André 3000 is a highly respected figure in hip-hop, and the culture retrospectively looks at his albums as works of ingenuity. From forward-thinking experimental beats to eccentric and striking visuals alongside his partner Big Boi, the Atlanta native is looked up to by many.
From Aquemini to Stankonia, André 3000 has been making hits since the days of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. As such, when the lyricist (real name André Benjamin) does make comments about contemporary hip-hop, people take notice, especially if he is talking about new artists.
Earlier this year, Benjamin released his first album in 17 years and put out New Blue Sun, a series of flute compositions. Many fans were disappointed with the project as there was no rapping from 3000. However, just because he is not releasing music as regularly as he was during the 2000s doesn’t necessarily mean he is not paying attention to the culture.
Following the release of New Blue Sun, Benjamin did an interview with the esteemed magazine GQ, during which he unveiled that he sees Outkast’s influence in modern hip-hop, stating, “I see it visually. I see it more in spirit and people pushing things and trying things, and I love the spirit. I’m happy that people caught on the spirit part. Like you see Tyler and them and Teezo Touchdown, and you’re like aahhh!”
However, before endorsing Tyler, The Creator, Benjamin was chilling behind the scenes with Kendrick Lamar. In fact, André 3000 was one of the first people to hear Good Kid, m.A.A.d City in its entirety.
In a 2012 interview with TheWellVersed and 2DopeBoyz, Lamar provided context to the well-known clip of him playing ‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’ for Benjamin and revealed what happened when he had finished playing the whole project for him.
When asked what happened when the album listening session came to an end, Lamar replied, “He stood on the couch and put his hands up. He said, ‘This is golden.’ He’s one of the first people I played the album for. It meant everything, man, just off the fact that I been a fan from day one.”
He continued, “So for him to say I’m continuing the legacy and the culture, the art of hip-hop and making a body of work that stands out and actually means something at the end of the day, that’s a huge accomplishment for me. It’s a confirmation of success. Just them words.”
You can hear Kendrick Lamar speaking about André 3000 in the video below.