Idlewild (Outkast album)

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Studio album / soundtrack by OutKast
Released August 22, 2006
Recorded 2005–2006
Genre Hip hop, blues, R&B, jazz, soul
Length 77:52
Label LaFace, Jive
Producer André 3000 (also exec.), Big Boi (also exec.), Chuck Lightning, Janelle Monáe, Jeminesse Smith, Kevin Kendrick, Nate "Rocket" Wonder, Mr. DJ, Organized Noize, Whild Peach
OutKast chronology
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Singles from Idlewild
  1. "Mighty O"
    Released: June 27, 2006
  2. "Morris Brown"
    Released: August 14, 2006
  3. "Idlewild Blue (Don'tchu Worry 'Bout Me)"
    Released: November 9, 2006
  4. "Hollywood Divorce"
    Released: November 6, 2006
  5. "The Train"
    Released: December 5, 2006

Idlewild is the sixth studio album by American hip hop duo OutKast, released August 22, 2006 on LaFace Records. It also serves as the soundtrack album to the duo's musical film of the same name, released by Universal Pictures in August 2006. Containing themes relating to the music industry, the album also features songs not included in the film and incorporates blues, R&B, jazz, and soul musical elements.

The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 196,000 copies in its first week. It achieved minimal international charting and produced five singles that attained moderate Billboard chart success. Despite mixed criticism towards its unconventional musical style and loose thematic structure, Idlewild received positive reviews from most music critics upon its release. The album has been certified platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of one million copies in the United States.


Though less a soundtrack and more of a companion album, the Idlewild album features seven songs from the Idlewild film: "Chronomentrophobia", "Makes No Sense at All", "PJ and Rooster", "Greatest Show on Earth", "When I Look in Your Eyes", and, from the end credits, "Morris Brown". Two snippets of film dialogue are also included on the album as interludes. The rest of the songs performed in the film were included on the earlier OutKast LPs Big Boi and Dre Present...Outkast and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. In an interview for Billboard, Big Boi stated "This is an OutKast album. It isn't like a soundtrack where we go get this person or that person".[1]

The first single of the album, "Mighty 'O'", features both André 3000 and Big Boi; the song takes its lyrical hook from the Cab Calloway song "Minnie the Moocher" ("Mighty-ighty-ighty O") and seems to be an example of the album's mix of hip hop and more traditional American jazz and blues. Next, similar to previous OutKast albums such as Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, two singles—one solely by Big Boi, the other solely by André 3000—were released simultaneously. The second single, almost exclusively featuring Big Boi, is the marching band–influenced "Morris Brown", featuring guest artists Sleepy Brown and Scar, both artists on Big Boi's Purple Ribbon label. The song's title is a reference to Atlanta's Morris Brown College, with the school's marching band providing the instrumentation.

The third single, André 3000's "Idlewild Blue (Don'tchu Worry 'Bout Me)" delves into the blues genre, complete with a blues-style acoustic guitar riff and a harmonica element reminiscent of Aquemini single "Rosa Parks". In tune with the film, Idlewild reflects OutKast's original style tempered by 1930s influences. The fourth single, "Hollywood Divorce" was released in November 2006, and features verses from Lil' Wayne and Snoop Dogg and is produced by André 3000.

Commercial performance[edit]

Originally planned for early 2005, Idlewild '​s release date was pushed to December 2005, before being delayed into 2006.[1] The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 196,000 copies.[2] It also entered at number one on Billboard '​s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums,[3] at number one on the Top Rap Albums,[4] and at number two on the Top Digital Albums chart.[5] The album dropped to number seven on the Billboard 200, selling 78,000 copies in its second week.[6] It spent nine weeks on the Billboard 200.[7] In the United Kingdom, Idlewild debuted at number 16 on the UK Albums Chart.[8] It fell to number 28 in its second week on the chart.[9] While it charted wihin the top-twenty in several other countries, the album spent a minimal amount of weeks on most charts.[10][11]

On August 26, 2006, the album was certified platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, following shipments in excess of one million copies in the United States.[12] It was certified gold in sales by the Canadian Recording Industry Association in November 2006.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[14]
Robert Christgau A[15]
Entertainment Weekly C+[16]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[17]
NME 8/10[18]
Pitchfork Media 6.7/10[19]
Q 4/5 stars[20]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[21]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[22]
Uncut 4/5 stars[23]

