1. So, you’re scrolling through Spotify’s new releases and you spot a new song by OutKast. OutKast!! “What?!?” you ask.
2. “A new OutKast song? Is this real life?”
At least, that was my reaction yesterday morning. I was browsing Spotify on my phone while waiting for the train and practically yelled out loud when I saw what could be a new OutKast song.
3. But, sadly, it’s not.
A quick listen revealed that 1) there are no vocals whatsoever on it, and 2) it’s an electronic dance song that sounds nothing like what you’d expect from Andre and Big Boi.
The song, called “Odd Ball,” is a glitchy dubstep number (punctuated with a Michael Jackson “Hee-hee!”).
5. “That would be insane if that happened,” Graham James, vice president of communications for Spotify in the U.S. told BuzzFeed. “We would make a much bigger deal out of it.”
James says that while most songs on Spotify come through music labels, “sometimes they can come through aggregators like Tunecore or CD Baby or something like that, where an artist will pay a set amount and their songs will go up on iTunes, Rdio, Spotify, Google, whatever.”
“It very rarely happens that somebody tries to be, like, “The OutKast” versus “OutKast” and tries to get something [from that],” James says. “But if it does happen, we’ll take it down and make sure it’s labeled properly.”
7. How does a song with a legitimate artist’s name get through?
“It’s difficult to say,” says James. “It might’ve just been one of those things where it just kinda went through [the system] and didn’t get picked up right away, and then they figured it out once you flagged it for us, or someone flagged it and it got taken care of. It so rarely happens.”
So what happens to this pseudo-OutKast? “[Spotify will] probably check to see how legit it is, if it’s a legit artist or…it could be just some unsigned person that has that name.”
8. In fact, the track also appears for sale on Google Play, but under the name “The Outkast.”
UPDATE: There’s not much information out there, and BuzzFeed originally thought it may be the work of Anthony Dwyer, aka DJ Anfcore from Australia, who had uploaded a bunch of remixes under the nickname “The Outkast” to his YouTube account. However, he responded to our inquiry and revealed that while he does share the same name, the song in question is not his.
“I had the [same] name due to the style of dub I was beginning to produce, I was considered an outkast for it by my mates!” Dwyer wrote to us in a message.
The creator of “Odd Ball” remains a mystery! And while you can still look up the song on Spotify, it’s been removed from the official OutKast artist page, as well as from the new releases in the “What’s New” section.
We also reached out to both Big Boi and Andre 3000’s reps, to see if they were aware of this mysterious “OutKast” single, but neither camp has yet responded.
It’s hard to say whether this is just a case of someone using the same styling of the word “outcast,” or deliberately trying to draw people in and slip through the cracks by using the same name. They certainly fooled me at first.