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Big Boi and André 3000 of Outkast (image via Sony)

What is the highest-selling rap album of all time? Details explored

Outkast, the rap duo of André 3000 and Big Boi from Atlanta, is considered as one of the best hip-hop groups in the history of the genre. They reached a new milestone in their journey when their album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below became the highest-selling rap album of all time as of October 2023.

With 13 million copies sold, the album from 2003 stands as the top-selling rap album of all time and was certified 13 times platinum. It outperformed Eminem's The Eminem Show from 2002, which achieved 12x platinum sales last year.


Outkast is up there with the legends of hip-hop such as Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., Lauryn Hill, Eminem and Nas. It has been 17 years since the duo released a studio album, but their music remains timeless, consistently topping the best-selling charts for years after its initial debut.

Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is one of the most influential Double Albums in Hip-Hop

The album cover of the Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Image via Arista Records)

The fifth studio album by American hip-hop duo Outkast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, was released by Arista Records on September 23, 2003. Released as a double album, the duration of over two hours is divided between two individual recordings by each member of the ensemble. André 3000's The Love Below is a psychedelic, pop, funk, electro, and jazz album, whereas Big Boi's Speakerboxxx is a Southern hip-hop record with a P-Funk influence.


With songs like Hey Ya! and The Way You Move topping the charts for weeks after the debut of the album, it was no surprise that Speakerboxxx/The Love Below received the Album of The Year Award and the Best Rap Album award in the 2004 Grammy Awards.

While genre barriers have largely disappeared in the streaming world of today, Outkast broke free from their lane in 2003 when other famous musicians did not.

The Love Below shows no signs of being boxed in, swinging confidently and stylishly between big band crooning (Love Hater), celestial neo-soul (Prototype), and twitchy electro (Vibrate). Whether it's the explosive rap-rock of Bust, the mariachi-tinged hip-hop of The Rooster, or the P-funk influence in Last Call, the more concentrated Speakerboxxx also keeps listeners on the edge of their seats.

Even with such a long runtime, the album does not sound boring to the listeners and offers more creative bursts than the majority of the duo's contemporaries have managed to do in an entire career.


Big Boi took to Instagram to celebrate the newfound success of the album and wrote:

"Over 13 Million albums sold … Outkast is everlasting. Stank You Smelly Much …To All Y’all."

It has been 20 years since the release of the Speakerboxxx/The Love Below on September 23, 2023. The album celebrated reaching the 13X Platinum milestone on October 2, 2023.

André 3000 from Outkast debuted his first solo album on November 17, 2023


With the fame and success of Outkast behind him, André 3000 has ventured into a new style of music with his latest album titled New Blue Sun. The new album is purely instrument-based and a departure from his usual tinkering with the genre of hip-hop. The album was released across platforms on November 17, 2023.

André's flute playing takes center stage in his new instrumental album, New Blue Sun, which is co-produced by Carlos Niño. The most important component of his music is the wind. André had a fascination with wind instruments at least two decades ago. While he experimented with bass and guitars, he preferred the sound of flutes and saxophones.


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Edited by
Yukta Baruah
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