What Happened to Andre 3000?
Today we will take a look at the life of rapper, singer and songwriter, actor, record producer, dancer and philanthropist, Andre 3000. He’s best known for “Ms. Jackson” and “Hey Ya” and a hip-hop legend. Outkast rocked the rap game and put Atlanta rappers on the map. Today’s topic is “What Happened to Andre 3000?”
Andre Lauren Benjamin was born on May 27th, 1975 in Atlanta Georgia. In high school, he started to perform, but after meeting Antwan Patton, also known as “Big Boi”, they teamed up and formed Outkast. They were soon signed to LaFace records, which was a record label based out of Atlanta. They released their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik in 1994. The album ended up going platinum by the end of the year. The single “Player’s Ball” was a hit and the group was named Best New Rap Group of the Year at the 1995 Source Awards.
Their next two albums were ATLiens, which was released in 1996 and Aquemini, released in 1998. They put southern rap on the map with their success and different sound. Their style and lyrics were often criticized and labeled as unfamiliar and weird. Outkast wasn’t your stereotypical black rap group. After the ATLiens album, Big Boi and Andre’s friends experienced a “New” Andre. He started to change his image and was often trying to find himself as a person. He stopped smoking, drinking, and changed his image drastically. He actually went vegan too and started to transcend into another persona. During this time he started to date R&B and Soul artist Erykah Badu. They fell in love fast and then next thing you know she’s pregnant and Andre is going to be a father.
Outkasts fourth album, Stankonia, released in 2000. Andre now started to go by “Andre 3000.” The hit single “Ms. Jackson” was number one on the charts and popular worldwide. They wrote the song after Andre’s breakup with Erykah. Two years later, in 2002, Outkast released a greatest hits album and it contained three new tracks. One of the new singles titled “The Whole World” won the group a Grammy award for Best Rap Performance by a Group that year. Later on that year, Andre appeared in the Dungeon Family group album. The Dungeon was Rico Wade’s studio, which was located in the basement of his mother’s house. The Dungeon specifically specialized in southern hip-hop, funk and soul music. They combined with other artists in The Dungeon and produced a supergroup album.
In 2003, Outkast released Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. In this album you can now see the musical differences between Andre and Big Boi. Big Boi’s half of the double album Speakerboxxx, produced number one hit “The Way You Move”, while Andre’s half, The Love Below, produced popular singles “Hey Ya!” and “Roses”. He hit it off more with the mainstream crowd and the music videos for these hits were played often on TV. The Love Below was more in the category of funk, jazz and alternative and Andre sung mostly instead of rapping.
In 2006, Outkast released their sixth album titled Idlewild. The album also was the soundtrack to the group's musical film Idlewild. The film was based from the 1930’s time era and blues music. Andre sang most of his verses, once again just like in their previous album. The film was long in the making, so Andre and Big Boi took more time producing the music.
Going into 2007, Andre took on more of a solo role and also returned back to rapping. He appeared on some collaborated remix tracks with Jay-Z, UGK, and Q-Tip just to name a few. In 2008, Andre collaborated with John Legend and in 2010 he collaborated with Ciara on a remix to “Ride” and with Chris Brown on his remix to “Deuces”. So in 2011, he teamed up with Beyonce on her album 4, and was featured on the track “Party”, and the single was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2012. He continued to collab with more artists like B.o.B, Drake, Young Jeezy, Frank Ocean, Rick Ross and T.I.
In 2013, Andre was working on releasing a solo album with producer Mike Will Made It, but he confirmed that there was no set release date for his album yet keeping fans on the edge of their seat. In 2014, he featured on rapper and fellow Dungeon member Future, on his second album. Moving on to 2015, he and his ex Erykah Badu worked together on a track for her mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone. Then he moved on to performing background vocals for Kayne West on his album The Life of Pablo. Three years later in 2018, Andre released two songs on Soundcloud, and also co-wrote and featured on the first track of Anderson .Paak’s Ventura album.
Andre was quite a creative personality and he also lived a short acting career while making music. He appeared in the films Semi Pro and Four Brothers. He had his own animated series on Cartoon Network called Class of 3000, which he also produced. Andre was also quite the fashion icon and launched his own clothing line called “Benjamin Bixby” in 2008.
Lately, Andre has been spotting in random places playing his flute. Some fans realized him and videos appeared on social media. Andre states that he’s just trying to find himself and do what makes him happy. He’s had trouble with being creative with creating music again so don’t expect another Outkast album or a solo album anytime soon. Complex magazine named Andre as one of the 10 Best Rappers of the 2000’s in 2013, and one of the 10 Great Rappers of All Time in 2015. Although he’s never released a solo album, he will go down as a great.