André 3000 is one of the most innovative men in hip hop, and since the 1990s, André has been bringing us groundbreaking, out-of-the-box music. From Aquemini to Stankonia, the Atlanta rapper has been around since the days of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.
As one of the first experimental rap artists from Atlanta to break into the mainstream, André 3000 (real name André Benjamin) is considered one of the most forward-thinking rappers of all time. However, the emcee and producer believes that his counterpart, Big Boi, is leagues ahead of him concerning rap.
The two MCs joined forces in the early-1990s after they met at Lenox Square in East Atlanta and immediately began making music together. The duo began to record at an underground studio known as ‘The Dungeon’ and, here, they worked as producers and songwriters for an established Atlanta collective, Organised Noize.
Although André 3000 produced a lot of Outkast’s hits, such as ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘Roses’, the artist actually believes that when it comes to lyricism, Big Boi is far better than him.
In an interview with esteemed magazine GQ, Benjamin admitted, “Big Boi can rap better than me—I always said that. “If somebody said, ‘Pick who you want from OutKast to go to battle with you,’ it wouldn’t be me. ‘Cause like, what I’m a do? Say some mind shit? You can’t have thoughts in a battle—nobody gives a sh*t about that.”
He then went on to call his former crewmate smart, stating, “Big Boi is smart as fuck. We went to the same high school. I dropped out in 11th grade. Big Boi graduated with honours. When you watch early OutKast videos, Big Boi’s the leader. He always had the confidence, where I was kind of like the shy one.”
Since his disappearance from the mainstream after Speakerboxx/The Love Below, André 3000 has embraced the world of fashion more and last year even collaborated with Supreme for the brand’s new ‘Fall/Winter’ collection. You can watch a recent interview with Benjamin below.