André 3000

Electronic Music

André Lauren Benjamin, famously known by his stage name as André 3000, is an American rapper, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, actor and record producer. He is well-known as part of the hip-hop duo called OutKast wherein he worked alongside his fellow rapper Big Boi.

André was born in Atlanta, Georgina on May 27, 1975. His mother, Sharon Hodo is a real estate agent while his father, Lawrence Harvey Walker works as a collections agent.

André is a Native American and African-American descent and grew up on cities in Georgia like Atlanta, Buckhead and East Point. He attained his education from Sarah Smith Elementary School, Sutton Middle School, Tri-Cities High School and Northside High School.

For his acting career, André made appearances in TV shows and films such as Revolver, Be Cool, The Shield, Four Brothers, Semi-Pro and All is by My Side. Apart from acting and rapping, he also launched a clothing line way back in 2008 called Benjamin Bixby.

Career in Music

During high school, Benjamin met Antwan Patton or famously known as Big Boi and teamed up to form OutKast. After graduating high school, they eventually signed with LaFace label and in 1994, they released their debut album called Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. The album then went platinum because of the success of their single “Player’s Ball” wherein they won the award for Best New Rap Group of the Year during the 1995 Source Awards.

On the release of their upcoming two albums, ATLiens and Aquemini, the group experimented by mixing in elements of soul, jungle and trip-hop for their songs. Another noticeable thing about the albums is that it had huge influences of the traditional black music genre like funk.

Their fourth album, Stankonia, was the time when Benjamin introduced his new alias André 3000 and it increased OutKast’s crossover with the single “Ms. Jackson” which eventually landed number 1 in the Billboard Hot 100. In 2002, the group released their greatest hits album Big Boi and Dre Present… OutKast and it contained 3 fresh tracks. Their new track “The Whole World” won the Grammy Award for the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

In 2003, the group released their double album Speakerboxxx / The Love Below wherein it gave highlight to the different music styles of OutKast’s two members. The Love Below (André 3000’s side of the album) gained the most attention amongst the mainstream audiences particularly on the hit singles “Hey Ya!” and “Roses”. The Love Below focuses its music mostly on jazz, funk and alternative wherein it featured sung vocals from André 3000 instead of rapping.

OutKast released their sixth album, Idlewild, in 2006. This album is the official soundtrack for their musical film called Idlewild. The film revolves around the life that took place in 1930 and the album consists mostly of music from that era which is blues.

In January 2014, the group announced that they will reunite to celebrate their 20th anniversary and perform at more than 40 festivals from around the world during the summer/spring of 2014. Their headline spot began at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California which took place somewhere in April.