“Ms. Jackson” by Outkast
In “Ms. Jackson”, Outkast’s Andre 3000, apologizes to the mother of his child’s mother, for all the pain he has caused. Aside the apology, the rapper tells his side of the story, seemingly to disprove the wrong perceptions this “Ms. Jackson” has of him.
Big Boi hits on the reality most men face by suggesting that some baby mama’s tend to take advantage of child support to spend the money on themselves instead. He expresses that most men are responsible and truly want to take care of their children but hesitate to do so because of the behavior of these women.
Andre continues the verses by speaking of the abrupt end to his relationship with the mother of his child despite his hopes of a future with her. He regrets all the sorrow caused by his mistakes and the possible impact on his son who would have to cope with parents who are not a couple. In the end, he accepts that the past cannot be changed and looks forward to becoming the best father possible to his son.
Inspiration for “Ms. Jackson”
This classic was actually an indirect apology to Ms. Kolleen Wright (Ms Jackson) , mother of singer Erykah Badu.
That said, it’s important we mention that Andre and Erykah began a romantic relationship somewhere in 1995. The relationship led to Andre fathering a son with Badu named Benjamin in 1997. By 1999, the couple separated.
Andre, touching on the inspiration behind the song said the song details the reaction of the mother of a young girl he got pregnant; a real life situation he faced after having a baby with former girlfriend, Erykah Badu.
Erykah confirmed that the honesty revealed in Andre’s verse was inspiring enough for her mother to embrace the fact that the song was mainly about her. Interestingly enough, Erykah’s mother even got a license plate with the inscriptions “Ms Jackson” on it. Simply put, she liked the song!
Who wrote “Ms. Jackson”?
Andre 3000 and his fellow Outkast member Big Boi penned “Ms. Jackson” along with music producer Mr. DJ of Earthone III fame. And by the way, Earthone III is a music production trio that comprises of Andre, Big Boi and Mr. DJ. “Ms. Jackson” was produced by this production trio.
Does “Ms. Jackson” make use of samples?
Yes. Actually this classic samples two songs, one of which is Billy Paul’s classic hit “Me and Mrs. Jones”. The other is “Shuggie Otis’ 1971 song “Strawberry Letter 23”.
Owing to this, in certain publications, the writers of the above mentioned songs are also credited as writers of “Ms. Jackson”.
When did Outkast release this song?
The 17th of October, 2000 was the date on which RCA and Artista Records officially released “Ms. Jackson”. It was the second single Outkast released from their fourth studio album entitled “Stankonia”.
“Ms. Jackson” ruled the Charts!
“Ms. Jackson” was an instant hit for Outkast. Shortly after its release, it flew to the number 1 spot in multiple countries, including the United States. Upon hitting position number 1 on America’s Billboard Hot 100, “Ms. Jackson” became Outkast’s first song to achieve that amazing feat. Other countries where it soared to number 1 include Germany, Norway and the Netherlands. In the United Kingdom, it peaked at the second spot on the UK Singles Chart.
Did “Ms. Jackson” win a Grammy Award?
Yes. It won the duo the Grammy for the “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group” at the 44th Grammys held in February, 2002. The track’s album (“Stankonia”) also won a Grammy in 2002. It won in the category of the “Best Rap Album”.
Has this Outkast classic been sampled by other artists?
Yes, it has. It has actually been sampled many times. One notable example of a song that samples this classic is DJ Khaled’s 2019 collabo with SZA titled “Just Us”.