I think it’s fair to say that the last time the word “Polaroid” was everywhere was 2003, when the Atlanta hip-hop duo Outkast released “Hey Ya.” It wasn’t just the song of the summer; it was the song of an entire year, ubiquitous on the air and in the mall, one of the last true mega-hits before the music business caved in on itself. It had an incredibly catchy, propulsive bass-and-synth groove at its core that keeps you bopping along, and the video riffs on an Ed Sullivan Show–ish TV appearance by the band (digitally turned into a foursome). And, of course, there was the bridge, built around a sexed-up line that every kid knew: “Shake it like a Polaroid picture.”

I’m not going to get into the whole don’t-shake-your-Polaroid-photos thing here; it’s been done to death. (Short recap: They don’t develop any faster, and you can crack ’em.) It’s like being the guy on Millennium Eve who kept insisting that the real turn of the century was at the start of 2001. He may have been right, but he missed out on a really big party.

Outkast’s Pola-moment starts at 3:53, but really, you should play the whole thing. It’s a perfect pop-meets-hip-hop song, the guys’ wardrobe is just great, and the production design is awesome.

My friend Emily recently asked me, at a party, whether this song comes up in the book. I was happy to tell her that it’s on page 1.

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3 Responses to Outkast and the Shake

  1. Bill Warriner says:

    I thought everybody knew the best way to develop an SX-70 pic is to put it under your armpit while you keep shooting, especially in winter. If you keep one developing under BOTH armpits you can almost shoot a rapid-fire sequence. ‘Course there ain’t no groovy song lyrics in that….

  2. Alpesh says:

    I have a very personal tguhoht about theese artificial old style on everything. Realize this: videoclips shooted in super8, yellow filters digitally applyed, jeans looking old right from the store, many new stuffs made to be already used. People doesn’t have any time to spend/wait the time itself ! They want to buy new stuffs, but they want to buy the time of use also, as if those stuffs looks like they already have a story to tell with it all.If my english was better, I could roll-over the idea with some Master/Doctor/PhD/MBA monography for you. I hope you get the picture.

  3. Kaveri says:

    So I poladroided the same photo twice. I shook one of the imaegs and left the other alone to develop. Was I supposed to see something different with the shaken image or does it develop the image quicker? Either way, it’s a cool app and I’m enjoying playing with it.

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