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The dark and sad meaning behind Outkast's 'Hey Ya'

Tom Wood

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The dark and sad meaning behind Outkast's 'Hey Ya'

If you’ve ever sat around and listened properly to Outkast’s infectious pop hit ‘Hey Ya!’ have you ever considered that it’s actually a pretty sad song and has a deeper meaning than you might have thought? Here's a video that breaks it down for you - don't have her break this thing down for nothing.

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The song doesn’t exactly seem like it has a deep and sad meaning behind it, does it?

The tune is bouncy and light, it’s got a number of incredible hooks, and generally seems to be a pretty classic pop song.

When it was released back in 2003 it reached number one in a load of countries including the USA, peaking out at number three in the UK.

At the end of the 2000s, it finished 20th in the decade-ending charts as well.

All the while, no one knew what the true meaning of the whole thing was.

Until now, that is.

They all seem so happy in the video. Credit: YouTube/Outkast
They all seem so happy in the video. Credit: YouTube/Outkast

In a TikTok video, user @elizabethdevasto shared the song as part of a series she’s catchily titled ‘Songs that hit different when you know what they’re written about’.

In her video, she said: “André 3000 actually wrote this about modern-day relationships and how messed up they are.

“In the beginning of the song, he even references his own relationship; how his baby doesn’t wanna leave him, how he doesn’t really know what the reason is behind it.”

The band themselves have addressed this too.

Back in 2021, the official Outkast Twitter account shared a post that read: “Alright alright alright alright alright we made one.”

The picture underneath showed a shot of Andre 3000 in the song’s video with his head divided up into two parts.

The smallest part was labelled ‘a bop’ and the largest part was labelled ‘the saddest song ever written’.

The song has been addressed by the band before. Credit: Twitter/Outkast
The song has been addressed by the band before. Credit: Twitter/Outkast

Have a look at some of the lyrics.

At one point, Andre sings: “You think you’ve got it

“Oh, you think you’ve got it

“But got it just don’t get it when there’s nothin’ at all

“We get together

“Oh, we get together

“But separate’s always better when there’s feelings involved

“Know what they say - its

“Nothing lasts forever!”

Hmm, those do seem quite sad really, actually.

When you really go through the lyrics, they all seem quite sad and despondent, don’t they?

If there is a deeper meaning, it ain't in the video. Credit: YouTube/Outkast
If there is a deeper meaning, it ain't in the video. Credit: YouTube/Outkast

Making reference to another part, the TikTok video continues: “What he’s talking about is in modern-day relationships, people stay in them because they just don’t want to be alone, not because of their love for the other person.

“If you just read the lyrics it actually sounds like a really sad song.

“Even at the breakdown at the end, he makes a reference to how people are just gonna see it as a happy song and not even think about the deeper meaning behind it, nor do they even wanna hear about it.”

That lyric reads: “Y’all don’t want to hear me, you just want to dance.”

There you have it – will you ever listen to that song the same again?

Featured Image Credit: Outkast/YouTube

Topics: Music, Celebrity, US News

Tom Wood
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