Last May, Rick Rubin and André 3000 sat down at Rubin’s Shangri-La Studio to discuss a wide-range of topics in relation to their creativity, their pasts, and their futures. Most notably the two discussed in-depth the OutKast member’s creative struggles, with him failing to release any substantial music effort since OutKast’s Idlewild project from 2006.
The closest thing fans have ever gotten to a full-length solo effort from him is OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below double album from 2003, which was essentially two solo albums from Big Boi and 3 Stacks that were bundled into one. Since then, André 3000 has stuck to doling out feature verses, with last year’s emotionally-charged “Me&MY (To Bury Your Parents)” and “Look Ma No Hands” singles being released in honor of his late parents.
Within the new interview, André speaks on his troubles with creativity. “I haven’t been making much music, man. My focus is not there. My confidence is not there,” he shared. “I tinker a lot. I’ll just go to a piano and I’ll set my iPhone down and just record what I’m doing, moving my fingers and whatever happens, but I haven’t been motivated to do a serious project.”
“In my own self, I’m trying to figure out where do I sit. I don’t even know what I am and maybe I’m nothing. Maybe I’m not supposed to be anything,” he continued. “Maybe my history is kinda handicapping, in a way, so I’m just trying to find out what makes me feel the best right now. And what makes me feel the best is when I just do these random instrumental things. They make me feel the most rebellious… I don’t like to go with the flow, really. I don’t know why but I just feel best when I don’t, so I have to honor that.”
In a way fame crippled his creativity — it was the rebelliousness of OutKast that had catapulted them to stardom, turning them into industry trendsetters that sculpted much of today’s landscape. Rubin’s response to 3 Stacks’ creative struggles was simple however, sharing that the best way to go about such hurdles is to simply keep creating.
You can stream the entire podcast between the two below.
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Last May I got to meet and shoot @andre3000 and @rickrubin. It was truly one of the greatest days of my life. There are several photos from the shoot I’ve been dying to post but had to wait for the interview to come out. Today the photos leaked and are making their way around the internet, so here’s one of them. I’ll release the rest when the episode drops next Tuesday, along with a blog entry and a podcast detailing my experience. Shoutout to life, and much love to my friend @birdieafrika for the continued opportunities.. . #portraitkillers
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@andre3000 is not only in my top 5 dead or alive (top 2 actually), he was also on my top five list of dream portraits I made back when I fell in love with photographing people. If you scroll back to April of 2018 on my page, you’ll see a photo I took of a street sign on the corner of Headland and Delowe when I made a pilgrimage of sorts to East Point, GA, stopping at various landmarks along the way to bask in OutKast glory. Standing on that corner, if you told me I’d not only shoot 3 Stacks himself but that he’d actually go out of his way to meet me, talk with me, give me a pound-hug, and thank ME for shooting HIM… I probably would’ve hugged you too tight and prayed to god you were a fortune teller. He is very easily the coolest person I’ve met. His conversation with @rickrubin drops tomorrow morning on @thebrokenrecordpod and it is absolutely worth your time. More photos coming.. . #portraitkillers