The creative force behind the beloved Rap innovators Outkast virtually disappeared for seven years. Now he’s reunited with Big Boi for a series of massive festival shows and starring in a long-awaited Jimi Hendrix biopic. But as speculation swirls bout his next move, hip-hop’s most mysterious icon must decide whether to commit once again to the entertainment ‘factory’ -- or reinvent himself entirely.
Andre Benjamin photographed by Joe Pugliese at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, California on Sept. 20, 2014.
"I was watching this Fellini document...
"I was watching this Fellini documentary, and he was saying artists want complete freedom," Andre 3000 (born Andre Benjamin) says, reflecting on his winding journey, post-Outkast. "[But] usually, when artists get complete freedom, they end up doing nothing. And he was saying every artist needs some kind of opposition. My opposition is time, age. You can make music forever, but I think there’s a magic window."
“Honestly, I don’t have a big urg...
“Honestly, I don’t have a big urge to voice [my feelings],” he says. “But I do feel kind of guilty sometimes. Like when the whole Ferguson thing went down, we were actually in England, and buddies were telling me about it, like, ‘Aw, man, it’s horrible here.’ But I didn’t feel it; I only heard about it. So I felt like, ‘Am I out of touch?’”
“There are no plans to do [an Outka...
“There are no plans to do [an Outkast album]. It’s not like some people think: ‘They’re about to drop this album!’ We don’t have, like, one song," Benjamin says. "There’s no trickery or nothing like that.”
"I feel like I will do music in some ...
"I feel like I will do music in some kind of way, but something that can hit music from the back door," says Benjamin. "Like, if I start to write screenplays and I want to [compose the soundtrack]. Or if I’m making certain product designs and I just want to release music with every shirt I design."