André 3000 Opens Up About the OutKast Reunion Tour

Andre 3000 Opens Up About the OutKast Reunion Tour

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Today is the 18th anniversary of OutKast's classic sophomore album, ATLiens.​ For the past few months, André 3000 has been on tour alongside Big Boi, and he recently sat down with the New York Times' Jon Caramanica for one of his most candid interviews in years. During the first OutKast reunion show at Coachella, it was clear André felt a bit uncomfortable on stage, and in his defense, the type of crowd, fans who knew little of his catalog beyond "Hey Ya!," paired with the anticipation of OutKast's big reunion comeback played a hand in his discomfort. But over the past few months, he's found his stride on tour, most recently at Drake's OVO Fest in Toronto where the duo took over the stage for the festival's opening night. 

During the interview, André touched on his upcoming role in the Jimi Hendrix biopic, which he initially turned down at first before his son, Seven, encouraged him to play the leading role. Caramanica brought up that André once said he never wanted to be an old rapper, and André claimed he's still standing by that, even though he's now 39 years old. "I’m such a fan that I don’t want to infiltrate it with old blood," he said.

Over the past few years, André has sprinkled some guest verses on a number of tracks, most recently "Benz Friends" on Future's Honest, but he spoke in depth about his struggle to write verses and a fear of not letting other artists down. His fears and vulnerabilities were put in the spotlight when asked about OutKast's first show at Coachella, and he said Prince is the one to credit for helping him overcome the early struggles of performing on tour again.

"It was foreign. My head wasn’t there. I kind of fluffed through rehearsals," André said in the interview. "A few hours before the Coachella show, I get a message that Prince and Paul McCartney are going to be there. My spirit is not right, and idols are standing side-stage, so as the show started, I’m bummed. This is horrible. In my mind I was already gone to my hotel room halfway through. So Prince called a couple days after. It was my first time actually talking to Prince. He said: 'When you come back, people want to be wowed. And what’s the best way to wow people? Just give them the hits.' I’m explaining to him that I really didn’t want to do it. He said: 'I’ve been there. I’ve tried to do other things. After you give them the hits, then you can do whatever.' He broke it down like this: 'You’re a grown man. You’re either going to do it or you’re not.’"

He ended touching on his tour costumes and the characters he assumes on the road. "It’s always easier to play characters," he said. "They actually got André Benjamin the first night [at Coachella], and I clearly saw they don’t want André Benjamin. He loves what he’s done, but I hate cages, and sometimes nostalgia is a cage."

Read his entire interview with Caramanica over on today.

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