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What do we do when Andre 3000 doesn’t feel music anymore?


(ThyBlackMan.com) The trials of Andre 3000 to release new music has been the equivalent of pulling teeth; the rapper has ducked and dodged an official follow up to his masterpiece, kind-of-sort-of solo album The Love Below. That album was released along with Big Boi’s Speakerboxxx in 2003, selling over eleven million copies. OutKast released their last to-date album, Idlewild in 2006 and the hype of a 3000 solo record was at an all-time high.

Besides dibbling and dabbing in features and album guest appearances from time to time, a promised solo effort has yet to materialize. Eleven years have passed since the last collection of Andre 3000 music has been released, and a bulk of his fans have moved on from looking forward to new Andre 3000 music. It appears the rapper has moved on, too. Recently, 3000 gave a rare interview to GQ.com and spoke on his state of releasing music.

“Actually, I hate going to the studio. So what’s got me going once again is me being excited about other artists. I’ve been working on producing a few artists. A couple projects. But here’s the crazy thing: I don’t have the pulse anymore. Rhythms change every generation. The intensity and the drums change. And I’m not on the pulse. I can’t pretend. It’s kinda like watching your uncle dance. So the only thing I can do is this kind of novelty, off thing for them.”

I’m guessing that fans of the legendary rapper/rap group OutKast must be feeling two ways; either they truly despise 3000, or they are still holding on to the notion that the rapper will release new material. But just like the artists before him (D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill) and the artist after (Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake), 3000 revels in scarcity. It’s become his brand and how he maintains relevancy. He relies on hype over talent, as the aforementioned artists before him.

But, has the act of balancing keeping fans on their toes and his own sanity finally run its course? Timberlake didn’t release any material for nearly seven years. D’Angelo equally frustrated fans, but gave up the schtick after 14 long years with a new album in 2014. In 2002, Lauryn Hill released her live performance of acoustic works, MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 four years after her landmark debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. But, nothing much has accumulated since, and she has habitually annoyed fans with her tardiness and through-the-motions performances on stage.

Frank Ocean is following a similar format but keeps a foot in the door for guests appearances on tracks and calculated photos. 3000 hasn’t released any solo material or anything as a lead artist since 2006 with Outkast. While guest appearances and features have roughly held fans together (eight alone in 2016), his interview with GQ may provide the final nail in the coffin in terms of any hope for 3000 and his career.

So how do we deal with 3000 deciding to all-but give up releasing any music? We just do. At least we have The Love Below to fantasize on what could have been a legendary career for 3000 the artist.

Music Editor; Brad Washington

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