In 1992, when they were both just 16, André “3000? Lauren Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” André Patton met at Lenox Square mall in Atlanta. Benjamin and Patton both attended Tri-Cities High School, and eventually they teamed up in a duo they called “2 Shades Deep.”
The name was already taken, though, so they chose “The Misfits.” Which, predictably, was also already taken. Resorting to the thesaurus, they chose a synonym for misfit and became OutKast. They signed to LaFace Records the same year, and appeared on TLC’s “What About Your Friends.” OutKast’s first single, “Player’s Ball,” was released in 1993, and by 2011 about 25 million copies of their eight albums had been sold worldwide.
An interesting trivia point: OutKast were sued by Rosa Parks in 1999; the case was based on a perceived misappropriation of Parks’ name, and the song also contained a few obscenities that she didn’t really appreciate. The case was dismissed, then appealed by Johnnie Cochran, then dismissed for appeal by the Supreme Court in 2003.