Idlewild received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 72, based on 30 reviews.[24] Q called it "a dazzling album",[20] while Ben Williams of New York found it "entertaining and surprisingly consistent".[25] The Guardian '​s Alexis Petridis wrote that it "bulges with brilliant ideas... Ambitious but flawed, at turns stunning, maddening and confusing".[17] NME magazine's Dan Martin responded favorably to what he felt other critics might find "a bit long and uneven and self-indulgent".[18] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone compared Idlewild to Prince's Parade (1986), while praising its "deeply eccentric richness" and calling it "so suave on the surface, it takes a few spins to absorb how radical it is".[21] Although she felt it lacked cohesion and a "clear message", Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times found the album "sonically challenging and lyrically wide-ranging", including songs for "contemplation and booty-shaking".[26] In his consumer guide for MSN Music, Robert Christgau called Idlewild "a joyous mishmash" and praised each OutKast-member's distinct performance: "from the mainstream hip-hop Big Boi articulates with so much muscle to the retro swing Andre sings just fine, they sound happy to parade their mastery".[15] Uncut described it as "Stylish and substantial, it's a deft masterpastiche that dissolves history for its own entertainment".[23] Mojo stated, "Every time you think you've got Idlewild figured out, it zips off in a totally unexpected new direction".[23]

In a negative review for the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim DeRogatis viewed the album as unfocused and stated, "it's all about heavy-handed, faux Scott Joplin ragtime piano; showy but lame Cab Calloway horn arrangements; fake Rudy Vallee crooning (courtesy of Benjamin's nasal, off-key whine) and ultra-hammy vaudeville shucking and jiving".[27] The Washington Post '​s J. Freedom du Lac noted a "creative schism" in the duo and wrote, "For all of its flashes of greatness -- the brassy marching-band rap of 'Morris Brown', the psychedelic hip-hop flashback 'Train', the Stevie Wonder-inspired acoustic blues number 'Idlewild Blue (Don'tchu Worry 'Bout Me)' -- the staggeringly eclectic 'Idlewild' includes too much filler and too many outright stink bombs to deserve a place alongside the best pop offerings of 2006, let alone  '​Aquemini '​, et al".[28] Preston Jones of Slant Magazine called it "frustrating, uneven, and strained ... an interesting failure".[22] Spin magazine's Charles Aaron called it "a perplexing album", despite how it "grasps for a distinctive sound, departing almost entirely from rap per se" in favor of music from "the jazz/jump blues from the film's '30s/40's demimonde, as well as shades of Prince's most fitfully eclectic periods".[29]

Track listing[edit]

Writing and production credits for Idlewild adapted from[30]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro"       2:12
2. "Mighty 'O'"   André Benjamin, Antwan Patton, Cab Calloway, Clarence Gaskill, Dave Robbins, Irving Mills, Patrick Brown, Ray Murray, Rico Wade Organized Noize 4:16
3. "Peaches" (featuring Sleepy Brown & Scar) Patton, Marvin Parkman, Mike Hardnett, P. Brown, Preston Crump, Murray, Wade, Terrence Smith Organized Noize 3:10
4. "Idlewild Blue (Don'tchu Worry 'Bout Me)"   Benjamin André 3000 3:24
5. "Infatuation" (Interlude)     0:48
6. "N2U" (featuring Khujo) Patton, Mike Patterson, P. Brown, Murray, Wade, Robert Manzoli, Wallace Khatib, Willie Knighton Organized Noize 3:40
7. "Morris Brown" (featuring Scar & Sleepy Brown) Benjamin, Patton, T. Smith André 3000 4:24
8. "Chronomentrophobia"   Benjamin André 3000 2:12
9. "The Train" (featuring Sleepy Brown & Scar) Patton, David Brown, Joi Gilliam, Kevin Kendrick, Myrna Crenshaw, P. Brown, T. Smith Big Boi 4:09
10. "Life Is Like a Musical"   Benjamin André 3000 2:14
11. "No Bootleg DVDs" (Interlude)     0:50
12. "Hollywood Divorce" (featuring Lil Wayne & Snoop Dogg) Benjamin, Patton, Calvin Broadus, Dwayne Carter André 3000 5:23
13. "Zora" (Interlude)     0:16
14. "Call the Law" (featuring Janelle Monáe) Patton, Charles Joseph II, Janelle Robinson, Nathaniel Irvin III Nate "Rocket" Wonder, Big Boi (co.), Chuck Lightning (co.), Janelle Monáe (co.) 4:51
15. "Bamboo & Cross" (Interlude)     0:55
16. "Buggface"   Patton, David Sheats, Jeminesse Smith Jeminesse Smith, Mr. DJ 2:45
17. "Makes No Sense at All"   Benjamin André 3000 2:53
18. "In Your Dreams" (featuring Killer Mike & Janelle Monáe) Patton, Robinson, P. Brown, Murray Organized Noize 3:34
19. "PJ & Rooster"   Benjamin, Patton André 3000 4:27
20. "Mutron Angel" (featuring Whild Peach) Patton, D. Brown, M. Brown Whild Peach 4:18
21. "Greatest Show on Earth" (featuring Macy Gray) Benjamin André 3000 3:06
22. "You're Beautiful" (Interlude)     0:29
23. "When I Look in Your Eyes"   Benjamin, Kendrick Kevin Kendrick 2:43
24. "Dyin' to Live"   Benjamin André 3000 2:07
25. "A Bad Note"   Benjamin, Kendrick André 3000 8:47
  • In the album booklet, the producer for "A Bad Note" is listed as Johnny Vulture, which actually stands as a nickname for André 3000.
Sample Credits
  • "Mighty 'O" contains a portion of the composition "Minnie the Moocher" - written by Cab Calloway, Clarence Gaskill and Irving Mills - as performed by Cab Calloway.
  • "Peaches" contains a sample from "Cuss Words" as performed by Too Short.
  • "The Train", "Call the Law", "Buggface" and "PJ & Rooster" contain dialogue from the film Idlewild.


