Still D.R.E.: Waiting On Albums From Andre 3000 And Dr. Dre

Andre 3000 and Dr. Dre won't release albums this calendar year"if ever again. Their perfectionist tendencies create multiple delays, but there's still hope for one more project from each of them.

An interesting video appeared on in late October. It was a clip of Kendrick Lamar playing “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” for Dr. Dre and Andre 3000. Aside from how much talent was in the room, and the clichéd “passing the torch” photo op it provided, I found the clip interesting because both Andres—Young and Benjamin—have become semi-reclusive, mythical Hip Hop icons for what they’ve done and lately what they haven’t done. Namely, they won’t give us the albums we’ve been respectively craving from either of them. Having one or both of them associated with your name and/or project, as Kendrick and Rick Ross have recently managed to do, lends an air of instant credibility. Technically, Andre 3000 hasn’t put out a proper studio album as a member of Outkast or as a soloist since 2006. Dr. Dre has taken twice as long as that by not releasing a solo album since 1999. I’d love to be wrong about this, but I seriously doubt that Andre 3000 or Dr. Dre will release an album in 2013—if ever again. During their rare interviews, they give various reasons why it’s taken them so long to complete new projects. Maybe we as fans should be asking some other questions. Setting aside our own selfish desire for potentially great songs, what personal reasons do either Three Stacks or Dr. Dre have for putting out full albums anymore?

Alwayz Into Somethin’

“I ain’t havin’ that / This is the millennium of Aftermath / It ain’t gone be nothin’ after that / So give me one more platinum plaque / And fuck Rap you can have it back…” –Dr. Dre, “Forgot About Dre.”

It’s almost scary how prophetic the above bars from Dr. Dre sound if you look back at them nearly 13 years after they were recorded. Like most people, I don’t assume Dre was being literal when he rhymed that verse. But even as his 2001, album was being recorded, Dre was putting himself in position to make a ridiculous amount of money from residual royalties associated with the Aftermath catalogue. We know what happened next. Eminem made two visits to the rare “diamond club” by moving over 10 million copies domestically of both The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show. Later, 50 Cent would sell 6 million copies of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ and another 5 million of The Massacre domestically. Then, just for good measure, Dre and Jimmy Iovine co-created Beats Electronics and subsequently sold a 51% stake in the company to HTC for $300 million before buying back a majority share in the company. It may not have been “the millennium of Aftermath” it was damn sure the decade of Aftermath. Simply put, Dr. Dre makes more from his business ventures and his back catalogue than he ever will from putting out any new music. There’s no financial incentive for Dre to release Detox.

Express Yourself

“Trying to find solutions to the situation I’m facing / Only thing that’s free is my flow that y’all be chasing / Letting my niggas know / Before I go I drop that knowledge / Like droppin’ books / Let’s stop the crooks / From robbing you of your brains and such / Using welfare as a crutch / I’m in it for good / You enter my hood you won’t be finding much / Hope that when I’m gone y’all remember this / What we stood for / Fuck that fame and that glitz…” –Andre 3000, “Chronomentrophobia.”

Farther east and below the Mason-Dixon Line, it’s not money so much as a possible waning interest delaying Andre 3000’s full time return to Hip Hop. He rarely tours, does press or appears in videos for the handful of tracks he pops up on but effortlessly murders.

“Things are kind of up in the air with me, and some days, I feel like yeah, I’ll do it,” Andre told Steven Horowitz in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Some days, I feel like, I don’t. I don’t know the future of music right now. I have no idea what I do. I honestly don’t. I record and I write ideas. I think I’ll always do that, for some reason. But I don’t know if it will go to another artist or will it be my stuff or will it go to some movie? I don’t know. I just kind of keep creating and hopefully, it’ll fall into a slot.”

This will be the first year that none of those creative efforts fall into an Outkast slot, as Three Stacks will not appear on Big Boi’s upcoming Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors. Big Boi’s recent “Gillette shit” jokes aside, the average Outkast fan can’t help but be somewhat pissed because the assumed preference is to hear Andre rhyming with Big Boi as opposed to the likes of Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Lloyd or pretty much anyone not named Antwan Patton.

