This is Andre 3000

This man is considerably one of the greatest and most eccentric rappers of our time. André Lauren Benjamin, better known as André 3000, is a rapper, singer, musician, songwriter, record producer, and actor from the United States. He was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and is best known as one-half of the Southern hip-hop group Outkast, along with fellow Atlanta-based rapper Big Boi.

Early Career

OutKast was a southern hip-hop duo formed in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1992, consisting of rappers André 3000 and Big Boi. This ragtag duo of high school boys went from small-time rappers to international music icons. The duo achieved both critical and commercial success from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, helping to popularize Southern hip-hop with their intricate lyricism, memorable melodies, and positive themes while experimenting with a diverse range of genres such as funk, psychedelia, jazz, and techno. Outkast has many songs with “hidden” addressing current politics, community issues, and even typical relationship issues. However, unless you genuinely listen to the amazing lyricism of their songs, you won’t catch it. Andre 3000 even discussed this in one of their most famous mainstream songs, “Hey Ya.” He said, “Y’all don’t wanna hear me; you just wanna dance.” By saying this, he’s blatantly pointing out that people truly don’t listen to the song’s lyrics and understand the messages; they just want to dance. With things like this, it’s unsurprising that this group has often been said to be one of the greatest and most influential hip-hop groups of all time. From movies to music, fashion, and even TV shows, OutKast was in everything. This group genuinely put the South on the map.

Outkast Discography
Career Highlights

That clip is from the 1995 Source Awards and to this day, Andre is still praised for this moment. This moment was the true birth of Southern hip-hop. By stating that “The South got something to say,” Andre 3000 was declaring that despite all of the backlash that they have and will receive, the South was going to truly make their mark on hip hop; And what did the South do? They did exactly that. This declaration was like “the shot heard around the world,” and the South took it as such. When your people and community have been culturally, socially, and politically oppressed, a few boos don’t feel like much. This call to action told all aspiring southern hip-hop artists to take their rightful place in the hip-hop scene.

Acting/Producing Career


Benjamin has been in many TV shows and films like Families, The Shield (where he plays Robert Huggins, a character who first appeared in the Season 3 episode “On Tilt” in 2004), Be Cool, Revolver, Semi Pro, and Four Brothers. In Charlotte’s Web, a film adaptation of the 1952 children’s book, he played a crow. He also collaborated with Esthero on a promotional version of “Jungle Book” that appeared on a Wikked lil’ grrrls sampler but was never included on the real album owing to difficulties with Esthero’s label, Warner Bros. He appeared in the basketball comedy Semi-Pro with Woody Harrelson and Will Ferrell. He also starred in Battle in Seattle, a 2007 film about the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization protests.

Producing/ Writing

Outkast released Idlewild in 2006, which also served as the soundtrack to the band’s musical film. The film is set in the 1930s, and the album draws inspiration from that era’s music, notably blues. Benjamin rapped a few verses on the album, notably the lead single “Mighty O,” but largely sang, like he did on The Love Below. The record delayed the premiere of the theatrical picture because Benjamin and Patton were more focused on the music than the movie. In an interview with Billboard in 2006, Andre explained that Outkast and its associates had developed the idea of creating a movie before the release of Aquemini so that when it finally came time to collaborate on the movie, they already had most of the details worked out, including a script, and the movie was ultimately finished before the album was.

A notable era of his producing career was when Andre was a member of Quentin Tarantino and Lawrence Bender’s production company A Band Apart. When that company closed in 2006, Benjamin then formed his own company, Moxie Turtle. During this time André produced his own cartoon that premiered on Cartoon Network, called Class of 3000. Then in May 2012, Benjamin began filming a biographical film about Jimi Hendrix entitled All Is By My Side. It premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2013. His performance was met with critical acclaim and earned him a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.

Solo Career

André 3000’s solo career began slowly after 2007, as both Big Boi and André took a break from music due to personal issues. André began appearing on remixes with artists like Jay-Z, Q-Tip, and, most notably, UGK’s “International Players Anthem.” He also had a significant feature on Beyonce’s “Party,” leading the fans to anticipate he would return with his own record. Despite the rumors Andre didn’t return with his own record until almost two decades later. In later years, he developed an affinity for eccentric rap and R&B artists such as Travis Scott, Kid Cudi, and Frank Ocean. He appeared in two of their most well-known tracks, “Solo (Reprise)/Pink Matter” by Frank Ocean and “The Ends” by Travis Scott. In the majority of these guest appearances, he showcases his frequently philosophical lyricism, which distinguishes him as one of the most lyrical rappers of all time.

Most recently in his career, Andre released his first solo studio album. The title is New Blue Sun, and it was released on November 17, 2023. Later that month, a track from that album, “I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time,” became the lengthiest track to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The ambient flute-infused song is 12 minutes and 20 seconds long, beating out Tool’s “Fear Inoculum,” which previously held the title at 10 minutes and 21 seconds long.

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