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On Coachella: "They actually got André Benjamin the first night, and I clearly saw they don’t want André Benjamin. He loves what he’s done, but I hate cages, and sometimes nostalgia is a cage."
Photo: Getty Images
"It was my first time actually talking to Prince. He said: “When you come back, people want to be wowed. And what’s the best way to wow people? Just give them the hits.”"
Photo: Sidewalk Hustle
2006 VH1 Hip Hop Honors - Show
On Outkast 20th Anniversary Tour: "Honestly, I never planned to go onstage again in that way. If I feel like I’m getting to a place where it’s mimicking or a caricature, I just want to move on."
Photo: Theo Wargo/WireImage
"I remember, at like 25, saying, “I don’t want to be a 40-year-old rapper.” I’m 39 now, and I’m still standing by that. I’m such a fan that I don’t want to infiltrate it with old blood."
"I struggle with the verses. I don’t sit around and write raps, I just don’t. Now the only time I’m really inspired to write raps is if an artist that I enjoy invites me to their party...I don’t want to let Future down. I don’t want to let Lil Wayne or Drake down, because I love them."
Photo: Sunset In The Rearview
On apologizing to Big Boi: "We’ve left millions and millions of dollars on the table. We didn’t even tour for our biggest album. I just wanted to say I know how hard it must be."
On Hendrix: "He’s a god, he’s an idol. But he did that onstage. He was totally the opposite in real life." Photo: Credit Patrick Redmond/XLrator Media
"Hendrix kind of saved me. I was in a not-so-great space, just in a dark place every day. I needed something to focus on to get me out of my depression and rut. Sometimes, when you’re alone, you can let yourself go. I knew if I got on a train with a lot of different people, then I couldn’t let them down."
Photo: Patrick Redmond/XLrator Media
"Man, I'm old. I have gray hair. Get some young unknown to play Hendrix."
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"You study any great artist, there’s always women that help support that or turn them on to new things."
Photo: Patrick Redmond/XLrator Media
On influence of ex-girlfriend Erykah Badu: "I was on my path before I even met Erykah. But one thing I can say. I’m singing around the house, and Erykah’s like: “That sounds great. Why you not doing it?”"
"My son, he’s 16. Him and his buddies, they’ll be in the car, and I’ll say, “Hey, what do you think about this verse?” That’s my gauge at this point. I don’t have the pulse."
Photo: Rolling Out
"My thing is I’m an idealist. What I get off on is doing things people said could not be done."
Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images
"So what could be more rebellious than singing love songs, emotional songs [on his half of “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”] when everybody else is mean-mugging, saying “I’m a player.” I want to say: “I love these bitches, man. I really do.”"
Outkast’s 2014 reunion tour began under inauspicious conditions: the highly anticipated Coachella debut—plagued by technical difficulties—was met with almost universal disappointment, and the sheer saturation of their summer festival schedule was all but deflating for the legendary rap duo. Both artists have stayed relatively active in the hip-hop game since their 2007 hiatus began, with Big Boi releasing some of his finest work to-date and André 3000 appearing as a feature on many of the most significant rap releases in recent memory—but something just felt off about the whole thing.
In a somewhat rare and recent interview with The New York Times‘ Jon Caramanica, the reclusive André 3000 made some strikingly candid remarks—some of which clear up the mystery surrounding Outkast’s reboot. We’ll let you be the judge, though: check out the gallery above for some highlights from the interview, including André’s thoughts on everything from his portrayal of Jimi Hendrix in the film All is By My Side, to what it’s like being an aging hip-hop pioneer.