For a fan like myself, and presumably anyone else who reads 2,000 words about two rappers they’ve never met, we probably can’t comprehend being as good at anything as Andre 3000 and Dr. Dre are at creating great Hip Hop music. You probably remember exactly when and where you first heard “Aquemeni,” “Fuck Tha Police,” “Elevators” or “Nuthin’ But A G Thang.” Serious head nodding and that ugly, scrunched up face many of us make when were hear something groundbreaking were probably involved. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can’t imagine being that great at something and then voluntarily walking away from it. And, as is the case with most things we don’t understand, that’s where the speculation comes in.

What’s The Difference?

“Now you ‘bout to feel the fuckin’ wrath of Aftermath faggots / You gone see us in our lab jackets / And ask us where the fuck we been / You can kiss my indecisive ass crack maggots / And the cracker’s ass / Little cracker jack / Beat making wack ass backwards producers / I’m back bastards / One more CD and then I’m packing up my bags / And as I’m leaving I guarantee they’ll scream / Dre don’t leave us like that man…” –Dr. Dre, “I Need A Doctor.”

On one level, I think at least some of the qualities that made Andre 3000 and Dr. Dre so great at their respective crafts are beginning to look like hindrances to fans like me. In theory, Dr. Dre’s success in the business world should earn him the right to make the weirdest, most creative project his heart desires. But despite the commercial success of his most recent efforts, “The Doctor’s” last few prescriptions have felt rather generic to me. Whether you buy the explanation of it being unfinished and leaked or not, “Under Pressure” lacked the natural chemistry Dre and Jay-Z showcased on “The Watcher 2.” Similarly, “I Need A Doctor” achieved the goal of crossing over, but its power-ballad style sacrificed the off the cuff humor and organic back and forth of “Guilty Conscience.” And I think Dre’s indifference toward ghostwriting in recent years undermines what has previously proven to be an excellent delivery (especially for someone who flatly says he’s not a rapper) when paired with less intricate rhyme patterns.

“I used to write quite a bit,” Dre told Alex Pappademas in a 2007 GQ magazine interview. “But I don’t necessarily like my writing as much as I do Eminem’s. So if he offers to write me a song, what the fuck? There’s nothing for me to hide there.”

What we end up with is an “I Need A Doctor,” type of track that sounds more like an Eminem song than a Dr. Dre one. Besides, if 50 Cent can allegedly make $177,000 in nine minutes hawking headphones on QVC, how much do you think Dre would make? Why would he spend those nine minutes writing a verse? As a fan you may feel cheated out of that classic Dre experience, but it’s hard to argue with the results and business logic behind letting your multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning friend and protégé pen some verses for you. Again, business acumen beats the whole, “love of Hip Hop” argument.

Sixteen Ain’t Enough

“And Flipper didn’t hold his nose so why shall I hold my tongue / I miss the days of old when one could hold his gal on his arm / And not set off these alarms when camera’s snap, snap, snap, snap / Return fire, pap, pap, pap, pap, pap, pap, pap, pap / They’ll learn why mere privacy so essential / They won't make no laws / I break their laws ‘til they see out our window / I take the fall / To make them all treat human kind more gentle / Forsake them all / I hate them all / Don’t like ‘em don’t pretend to / Yeah something tells me we ain’t in Kansas anymore / All that shit that used to be cool ain’t cool anymore” –Andre 3000, “Sixteen.”

As for Andre 3000, the same unbridled creativity that gave us Stankonia and The Love Below is part of the reason we won’t see an Outkast or solo offering this calendar year. Three Stacks is really good at a lot of things. His self-expression manifests itself in the form of cartoon series, paintings, movies and genre-bending music that are all at least moderately successful. And, if we’re to take him at his word, Dre has apparently become a victim of his past success and feels overly scrutinized.

“It’s such a sad thing because now, people judge everything that I do,” Andre added in his Rolling Stone profile. “Because I don’t do it much, they analyze every word and before, you could’ve had a shitty verse and people just forgot about it. So it’s different now.”

