Outkast’s ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’ becomes highest-selling hip-hop album of all time

Written by on October 4, 2023

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Outkast now has the biggest-selling hip-hop album in music history. On Friday, Sept. 29, the Recording Industry Association of America officially certified the group’s 2003 album, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” as 13 times platinum.

“Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” surpassed Eminem’s “The Eminem Show,” which is 12 times platinum, according to RIAA.

Outkast, the duo of Big Boi (left) and André 3000 (right), now have the biggest-selling hip-hop album of all time, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.” Above, the two perform in 2014 at Lollapalooza in Chicago. (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Outkast’s Big Boi commemorated the occasion with an Instagram post last week. He posted a video of himself unwrapping a 13x platinum plaque of “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” on the weekend of its 20th anniversary.

“Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” is only one of only seven hip-hop albums to be certified diamond, meaning 10 million units sold or more. 2Pac‘s “All Eyez On Me” (1996) and “Greatest Hits’ (2000), as well as The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Life After Death” (1997) and Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP” (2000) are each 11 times platinum. Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” (1998), Beastie Boys’ “License to Ill” (1986) and Eminem’s “Curtain Call: The Hits” are each at 10 million units sold.

The Atlanta duo released “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” as a double album, with each CD as solo recordings from Big Boi and Andre 3000, respectively.

Big Boi’s “Speakerboxxx” disc expanded on the fusion of hip-hop and funk the group had pioneered in the 1990s, featuring guest artists like Jay-Z, Killer Mike and Ludacris. For “The Love Below,” Andre 3000’s music was more experimental. The lauded MC opted to sing on most of the tracks, rapping on only two of the disc’s 21 tracks — “Valentine’s Day” and “A Day in the Life of Benjamin André (Incomplete). His guests included Norah Jones and Kelis.

The album, Outkast’s fifth, became an instant hit. “The Way You Move” and “Hey Ya!” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the duo won three Grammy Awards, including for album of the year. Hill’s “Miseducation” LP is the only other hip-hop album to win that award.

Following the success of “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” Outkast released one more album, 2006’s “Idlewild.” Since then, Big Boi has sustained an acclaimed solo career, releasing three solo and two collaborative albums with Phantogram and Sleepy Brown, respectively. Andre has yet to release a solo project since, but has rapped as a featured artist for several others, including Rick Ross, Kanye West and Frank Ocean.

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