #69 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[1]

The song samples "Strawberry Letter 23" by The Brothers Johnson (with pitch shifting and reversing) and features an altered version of a tune from "Bridal Chorus" from the opera Lohengrin by German composer Richard Wagner (also known as the "wedding march"), played on piano.

Contents

Music video

The video for "Ms. Jackson" features the two members of Outkast in an old house. Big Boi is cleaning a car, and Andre is making home improvements. The house is overrun with pets, mostly dogs, a cat, a snapping turtle, and an owl that, at times, seem to contribute to the song. Through camera effects, the pets are made to nod their heads to the song.

Soon it begins to rain, spoiling Big Boi's hard work. The light rain rapidly turns into a storm, lightning strikes the car and it explodes. Meanwhile, Andre attempts to keep the house, which has a roof littered with leaks, dry with the use of buckets. Big Boi attempts to climb the roof and fix the holes in the rain.

The lights go out in the house, creating yet another problem for Andre, who runs about trying to fix it. Big Boi, in a yellow raincoat, is on top of the roof and getting considerably more annoyed with his inability to complete the repairs.

The lights however, eventually return. Big Boi climbs down and joins Andre, helping with the rainwater. But the storm, ironically, clears almost instantly. The two stare up through a ceiling hole torn open by the storm, at the bright blue sky and shining sun.

The video works as a possible metaphor for the two artists' "stormy" relationships with the mothers of their children and their families (themes expressed by both artists in the song). The storm theme is alluded to in the song, particularly by Andre 3000:

Me and yo' daughter got a special thing going on
you say it's puppy love...we say it's full grown
hope that we feel this...feel this way forever
you can plan a pretty picnic but you can't predict the weather

Covers

Parodies

Formats and track listings

British 12" vinyl single
  1. "Ms. Jackson" – 4:30
  2. "Elevators (Me & You)" – 4:56
British CD single
  1. "Ms. Jackson" – 3:36
  2. "Elevators (Me & You)" – 4:56
  3. "Ms. Jackson" (video) – 4:58
European CD single
  1. "Ms. Jackson" (radio mix) – 4:03
  2. "Ms. Jackson" (instrumental) – 4:34
Australian CD single
  1. "Ms. Jackson" (Radio Mix) – 4:03
  2. "Ms. Jackson" (Instrumental) – 4:34
  3. "Sole Sunday [featuring Gooodie Mob]" (Radio Mix) - 4:41
  4. "Sole Sunday" (Instrumental) - 4:41

References

Preceded by
"It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy featuring Ricardo "Rikrok" Ducent
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
February 17, 2001
Succeeded by
"Stutter" by Joe featuring Mystikal
Preceded by
"I Wish" by R. Kelly
Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs number one single
December 16, 2000
Succeeded by
"Independent Women Part I" by Destiny's Child
Preceded by
"Danger (Been So Long)" by Mystikal featuring Nivea
Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs number one single
February 3, 2001
Succeeded by
"Stutter" by Joe featuring Mystikal
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