“The South got somethin’ to say.” These are the memorably prescient words that Andre 3000 uttered as he and his brother-in-rhyme Big Boi accepted OutKast’s Best New Artist trophy at the The Source Awards in the summer of 1995, on the strength of their masterful debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. The five years that followed proved that his declaration was spot-on, as the South did indeed rise to assume a more prominent role in the traditionally bicoastal hip-hop landscape by the end of the 20th century.
But while OutKast and their Atlanta brethren Goodie Mob became the recognizable faces and voices of the ascendant Atlanta hip-hop movement, three gentlemen behind the scenes – or rather, behind the boards – played the most instrumental role in defining and elevating the city’s southern-fried sound.
Comprised of Sleepy Brown, Ray Murray and Rico Wade, Organized Noize is the revered, yet all-too-often overlooked, production team whose immersive soul and funk drenched arrangements and Dungeon Family aesthetic blessed some of the greatest records – hip-hop, pop or otherwise – ever to emerge from the South. Beyond orchestrating Southernplayalistic and Goodie Mob’s classic first LP Soul Food, Organized Noize lended their inventive sonic wizardry to hit records such as TLC’s “Waterfalls,” OutKast’s “So Fresh, So Clean,” En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go (Love),” and Ludacris’ “Saturday (Oooh! Ooooh!),” among many others.
Premiering next month at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin before its Netflix launch on March 22nd, the new documentary film “The Art of Organized Noize” aims to solidify the threesome’s indelible musical legacy for generations to come. Produced by Quincy Jones III (a.k.a. QDIII) and executive produced by Queen Latifah through her Flavor Unit Entertainment production company, the film delves deep into the trio’s history and explores the inspirations behind their distinctive sound. In addition to capturing insights delivered from Organized Noize themselves, the documentary features interviews with 2 Chainz, Andre 3000, Big Boi, Big Gipp, CeeLo, Future, Joi, LA Reid, Ludacris, Puff Daddy, Pebbles, and more.
Watch the film’s trailer below, and then enjoy a handful of video clips culled from Organized Noize’s prolific production repertoire.