Andre 3000 whose legal name is Andre Benjamin – recently opened to The Fader about his thoughts regarding Outkast’s 20th anniversary tour this past summer.
Benjamin’s memorable contribution to the tour was the 47 jumpsuits he donned on stage which are now being shown in an exhibit at Art Basel in Miami. He admits the pieces were his interpretation of how he felt about the tour.
“Honestly, just, you know—I didn’t wanna do the tour,” he said. “We hadn’t performed in 10 years. It was old songs. I’m like, How am I gonna present these songs? I don’t have nothing new to say. So I was like, maybe I can start saying new stuff while doing these old songs. It became a theme where I was more excited about this than the actual show. This is fun, running out in these.”
Other than being able to live up to his reputation as a fashion trailblazer, Benjamin wasn’t too psyched about reuniting with his partner in crime – Big Boi, mainly because the music was anything but inspiring. “I’m like, how an I gonna present these song? I don’t have anything new to say”. This realization motivated the rapper to make a splash with his outfits to divert the crowd and give him something to be creatively excited about.
“I felt weird about going out on stage and doing it again. I felt like people would be like, ‘Y’all are doing all these festivals, y’all are just doing it for money.’ And I felt like a sell-out, honestly. So I was like, if I’m in on the joke, I’ll feel cool about it. It was a decision. I’m 39, I got a 17-year-old kid, and I gotta support certain things. And my partner Big Boi is like, ‘This is a great thing for all of us.’ So I felt like there was a certain sell-out in a way, because I didn’t wanna do it—I knew I was doing it for a reason. So maybe if I’m telling people, ‘I am selling out,’ then it’s not as bad as pretending. It’s being honest about it like, ‘Shit, I did these songs when I was 17 and I’m out here peddling them now.’ But it’s the honest thing, that’s what it is.”
Benjamin summed up his feelings by expressing his disappointment at the notion that he let his fans down by not living up to their expectations. “ I felt like a sell-out, honestly.” “So I was like, if I’m in on the joke, I’ll feel cool about it”.