Andre 3000 is perhaps one of the most creative and entertaining MC’s of our time. As one half of Outkast, we witnessed their evolution from Southern Bass music to intergalactic, new age Hip-Hop. But, during their greatest moment of success (SpeakerBoxx and the Love Below) Andre disappeared and there was no tour to promote the album. Fans were baffled and devastated that their favorite artist were no longer creating music together. No one understood why. Well, now that they are back and touring together, and now that Andre is promoting his new film (the biopic of Jimi Hendrix) he is opening up about what really happened.
*Inside Scoop: A friend of mind was working with the group during the time of Speakerboxx and the Love Below and revealed to me that Andre suffered from severe stage fright and panic attacks. My source told me that up until then, they had been able to keep it under raps and under control, but by the time that album came out and experienced tremendous success, his anxiety was so bad, they couldn’t even get him to go out on stage. (Poor Andre and poor Big Boi!)
In an interview with the NY Times, Andre reveals that he was suffering from depression. He says that the biopic Hendrix saved his life. He also speaks about being involved in his sons life everyday and how the advice from Prince, helped him to tour this past summer, even though he no longer feels the same way about music.
On taking on the role of Jimi Hendrix: “Honestly, I needed it in my life, too. Hendrix kind of saved me. I was in a not-so-great space, just in a dark place every day. I needed something to focus on to get me out of my depression and rut. Sometimes, when you’re alone, you can let yourself go. I knew if I got on a train with a lot of different people, then I couldn’t let them down.”
On growing old in hip-hop: “I remember, at like 25, saying, ‘I don’t want to be a 40-year-old rapper.’ I’m 39 now, and I’m still standing by that. I’m such a fan that I don’t want to infiltrate it with old blood.”
On being a dad to Seven and how life changed once he moved in: Seven’s been going to school in Atlanta for the last two years. I wake up every morning, take him to school, pick him up from school, going to soccer games, going to wrestling matches. Total dad, which is cool, because so much of that was taken by my early Outkast years. We were at the height, so a lot of the time that should have been [spent] with him, I’m on the road entertaining everybody else.
On his recent guest verses: “I struggle with the verses. I don’t sit around and write raps, I just don’t. Now the only time I’m really inspired to write raps is if an artist that I enjoy invites me to their party. So if Future calls and says, ‘Hey man, I want you to do this,’ I don’t want to let Future down. I don’t want to let Lil Wayne or Drake down, because I love them.”
On his decision to tour: “Honestly, I never planned to go onstage again in that way. If I feel like I’m getting to a place where it’s mimicking or a caricature, I just want to move on. But I felt like: Let me do it now ’cause these kids [in the audience], it feels good to know that they’re happy. I really don’t actually get anything from performing. … I feel good in being able to look at Big Boi and say, ‘Hey, man, we did it.’ Big Boi’s got these great records on his own, but this means something else for him.”
On his apology to Big Boi on T.I.’s “Sorry”: “We’ve left millions and millions of dollars on the table. We didn’t even tour for our biggest album [Speakerboxxx/The Love Below]. I just wanted to say I know how hard it must be.”
On his first show at Coachella: “I think people could see it at Coachella, the very first show. It was foreign. My head wasn’t there. I kind of fluffed through rehearsals. 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.”
On Prince’s advice: “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.’”
On new music: “I’d love to put out an album. I’m just going to call it honest. I know this may sound morbid, but I was like, if I were to die today, I have all these half-songs on my hard drive, and I don’t want that.”