Andre 3000's one of the most consistently interesting figures in hip-hop, which is all the more remarkable considering the sheer number of guest appearances he's done lately. He's not the most prolific, but he's certainly got one of the highest ratios of verses to quality. He's also been around longer than most people in the game with equally high rates of success. All this makes the recent Fader interview with him absolutely worth a read; it's long, it's thoughtful and it's full of perspective. Go click that link, but first, a few highlights:
On working with Chris Brown:
You can't work with Chris Brown, particularly a few years ago when he was still disgraced and not 99% of the way to a full comeback, without having to explain yourself against charges of enabling. Andre 3000, who guested on the remix to Brown's particularly provocative "Deuces," split the difference: he liked the beat, but he also wanted to support Brown. You'll either rejoice or sigh at this:
Of course I love the beat, but at that time a lot of people were on Chris Brown as a human being. And I know he’d gone through his troubles or whatever and I just was like—I just wanted to stand by him and be like, Hey, you know, you can’t really charge a man forever and condemn a man forever. So it’s really just like a support thing. I thought it was a cool thing to do.
On Outkast's reunion or lack thereof:
Remember how there was going to be an Outkast album, and then when there wasn't going to be one, which got turned into there being no more Outkast? Andre does. He talks at length about it. He mentions Outkast more times than we can possibly quote, but here's the gist:
No, there are not any plans right now. We’re not on the roster or on a schedule with a label to put out an Outkast album. I can’t say if or when we will, but I’m going to be in Outkast forever in some kind of way. I can’t really say Outkast is over so it always trips me out when these things get on the internet, and [people] go, Andre said there’s going to be no more Outkast. And then me and Big Boi get on the phone like, Oh, that’s unfortunate that they said that kind of thing.
On his greatest verse of 2012, on the full version of "Do Ya Thing" with Gorillaz and James Murphy:
A frenetic recording-studio jam session, basically. When Andre says he's running away from the mic, it's because he's literally sprinting around the studio. When he says he's the shit, it's because he's in character as someone who really is the shit, i.e. himself. The anecdote must be read in full, but if you haven't, do familiarize yourself with the verse in question below.