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Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’ is 10 years old today! Here’s why it’s still so great

Posted at 8:00 am, November 22, 2013 in Music & Nightlife
© Becky Redman

Last week we unveiled the Music Team’s Top 100 Party Songs. Spoiler alert: number one is ‘Hey Ya!’ by Outkast. This leftfield R&B masterpiece, produced and sung by Andre 3000 (the more flamboyant half of the Atlanta hip hop outfit) is 10 years old today and it still makes us asthmatic with dancefloor appreciation. But just what gives the 2003 tune its mojo? Here’s ‘Hey Ya!’ deconstructed.hey ya more

20% sex

Andre takes a leaf out of Prince’s sticky book by, simply, putting it all out there. ‘Don’t want to meet your momma,’ he states. ‘Just want to make you come-ah!’ Orgasms all round!

40% shaking it
Specifically in the manner of a Polaroid picture. Boringly, this won’t actually hasten the speed at which your film develops, so why not simply jiggle with your Instagram app instead?

15% nonsense
A great party tune relies on the three ‘R’s: repetition, repetition and repetition. ‘Hey Ya!’ features its titular holler 25 times, as well as 19 ‘uh oh’s and 14 consecutive ‘alright’s. You just can’t argue with those numbers.

10% funk
The song’s gently strummed guitar and lovelorn lyrics touch the heart. But, it’s the body-shaking, P-funk bassline which bites the booty, reminding you to ‘get on the floor’.

15% audience interaction
Hand claps; call-and-response yowling; an invitation to the neighbourly lending of sugar: ‘Hey Ya!’ is as keen as a Butlin’s Red Coat to get you involved. Even the late, great Lou Reed was a fan, calling it ‘the perfect rock ’n’ roll song’. And what Lou says, goes.

Find out what the other 99 party tunes were at timeout.com/party.

 hey ya singer clap

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