While punters at this year’s Splendour in the Grass may have been very well satiated with Outkast‘s stop at the festival as a part of their international reunion tour, André 3000 has admitted he was least satisfied with the comeback, admitting it made him feel like a bit of a “sell out”.
The Atlanta hip-hop legends reunited this year for their first shows in 10 years, making stops at huge international festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Wireless, Bestival and of course Splendour, but in an interview in The Fader, conducted by Nicolas Jaar, Andre 3000 revealed he didn’t want to do the tour at all initially.
“Honestly, just, you know—I didn’t wanna do the tour. We hadn’t performed in 10 years. It was old songs,” he said. “I felt weird about going out on stage and doing it again. I felt like people would be like, ‘Y’all are doing all these festivals, y’all are just doing it for money,’ he added. “And I felt like a sell-out, honestly. So I was like, if I’m in on the joke, I’ll feel cool about it.”
The way he decided to be in on the joke was by wearing at each show his now iconic custom jumpsuits, each emblazoned with a unique, funny or thought-provoking phrase. “I’m like, ‘How am I gonna present these songs? I don’t have nothing new to say’,” he explained. “So I was like, ‘maybe I can start saying new stuff while doing these old songs.’ It became a theme where I was more excited about this than the actual show. This is fun, running out in these.”
The jumpsuits, which are now on display at Art Basel in Miami, depicted phrases that ranged from absurd to provocative to thought provoking, including text like, “Across cultures, darker people suffer most. why?” and “thinking deeply about shallow shit.” They were paired with a platinum wig and a cartoonish price tag, which read “SOLD” on one side as a way for Andre to signal to fans his thoughts about heading out on the reunion tour.
“I’m 39, I got a 17-year-old kid, and I gotta support certain things. And my partner Big Boi is like, ‘This is a great thing for all of us.’ So I felt like there was a certain sell-out in a way, because I didn’t wanna do it—I knew I was doing it for a reason. So maybe if I’m telling people, ‘I am selling out,’ then it’s not as bad as pretending. It’s being honest about it like, ‘Shit, I did these songs when I was 17 and I’m out here pedaling them now.’ But it’s the honest thing, that’s what it is.”
Photos: Outkast – Splendour In The Grass 2014, Byron Bay 25/07/14
Photographed by Ashley Mar