Credits for Idlewild adapted from Allmusic.[31]

Chart history[edit]

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
The Phoenix by Lyfe Jennings
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums number-one album[3][32]
September 9, 2006 - September 15, 2006
Succeeded by
Best Thang Smokin' by Young Dro
Preceded by
Port of Miami by Rick Ross
US Billboard Rap Albums number-one album[4][33]
September 9, 2006 - September 15, 2006
Succeeded by
Best Thang Smokin' by Young Dro


  1. ^ a b Mitchell, Gail. Outkast's 'Idlewild' Bumped To Next Year. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  2. ^ Hasty, Katie. Danity Kane Sidesteps OutKast To Claim No. 1. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  3. ^ a b c R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - Week of September 09, 2006. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  4. ^ a b c Rap Albums - Week of September 09, 2006. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  5. ^ Digital Albums - Week of September 09, 2006. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  6. ^ Hasty, Katie. Dylan Earns First No. 1 Album Since 1976. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  7. ^ a b Chart History: OutKast - Billboard 200. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  8. ^ a b Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive - 2nd September 2006. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  9. ^ Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive - 9th September 2006. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Album Performance: Idlewild. acharts. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  11. ^ a b Billboard Albums: Idlewild. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  12. ^ a b Gold & Platinum - Searchable Database: Idlewild. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on 2010-05-09.
  13. ^ a b Search Certification Database: Idlewild. Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  14. ^ Kellman, Andy. Review: Idlewild. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  15. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: Idlewild". MSN Music: December 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-10-10.
  16. ^ Kot, Greg (2006-08-25). Review: Idlewild. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  17. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis. Review: Idlewild. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  18. ^ a b Martin, Dan. Review: Idlewild. NME. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  19. ^ Harvell, Jess. Review: Idlewild. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  20. ^ a b Columnist. "Review: Idlewild". Q: 124. October 2006.
  21. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (2006-08-23). Review: Idlewild. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  22. ^ a b Jones, Preston. Review: Idlewild. Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-07-30.
  23. ^ a b c Idlewild (2006): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-07-09.
  24. ^ Idlewild (2006): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-07-09.
  25. ^ Williams, Ben. Review: Idlewild. New York. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  26. ^ Powers, Ann. Review: Idlewild. Los Angeles Times. Archived on 2010-05-10.
  27. ^ DeRogatis, Jim. Review: Idlewild. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  28. ^ Lac, J. Freedom du. Review: Idlewild. The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  29. ^ Aaron, Charles. "Review: Idlewild". Spin: 99. September 2006.
  30. ^ OutKast - Idlewild (CD, Album). Retrieved on 2011-04-29.
  31. ^ Credits: Idlewild. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-05-10.
  32. ^ Top Hip-Hop and R&B Albums & Charts – Week of September 16, 2006. Billboard. Retrieved on 2011-04-29.
  33. ^ Rap Albums – Week of September 16, 2006. Billboard. Retrieved on 2011-04-29.

External links[edit]