08. Outkast – Hey Ya!

Need more awesome? Listen to our FAVORITE SONGS OF 2014. Make sure you don't miss any tunes: FOLLOW US ON TWITTER.

08. Outkast   Hey Ya! Artwork by Adam Sarpalius

As 2009, and the decade come to a close, PMA will be looking back at our favorite songs of the last ten years. We will update a list with 75 empty slots until we reach that song that changed everything. You can keep track of this list by keeping an eye on this page. We make these lists in hopes that you guys will chime in the comments and share your favorite musical moments of the noughties.


08. Outkast   Hey Ya! One morning in late-September of 2003, I woke to my television on and tuned to MTV. (I must have been watching Real World/Road Rules Challenge the night before, the only reason to watch MTV at the time.) I turned over at saw Outkast’s Andre 3000 in eight incarnations, joyfully paying homage to the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. I listened in my semi-stupor, and as I turned over to fall back asleep I thought, God, I love this song. Only later did I realize I had never heard it before.

Such is the brilliance of “Hey Ya!,” a song whose instant likability belies a remarkable level of complexity and virtuosity. The song has been so ubiquitous, that its novelty is easily taken for granted. Its meter unexpectedly shifts between 4/4 and 2/4, giving it an odd, syncopated beat. The tempo, a brisk 160 BPM, never feels rushed, thanks to its bass line. Andre’s vocal spans a range of over an octave and a half, from its half-spoken verse to its giddy height at the chorus. Its lyric is responsible for adding idioms like “shake it like a Polaroid picture” into the vernacular. All told, no small feat for one single.

Repetition may have diminished its immediacy, but “Hey Ya!” remains a mini-masterpiece, and the defining instant-classic of the decade. -Peter Tabakis

What did you think?
 0  0  0  0
PMA_WIC_Chrome_Sparks
PMA Presents

Spend a Saturday with us on a boat.

READ MORE
operators
Music

Check out Dan Boeckner’s (of Wolf Parade, Handsome Firs, and Divine Fits) new new new band.

READ MORE
TWIN SHADOW
Music

…on the “Comedy Bang! Bang!” podcast.

READ MORE
1401136137000-ChancetheRapper-Sasquatch
Music

… to cover the Arthur theme song.

READ MORE
LIL-SILVA-MABEL
Music

The buzzy UK producer teams up with his most frequent collaborator.

READ MORE
wampire_bazaar
Music

The Portland-based outfit announce their new album

READ MORE
ggggee33
Videos

Hear the new single from the Radiohead drummer’s solo outfit

READ MORE
f7831f2f6d5f73b1357bfdd70200fea9
Music

Hear a new tear shit up anthem from Walking Legend

READ MORE
Radio 1's Hackney Weekend - London
Music

“Champagne Kisses” will most likely appear on her forthcoming new album Tough Love

READ MORE