The 2000 rap smash – which reached Number One in the US and Number Two in the UK – was conceived by Outkast’s Andre 3000 as an apology to Badu and her mother after their break-up.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Jackson, I am for real / Never meant to make your daughter cry / I apologise a trillion times,” Andre 3000 raps on the song’s hook, addressing Badu’s mother.
“It hit kind of a sore spot,” Badu recalled on the Rap Radar podcast. “I didn’t wanna hear that, especially when I heard Big Boi’s verse. When I heard Andre’s verse, I felt very good because his verse was really, really inspiring.”
She added: “He just said how he felt and it was his honest feelings and I always respected that and listened to what he felt and appreciated it.”
Badu then revealed that her mother – the “Ms. Jackson” of the song’s title – had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the song.
“How did my mama feel? Baby, she bought herself a ‘Ms. Jackson’ licence plate,” Badu said. She had the mug, she had the ink pen, she had the headband, everything. That’s who loved it.” Watch Badu discussing the song below.
Outkast performed together in September for the first time in two years. It was the first time Big Boi and Andre 3000 had played together since their 2014 reunion tour, which drew mixed reviews after Andre 3000 appeared uncomfortable at playing old hits such as ‘Hey Ya’.