Back in 2014, OutKast kicked off a reunion tour with a headlining appearance at Coachella that received middling reviews — only to come back with a revamped setlist and far superior performance during the second weekend. In a new interview with GQ, André 3000 recalled being lectured by Prince after OutKast’s first night back.
According to André, he received a call from Prince the next day and was rebuked for checking out halfway through the performance, during which he faced away from the crowd. “‘You know what your problem is?’ Prince asked. And I’m like, Fuck,” Three Stacks remembered about the conversation. “He said, ‘You don’t realize how big y’all are.’ And then he was like, ‘You got to remind people who you are.’ And from that point on, I was like, Okay.”
André 3000 and Big Boi went on to perform at more than 40 festivals worldwide to celebrate their 20th anniversary as OutKast, closing out the run with hometown shows in Atlanta and their final performance at Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans. However, they haven’t taken the stage or released a song together since then.
Unfortunately for OutKast fans, it doesn’t sound like the duo will break their hiatus anytime soon. “There’s a certain chemistry that me and Big Boi had and have,” André explained to GQ. “I think over time, people don’t understand that chemistry changes.”
Besides, André doesn’t feel like he has anything interesting to say despite getting beats “all the time” from “the newest, freshest, youngest, and old-school” producers. “Even now people think, Oh, man, he’s just sitting on raps, or he’s just holding these raps hostage. I ain’t got no raps like that,” he said. “Sometimes it feels inauthentic for me to rap because I don’t have anything to talk about in that way.”
He continued, “I’m 48 years old. And not to say that age is a thing that dictates what you rap about, but in a way it does. And things that happen in my life, like, what are you talking about? ‘I got to go get a colonoscopy.’ What are you rapping about? ‘My eyesight is going bad.’ You can find cool ways to say it, but…”
Read André 3000’s full interview at GQ.
This Friday, André will showcase his well-known love for woodwinds with the release of his debut solo album, New Blue Sun. Making it clear that it’s not a rap record, the cover artwork has a warning that the album contains “no bars.”
This isn’t to say André is completely retired from rapping; every now and then he surfaces for a feature verse. This summer, he contributed to “Scientists & Engineers” from Killer Mike’s latest album, MICHAEL. The song is up for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance at the 2024 Grammys.