For me, ‘Ms. Jackson’ has been one of the most influential records of my time. Everyone knows the tune. Everyone knows the lyrics. Everyone remembers André 3000 and Big Boi standing in the music video, amidst rain, fire, raucous, and cute puppies playing piano. But, when it comes down to it, did we ever think about its true meaning? To be honest, I’ve never thought too hard about who Ms. Jackson really was, until now.
Erykah Badu, the mother of André’s 19-year-old son, has discussed her initial reaction to Outkast’s 2000 tune, admitting that she wasn’t initially a fan of the record. “It hit kind of a sore spot,” she told Rap Radar. “I didn’t wanna hear that… [but] when I heard Andre’s verse, I felt very good because his verse was really, really inspiring.” In the frank interview, Badu admitted that she’s always appreciated André’s honesty and vulnerability. In this manner, ‘Ms. Jackson’ can now be seen as a sort of reconciliation between past and present.
Oh, and what about Ms. Jackson herself? Badu described her mother’s enthusiasm at playing a role in the record. “Baby, she bought herself a Ms. Jackson licence plate,” recollects Badu. “She had the mug. She had the ink pen. She had the headband; everything. That’s who loved it.” Take a look at the candid chat in the gallery above. While you’re there, check out the OG ‘Ms. Jackson’ vid in all its glory, as well as Erykah’s own collab with André, ‘Hello’, from her 2015 mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone. Here’s to future collabs between the two, please and thank you.