The two MCs André 3000 sees himself in
(Credits: Kai Regan)

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The two MCs André 3000 sees himself in

André 3000 is one of the most innovative men in hip-hop, and as one of the first experimental rap artists from Atlanta to break into the mainstream, the Outkast emcee (real name Andre Benjamin) is considered one of the most forward-thinking rappers of all time.

From Aquemini to Stankonia, Benjamin has been around since the days of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. However, after the success of Outkast’s sixth studio album, Idle Wild, the overwhelmed musician took a break from music to focus on himself and being a father.

However, the ‘Hey Ya’ musician has still been an intriguing figure, and his mysticism has compelled journalists over the years. Earlier this year, the producer and rapper made a surprise return with an eight-track instrumental album, New Blue Sun, and while promoting the project, the genius sat down with the esteemed magazine GQ to speak about the current state of hip-hop and why he decided to return after so long.

Speaking about enjoying his life outside the music industry and not wanting the downside of fame, Benjamin stated, “It’s cool, but it’s not crazy I like where my life is where I can do this [in public]. A lot of my contemporaries, I kind of feel bad for them because we got children, and some of those people can’t even go out without having paparazzi follow them.”

He continued, “That’s a whack-ass life, man!” However, when he began recording his latest project, he unveiled he had to speak with those around him, disclosing, “I was talking to my manager and publicist, and I had to ask myself ‘Do you want to possibly be famous again?’ Do you want to turn it up again?”

Benjamin admitted that at first, he wanted just to put out the album without any promotion but realised that he would be doing a great disservice to the music if he did and, therefore, made sure to do a press-run.

Speaking about the current culture and whether or not there is any Outkast influence in hip-hop, Benjamin insisted that there is, 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!” You can watch André 3000’s GQ interview in the video below.