Prince helped André 3000 move past the feeling that ‘nostalgia is a cage’ during recent tour
André 3000 has opened up about his current projects and Outkast’s recent reunion shows, saying that Prince helped him move past the feeling that “nostalgia is a cage”. He said: “Honestly, I never planned to go onstage again in that way. I really don’t actually get anything from performing.”
The rapper made the remarks in an interview with the New York Times, conducted to promote the Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side. He recalled Outkast’s first comeback show, at Coachella in April: “They actually got [the real] André Benjamin the first night, and I clearly saw [the crowd] don’t want André Benjamin,” he said. “My head wasn’t there. I kind of fluffed through rehearsals … Before the show, I get a message that Prince and Paul McCartney are going to be there. My spirit is not right, and idols are standing side-stage, so as the show started, I’m bummed … In my mind I was already gone to my hotel room halfway through.”
A few days later, Prince called André 3000. “[Prince] said, ‘When you come back, people want to be wowed. And what’s the best way to wow people? Just give them the hits.’ I’m explaining to him that I really didn’t want to do it. He said, ‘I’ve been there … [but] you’re a grown man. You’re either going to do it or you’re not.’”
Although the rapper says the conversation helped his collaboration with fellow Outkast member Big Boi, he isn’t sure he will remain an MC for much longer. “I don’t sit around and write raps,” he said. He has recorded acclaimed guest verses on recent songs by Frank Ocean and Future, but claims he has to ask his son to judge if his lyrics are any good. “I don’t have the pulse.”
Still, he wants to continue to make music and would “love” to do a solo album that emphasises melody, and he’s producing a track for Aretha Franklin. But he also admits that he sees himself “moving into a visual space”. “I’ve been drawing and painting a lot more,” he said. “Part of art is knowing when … to change your medium.”
All Is By My Side, directed by John Ridley and starring André 3000 as Hendrix, is in UK cinemas now.
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