Songs that lend a voice to the equestrian world in a way only music can.
I’ve never lived too close the place where I stable my horse. This means that every trip to see him is accompanied by a well-trod, half-hour minimum car ride. While for many this might seem like a drag, alone in my automobile is my absolute favorite place to really listen to music. And by now my readers should all know that is some seriously sacred time.
So yesterday, as I headed home from the horse, I flipped on the radio and asked the music gods, “What should I write about for this week’s 100% Sound?” And those music gods are just so good to me. The first thing that came blaring out of my speakers was OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” “Hazah!” I said (I’ve been saying that a lot since going to see Tournament of Kings in Las Vegas. It’s silly, I know.) “Of course. There’s my story.”
“Hey Ya!” and the entire OutKast catalogue, has recently seen a resurgence on commercial radio since the announcement about a week ago that the duo will embark on a headlining festival tour this year, beginning at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and continuing with dates throughout the spring and summer. While this rise in popularity makes sense, why should we equestrians care? I don’t imagine that “Hey Ya!” and the command to “shake it like a Polaroid picture,” immediately reads equestrian to everyone but the picture above should give you a hint. Allow me to explain.
“Hey Ya!” was released ten years ago, during a time when Total Request Live (TRL) still existed and more than a few people were still watching music videos. And in that moment, “Hey Ya!” was a real star. The video debuted on TRL on September 5, 2003 at number ten. It was number one on the countdown for 19 days and retired at number eight on November 24, after 50 days on the program. At the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards, the video won Video of the Year, Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Special Effects, and Best Art Direction. Just in case you still don’t remember this gem, here it is in all its glory.
Don’t adjust your TV set, er I mean Internet browser. You’re eyes are not deceiving you. This video features one-half of the OutKast duo, Andre “3000” Benjamin,” playing all eight members of The Love Below band, including a helmet and boot-clad trio called, “The Love Haters.” The concept for the video was a reverse British Invasion, where an American band, The Love Below, preforms on UK telly, rocking their world the way The Beatles did ours’ on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.
As for the green breeches on the back up singers, they were obviously not a part of the original Beatles’ performance. No, those came straight out of Andre’s closet. I’m serious! He designed them himself, and has coined their color “royal green.” In fact, the whole look was Andre’s creation, and was intended to be an updated version of the polo style, popularized by Ralph Lauren. Andre even asked Mr. Lauren to appear in the video with him! I guess Lauren turned down the offer though, which is too bad because he really could learn something from Andre’s modern eye for style.
Are you more than a little surprised to learn that a hip hop superstar aspires to design clothes for the polo set? It’s okay. It’ll make it that much more fun for you to read the second half of Andre’s story on Monday, in the next addition of Riding Habit Revised. Get ready for high tea at Harrods, West Side Story-styled rumbles down in Atlanta, and an entirely new outlook on the makings of a style rebel!
In the meantime, just try to imagine how amazing those sweet little polo uniforms are going to look when they finally find their way home to shake it on the fields of Coachella. Please, universe, make this a reality! I promise you all pictures, and we can all boldly declare “Hey Ya!” to be equestrian-tastic!
Just one more thing before I part. I can’t resist pointing out one more unexpected Counter-Canter Culture style-equestrian twist to this track. Listen closely, and you’ll hear Andre 3000 give a shout out to Lucy Liu, who just happens to currently play the role of Dr. Watson on CBS’s “Elementary,” and who also counts horseback riding as one of her eclectic off screen hobbies. Hazah!