OutKast Could Have Prevented Janet Jackson Super Bowl Fiasco

Big Boi of Outkast hit up ESPN’s The Dan Le Batard Show Thursday and revealed that the duo was once asked to perform at the Super Bowl, but what would have been an epic performance didn’t push through because André 3000 refused to cut down his songs to fit the allotted time space, The Huff Post reports. The songs that André refused to shorten were “Hey Ya” and “The Way You Move,” and organizers were not willing to give enough time for both songs to be performed in full.

“[André ] didn’t want to cut the songs, he wanted to do the full songs. He said, ‘Nah, can’t do it’,” Big Boi said. “We look at it now and we laugh. Hopefully they invite us back.”

Perhaps they laugh about it now because had they said yes, they might have prevented “Nipplegate,” which was the infamous 2004 “wardrobe malfunction” between Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. While Big Boi didn’t say when Outkast were asked to perform, the group had two hit songs out at the time; 2003’s “The Way You Move” and “Hey Ya!” were both released at a time when Super Bowl organizers were booking at-the-moment artists who had top tracks that were no more than a few years old.

Super Bowl XXXVIII: Panthers v Patriots
(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

As Forbes notes, Janet’s halftime show at Super Bowl XVIII has gone down in history “as one of the most memorable incidents since the creation of television.” When Timberlake neared the end of his single “Rock Your Body” and tore off a piece of Janet’s bustier, more than 140 million people saw her exposed breast, and the display was the topic of conversation for weeks. The incident became worldly known as “Nipplegate.”

The halftime show also brought together several of 2004’s biggest music stars, including Britney Spears, Kid Rock, Nelly, and P. Diddy. The FCC received a record number of complaints following “Nipplegate,” and the NFL, CBS, and MTV (who executive produced the show) were forced to change their policies on working with artists on live events. CBS barely escaped a $500k fine for the incident, and the network issued a statement expressing gratitude for the Supreme Court’s decision.

“At every major turn of this process, the lower courts have sided with us,” the network said in a statement. “And now that the Supreme Court has brought this matter to a close, we look forward to the FCC heeding the call for the very balanced enforcement which was the hallmark of the commission for many, many years.”

Andre 3000, Big Boi
(Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

As the NME notes, OutKast performed for a number of shows last year, including hitting up the Coachella stage for their first performance in 10 years. Although rumors and comments following their reunion hinted that André wasn’t entirely happy with it, and the rapper himself later admitted that he did it mainly for the money.

“I didn’t wanna do the tour. We hadn’t performed in 10 years. It was old songs,” André told the Fader. “I’m like, How am I gonna present these songs? I don’t have nothing new to say. So I was like, maybe I can start saying new stuff while doing these old songs. It became a theme where I was more excited about this than the actual show.”

He continued, “I’m 39, I got a 17-year-old kid, and I gotta support certain things. And my partner Big Boi is like, ‘This is a great thing for all of us.’ So I felt like there was a certain sell-out in a way, because I didn’t wanna do it—I knew I was doing it for a reason. So maybe if I’m telling people, ‘I am selling out,’ then it’s not as bad as pretending.”

In related news, October 31 marked the 15th anniversary of OutKast’s Stankonia, and MTV released a Stankonia documentary to commemorate the occasion, which explores the legacy of the groundbreaking album. The doc also includes commentary from Big Boi and André and includes rare footage. Check it out below.

[Image Courtesy Theo Wargo/Donald Miralle/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images]

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