When you’ve helped re-write the rules of Rap, made the rare Hip Hop album to sell over 10 million copies and find that you can’t even go in the studio and fuck around without being expected to drop a classic, what are your options? Contrary to his own quote, I don’t think Andre has ever “had a shitty verse.” But I do believe Andre might imagine going through a press run for a project he’s not totally behind and performing songs from that project a hundred or so times during a tour as a miserable experience.

The Next Episode

“Even the sun goes down / Heroes eventually die / Horoscopes often lie / And sometimes why / Nothing is for sure / Nothing is for certain / Nothing lasts forever / But until they close the curtain / It’s him and I…” –Andre 3000, “Aquemeni.”

Perhaps the greatest hope an Andre 3000 or Dr. Dre fan has is that, the curtain hasn’t officially closed for either one of them. Unlike Jay-Z and Too Short before him, there hasn’t been any official retirement announced—just a decline in output. Over the years, these two have proven to be some of Hip Hop’s most fearless contributors. We’re talking about two people that draw inspiration from George Clinton and have respectively worn sequins and an umpire chest protector with velour, zebra pants. As grown men. Hip Hop’s current snarky, comment-trolling culture penalizes experimentation and fails to financially reward its trailblazers, but I think (hope) their talents and desire to keep contributing to Hip Hop culture will win out.

“It’s funny because, last night, it almost felt like this song and this video was the rebirth of something,” Dr. Dre told “Extra” in 2011. “Maybe [it’s] the rebirth of me going toward whatever the future holds for me and what have you. It’s weird because that’s how I started to feel last night during the making of this video. With the rehabilitation and everything, it just kind of feels that way.”

But, even if we assume the worst, that both Andres are done for good as full-time artists, there’s still hope. The landscape of Hip Hop has changed so much that sometimes we forget that some of us are clamoring for an album from a man that’s 48-years-old and another one that is 37-years-old. I’m not particularly sure that would’ve happened even a decade ago. Hip Hop is getting a lot better about dismissing age-related stereotypes. Too Short and E-40 are also both closing in on 50, and they just released a joint album together. Talent reigns supreme, and it’s fairly safe to say that the days when rappers over 35 only got wheeled out for a “Hip Hop Honors” tribute are over. If the worst we can hope for are a half dozen quality, high profile cameos from Dr. Dre and Andre 3000 every year, that’s still a win in my book. And if we’re lucky, maybe the creative fires get kindled to the point where they feel like dropping an album. Stranger things have happened.

Omar Burgess is a Long Beach, California native who has contributed to various magazines, newspapers and has  been an editor at HipHopDX since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @OmarBurgess.



  • Anon

    Me personally I think if Detox did release Rap music would improve %100 cuz right now real rap is in the underground I can't even listen to a hollywood rapper anymore unless it's along the lines of Dre everything else sucks

  • Anon

    I hate the fact that Detox will probably never come out but at least Dre is always looking for the next best thing in rap music it's about time the West made a comeback

  • Anonymous

    dre pulled a john cena and was like u cant see me or my records

  • Anonymous

    what was "Syllables" made for

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    My songs can make you cry, take you by surprise And at the same time, make you dry your eyes with the same rhyme See what you're seeing is a genius at work Which to me isn't work, so it's easy to misinterpret it at first, Cuz when i speak, it's tongue in cheek I'd yank my fuckin teeth before id ever bite my tongue I'd slice my gums, get struck by fuckin' lightning twice at once And die and come back as vanilla ice's son And walk around the rest of my life spit on And kicked and hit with shit, every time i sung Like R Kelly as soon as "bump n' grind" comes on More pain inside of my brain, than the eyes of a little girl inside of a plane Aimed at the World Trade, standin' on Ronnie's grave, Screaming at the sky, till clouds gather as Clyde Mathers and Bonnie Jade And thats pretty much the gist of it,Parents are pissed, but the kids love it Nine millimeter, heater stashed, in two-seaters with meat cleavers I don't blame you, i wouldn't let hailie listen to me neithe

  • Anonymous

    dre got to leak some unreleased shit like straight from the vault learning how to hack right now

  • Anonymous

    dre got scared and selfed it i thought kush and i need a doctor was whack would have been different if king mathers dropped

