Thanks to incredible lyricism and artistry, as well as relatively limited catalog, Andre 3000 is one of Hip-Hop’s most revered yet mysterious artists. In a recent interview, the OutKast rapper shared what he’s been up to as of late, including whether or not he plans to hang up the mic for good and his son, Seven, making sure his bars are up to par.
The New York Times caught up with the “Roses” rapper in Atlanta and while discussing the Jimi Hendrix film he is starring in, he admitted to being in a dark place that the film helped him get out of.
Given that playing Hendrix had been discussed for so long, were you reluctant?
I may have said it to John [Ridley]: “Man, I’m old. I have gray hair. Get some young unknown kid to play Hendrix.” I turned it down. They kept at it. I actually asked my son, [Seven]. He said, “Yeah, man.” 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.
Andre is now 39-years-old and although there are plenty of 40 plus year old rappers at the top of their game (see: Jay Z), he isn’t ruling out calling it quits once he hits the big four O, as he at least once planned.
I’ve heard you say that you didn’t want to become an old rapper.
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.
But over the last five years, you’ve recorded maybe three or four guest appearances a year, and those verses are always really strong.
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.
Keep rapping, bruh. Or at least until you can finish another OutKast album. Do it for Hip-Hop.
3 Stacks will star in the Jimi Hendix biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side, out September 26.
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