Say goodbye to those Outkast reunion fantasies for now – 50% of the ATLien duo, André 3000, is reportedly gearing up for his first solo release, and it’s said to be dropping at the start of next year.
The news comes via Stephen Hill, Black Entertainment Television‘s President of Programming and Specials. After a recent conversation with 3000 (aka André Benjamin), Hill tweeted a rundown of the back and forth:
“Me: hey what’s up? You got the movie coming, right? Andre 3000: yeah…and I got a solo album coming top of the year. Me:*droptofloor*”
From the mouths of babes. The movie being referred to, of course, is the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, in which Benjamin stars as the Purple Haze guitar god himself. If you haven’t seen the official pics, do yourself a favour. Worth it.
André 3000 has been staving off talk of a solo release since Outkast’s 2006 Outkast effort Idlewild, the soundtrack to the duo’s oft-maligned feature film effort. Outkast’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below – essentially a split release double LP between Benjamin and Outkast partner Big Boi – was famously held up by André’s relentless perfectionism, so it’s par for the course that we’re being made to wait as long as we are.
Since Idlewild, the fashionable gentleman has been involving himself in the odd collaboration here and there – including his controversial contribution to The Great Gatsby soundtrack with Beyoncé – but few hints have been offered as to just when we’d hear an LP proper.
Now, though, it seems like the collaborative spirit has finally spurred some creative inspiration. Benjamin told GQ earlier this year, “These new artists have kind of been keeping me alive. I’ve just really been feeding off of [collaborations] and this year I think I’m planning to do a solo project. I don’t know when it will come out, but hopefully it’ll come out this year.”
Seems like “this year” was a little ambitious, but it sounds like we’re definitely getting a proper follow up to The Love Below some time in the not-too-distant future. Seriously, do you remember how good Hey Ya! is?! This is something we can all be excited about.