Andre 3000 Interview with GQ
In recent years, we’ve only heard Andre 3000 on remixes of songs by artists that we’re surprised Dre’s even heard of. He’s the music industry’s Bobby Fischer, only he’s undefeated (and a better dresser). Rumors of a new OutKast album, a solo project, and the resurrection of Benjamin Bixby—Andre’s nostalgically funky clothing line—have been percolating for years. We went to the source and chopped it up with our favorite ATLien to separate fact from fiction. The result? We got some good news, some bad news, and debunked one of hip-hop’s most infamous misquotes.
Andre 3000: Gillette is getting into a space where guys are now, where guys are wearing more hair on their faces. If you watch the history of Gillette, they pretty much stayed on the path of the clean-shaven guy. This is the first time in their history, in like 110 years, that they’ve ever had guys in ads with hair on their faces. It’s a changing of the times and it says a lot about Gillette; they’re kind of moving with fashion.
GQ: I dig it. And you’re resurrecting your clothing line, Benjamin Bixby?
Andre 3000: Yes! But it will just be named Bixby this time. It’s going to be real exciting, I can’t say too much about it, but I can say this year and next year there’s going to be a lot of cool things coming from me fashion-wise. Bixby is one of them. Also musically, sound-wise, and fashion. You’ll see a lot of releases.
GQ: So does that mean we can expect to hear the album we’ve all be waiting on?
Andre 3000: It depends on which album you’re talking about.
GQ: A new ‘Kast album!
Andre 3000: There’s been a lot of talk on the Internet about an OutKast album and I have to say that as of now, there are no plans for another OutKast album. There’s a lot of music on the horizon. I’ve been living off the excitement of new artists. I’ve been privileged to have these new artists kind of reach out and grab back and say, “Hey, Andre, we want you on this song.” So I’ve been taking those calls and for the last two years, I’ve been doing collaborations. So these new artists have kind of been keeping me alive. I’ve just really been feeding off of that and this year I think I’m planning to do a solo project. I don’t know when it will come out, but hopefully it’ll come out this year. As far as OutKast, I really don’t know if or when that will happen.
GQ: What’s the new solo album going to be like?
Andre 3000: The only thing I can really say is I’m going to get back to having fun because that’s what it was all about when I started this in high school—with OutKast—those were like high school dreams. I’m 36 now, so I have grown-man dreams. This album will just be me being myself as normal.
GQ: Random question: Drake quotes your song, “Spottieottiedopaliscious,” and says, “Who else wants to fuck with Hollywood Cole.” I’ve had heated debates with Atlanta natives who say it’s “Hollywood Court” [a notoriously tough Atlanta project building.] Settle the debate once and for all!
Andre 3000: Holly Court. And it’s funny because J. Cole sampled it [playing off of the word “Cole”]. When they asked for clearance, I told him and his team that I wasn’t saying “Cole,” that I was saying “Court,” but they wanted to use it anyway. [laughs] So I was like, “Okay.”
GQ: What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?
Andre 3000: I’ve never gotten that question. This biggest misconception… that it’s easy for me, I guess, is the biggest misconception. People think you kind of ride on this wave, this non-human wave, and I think that’s kind of wrong to put that on entertainers. But I think that’s a big thing for me. People talk about Andre 3000, they talk about fashion, they talk about film, they talk about music, and it’s almost like they put you in this place, but it’s work. It’s hard work just like anything else.
GQ: At this point in your career, after the sold out shows, movies, diamond-selling records, what keeps you inspired?
Andre 3000: Creating. Creating. But it’s always been that. It’s funny, I don’t even consider myself a rapper, I don’t consider myself a designer, or even an actor. I kind of got that opportunity through the opportunities I had before. I was acting before I started rapping. These things just came. I just like creating stuff and trying to make good work, whatever it is. I don’t care if it’s designing toothbrushes. It’s just making cool stuff to leave behind, that’s all it is, it’s nothing more.
GQ: You’re a perfectionist. Would you change anything about any of your songs?
Andre 3000: I couldn’t. I really couldn’t change anything. As an artist you can sit and tinker with stuff forever. You can add and take away but I think that’s kind of the importance of having someone over you saying, “We need this, this is a deadline.” Sometimes those oppositions or those who push and pull are needed because we’ll just sit and tinker forever. There are actually songs on The Love Below that were not finished, but that’s how they are, that’s how it came out.
GQ: Like the last track, “A Life in the Day of Benjamin André (Incomplete).”
Andre 3000: Exactly! We were up like three days straight drinking Red Bull or whatever, finishing that album. I just knew I wanted to put that on there, but it wasn’t done, but it was enough.
GQ: Expectations for your next album couldn’t be higher. What are you most afraid of?
Andre 3000: The biggest fear is me thinking about it too much—and that’s why I’m just trying to catch the energy just like I’ve done before. What you all have heard before, I was not thinking, I was just going on cruise control. I was just going at it like any artist. When you look at the Wayne, when you look at the Kanye… I can tell when an artist is in the zone because they’re not thinking and that’s when you’re at your best. So I’m just hoping, at this point, I don’t let my history get in front of my future. You know what I mean?