Were you one of the people who wondered “where is Andre 3000, why is he just teasing us with guest verses on other peoples tracks and why wasn’t he in Beyonces’ Party video?” Andre 3000 (the other half of superstar rap group OutKast) gave Fader magazine a rare interview and answered those questions. On how he decides who he will collaborate with Most of the time it has to be the music. The music has to kinda move me in some kind of way. Sometimes it’s emotionally, sometimes it’s just being there supporting another person. Even the Chris Brown remix—of course I love the beat, but at that time a lot of people were on Chris Brown as a human being. And I know he’d gone through his troubles or whatever and I just was like—I just wanted to stand by him and be like, Hey, you know, you can’t really charge a man forever and condemn a man forever. So it’s really just like a support thing. I thought it was a cool thing to do. On why he hasn’’t appeared in videos [ Ex. Beyonce’s ‘Party’ music video] When I would get these calls from artists, I felt great about it. At the same time, I never wanted to tease people in a way where I’d be in the video and then they won’t see me for another ten years or anything.
So, you know, when I would talk to these artists and we’d agree that we’d do these songs, we would all be in agreement that it was just vocals. There was no visual or anything. Every artist I work with from Beyonce, from Young Jeezy and Jay-Z, from BoB, it was all understood before my first rhyme was written that there was going to be no videos. And I always felt like—you know, I haven’t been in even in a video with Big Boi—it’s kind of disrespectful of me if I can just jump in a video with a new artist and I haven’t even jumped in the video with my own partner. […] I just feel like—it just didn’t seem like a right time to do it. If it’s not my project or an Outkast thing, or you know, if I’m supporting Big Boi, then it just didn’t make sense for me. It just didn’t feel right doing it.
Do you feel like you learn from newer artists? I’m learning what people are listening to now. Learning what the younger heads are into. The funny thing about hip-hop—Hip-hop is about being hip. And at a certain age, you’re not as hip to a certain crowd, and you lose hipness. And I think it’s a thing that people don’t talk about enough, but it’s a real thing. I have to ask my son sometimes, like, what’s cool? Make sure you don’t become that old flow guy. I’ve seen it happen and it’s a real thing. You know, people that I love and adore, their flows have just gotten dated, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s almost like watching your dad. Your dad moves to a completely different rhythm than what you move to. And that’s how flows are because we grew up on a different rhythm. And so the younger heads are growing up on different rhythms so they rap differently. I’m not trying to keep up with the younger guys at all. We miss your originality Andre! Come back to the industry!!