Andre 3000 has been one of hip-hop’s classic enigmas that we still haven’t been able to figure out. He has yet to release his long-awaited solo album, yet his verses on songs like T.I.’s “Sorry” and Young Jeezy’s “I Do” have left scars on the game that no one will ever forget. During his glory OutKast days, we got to experience imperative moments in his personal life through his clever word play like his apology to Erkyah Badu’s mother in “Ms. Jackson.”
Now that he’s ventured off into the film industry, 3 Stacks has showed us that his creativity as an artist goes far beyond music. Andre prefers to stay away from social media. However, he tends to bless us with gems about his life and career in his rare interviews. In honor of his 40th birthday, we decided to dig up some fun facts about Andre Benjamin that you may not have known.
1. He was abstinent before he met Erykah Badu.
Andre is obsessed with women, but there was a point in time when he remained abstinent. 3 Stacks dated Keisha Spivey of the group Total before they got big. After she did him dirty and they broke up, ‘Dre decided to become celibate. That phase only lasted a year until he met his now-baby mama Erykah Badu.
2. He turned down a role for Dreamgirls in 2006.
Andre 3000 has had a handful of acting roles over the years. After starring in TV shows like “The Shield” and feature films like Jimi: All Is By My Side, the Atlanta spitter has been using film as another outlet for his continuous creativity. However, he’s turned down a few roles for films including the 2006 film Dreamgirls starring Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson.
3. Andre has six tattoos and he regrets all of them.
Apparently, 3 Stacks isn’t a fan of his own body art. “I had six silly tattoos done when I was young and I bitterly regret them,” he told The Guardian in 2009. “I’ve thought about laser surgery, but that leaves a scar, so I’m just leaving them.”
4. Andre 3000 was Big Boi’s rival in high school.
We all know that Big Boi and Andre 3000 met during the 10th grade at Tri-Cities High School in Atlanta before they went on to form OutKast. But did you know they were rival rappers? Their music video for their song “Roses” perfectly emulates the duos previous “high school rivalry.”
5. Andre began writing “Hey Ya” during OutKast’s Stankonia tour in 2001.
For OutKast’s dual album Speakerboxx/The Love Below, Andre 3000 explained to the Huffington Post that “Hey Ya” had several working titles including “Thank God For Mom And Dad.” He also revealed that the song was the oldest track on the album since he began working on it during OutKast’s Stankonia tour in 2001.
6. Andre 3000’s first solo record “Bow Your Head” was recorded in 1994, but made its debut on Idlewild.
Big Boi told Okayplayer in 2010 that when OutKast was recording their first album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik in 1994, both he and Andre recorded solo tracks. Big Boi’s track “West Savannah” made it to OutKast’s third album Aquemini. Andre 3000’s solo record “Bow Your Head” surfaced 12 years later on Idlewild.
7. Andre 3000 received at least five other movie scripts based on Jimi Hendrix before Jimi: All Is By My Side.
There were several people who believed Andre 3000 was born to play Jimi Hendrix. Before he accepted John Ridley’s adaptation of Hendrix’s life, Benjamin told EW that he had actually read four or five scripts from other directors and was on board. For some reason, none of those projects were made. When Ridley approached Andre with his script, Ridley said ”I’m going to make this movie, and I want you to be in it.” The rest is history.
8. Andre 3000 wasn’t the first to be considered for his role in Four Brothers.
In 2005, Andre Benjamin starred alongside Mark Wahlberg and Tyrese Gibson in Four Brothers. Although he lived up to his role as the rational brother Jeremiah Mercer, Benjamin was not the first name director John Singleton had in mind. Originally, Andre 3000’s part was supposed to go to Larenz Tate. However, he turned it out down and Andre got the part.
9. Andre 3000 is no longer a vegan.
After being a vegan for 15 years, Andre 3000 recently gave it up. In an interview with Esquire last year, 3 Stacks confirmed that he had finally given up the vegan lifestyle. “Socially it became horrible. I was kind of just sitting at home eating a salad. You become mean. That’s not good for you.”
10. Andre admitted that rapping about aliens is what initially attracted white people to OutKast.
During the excitement of OutKast’s last album in 2003, Andre 3000 spoke with The New York Times about OutKast’s early beginnings. Midway into the interview, ‘Dre admitted the real reason why the Atlanta duo got attention from people of all races. “When we started doing the more experimental rap, started talking about aliens, that’s when more and more white people started coming to the shows,” said Andre.