Andre 3000 recently sat down for an interview with The New York Times.
Three Sacks gives rare and very personal interview with writer Jon Caramanica about his career and where he’s at now. Though the piece is for 3000’s work in the Jimi Hendrix biopic, Jimi: All Is By My Side, Dre does touches on other aspects of his life and recording efforts. Speaking to Caramanica, Andre spills the beans on multiple subjects such as live performances, not wanting to be a “40-year-old rapper,” advice he’s received from Prince, and, of course, the possibility of new music in the future. You can read select quotes about the aforementioned topics below, while the full piece — which demands a complete read — can be checked out here.
On his Coachella performance and advice from Prince:
Yeah, I think people could see it at Coachella, the very first show. It was foreign. My head wasn’t there. I kind of fluffed through rehearsals. A few hours before the Coachella show, I get a message that Prince and Paul McCartney are going to be there. My spirit is not right, and idols are standing side-stage, so as the show started, I’m bummed. This is horrible. In my mind I was already gone to my hotel room halfway through. So Prince called a couple days after. 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.”
I’m explaining to him that I really didn’t want to do it. He said: “I’ve been there. I’ve tried to do other things. After you give them the hits, then you can do whatever.”
He broke it down like this: “You’re a grown man. You’re either going to do it or you’re not.’
On rapping at 40 and rapping in general:
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. So if Future calls and says, “Hey man, I want you to do this,” I don’t want to let Future down. I don’t want to let Lil Wayne or Drake down, because I love them.
On his creative process:
My thing is I’m an idealist. What I get off on is doing things people said could not be done. And so if I’m at a place where I feel like I’m regurgitating or doing the same thing, it’s doing nothing for me. I get bored really fast. I saw a certain thing in rap. It started becoming acceptable. It wasn’t rebellious. 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.”
I write ideas, I write thoughts. Melodies come more for me than raps. I sit in my house and just play. I’ve been drawing and painting a lot more. I’ve always drawn costumes, things I was going to wear onstage.