  • Anonymous

    got feeling dre made detox for himself dont think thier was one whack verse detox was talked about before madcity tho doubt its coming now dre dont fit in with the new crowd and im pretty sure drake would have to be on it

  • Anonymous

    em and dre got a plan detox is coming and em got at least to albums left it took em 2 albums to go pop maybe he can bring baack lyrics like he promised

  • Anonymous

    hip hop takes experience i dont see songs how i saw them as a kid maybe detox is for adults

  • Anonymous

    Bottom like is, Fans don't pay for music so why should anyone continue to feed the industry. If I was 3 stacks or Dr. Dre, I wouldn't make another song. For what? To please the same idiots that won't buy it and then talk about how wack it is? Nah, son. I would just say skip it and make money somewhere else. Rap fans don't buy rap music.

  • bswift77

    Detox will never drop. I faced this reality years ago. The financial rewards just aren't worth the risk for Dre. Dre is regarded as one of the best producers of all time. He has legendary status. He has dropped 2 masterpieces and was a co founder of a groundbreaking legendary group....N.W.A. He makes a boat load of money off the headphones and other business ventures. He's 48 and succesful, he doesn't want to record an album and deal with all that's involved. Press, interviews, video shoots, media, and touring. It's too much work and at 48, I don't think Dre is interested in it anymore. He probably hangs with other succesful businessmen his age, and none of them are on stage with a microphone. Dre has moved past Detox, I think we all should too. As for Andre 3000, I just think he isn't fully commited to hip hop, it's more of a hobby for him. Honestly, I don't want to hear a project from a person who isn't hungry. He also has a reputation that would be tarnished with a subpar effort. The pressure mixed with fan expectation is just too much. These 2 should never make another album, like skillz said, their places in music history are already set,they have money, there is no motivation for them anymore.

  • r

    All dre has to do is say 'ye im gna release it this year' or straight up say 'nah im done with it the projects dead' Put some closure on it

  • tvesrb

    only die hard loyalists are still waiting for Dre to drop Detox. most of us realized it was a lost cause and moved on. I don't think we need another album from either of them anyway. their place in music is already etched in stone.

  • Intelligence

    This article is in a respectful way towards Dr. Dre for not releasing any album and being the 1# artist !!!!!? The man is clever !

  • Anonymous

    who the hell is george clinton

  • SKillz

    Dre will never release another album reason being the game aint the same, dont wanna tarnish his legacy with an album that might not be commercially successful or a future classic.

  • JustSimpleInfo

    In my younger years, I was drooling over hearing a Dre Beat, and I purchased whoever had some Dre Beats on it...... I am from the days when Dre had Mike on the boards with him... If you don't know who "Mike" is, then you are too young to know or understand the good ole Music that they created. Dre, much love for what you have done in the past. I look at it like Michael Jordan. You get so good, it gets boring. You move on and try something else. We all heard the stories. Dre has a treasure trove of beats,and music locked up. You know he has the only masters, because how many times does a unreleased beat or track from Dre get leaked. Rarely if ever. Dre probably has a GPS signal on all his music that he sends out to artist to rap over. I love Dre for the many head nods I have done over the hears, and my kids love his beats too.. but ummm Fu#k waiting for Dre. Who is the Next Dre....??? I am not a music producer, so I can't be the next Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre.... Scott Storch was hot.... not sure what happen to him. Have you heard some of the beats that Crooked i, and the Horseshoe Gang rap on.... Its bananas. Dre deserves to be number one he put in work, but we have to move on as music fiends and find someone else to worship. I gave up on Dre releaseing music, years ago. If the DOC, Snoop Dogg, Hittman, X to the Z, Kurupt, King T, hell sprinkle some Ice Cube, and and MC Ren, somewhere on there, with the Game, and K.Dot, and the rest of the WestCoast Gangsta extended family is not on there..... I wouldn't fu#k with it anyways. Blaze your own path, HipHopDX or whoever needs to promote some Producers.. not just the hip hop artist... have a producer only section for people to submit their beats and we vote on it.... or something...

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  • Jack Johnson

    Dre won't release Detox because he knows what he has isn't good enough and I gotta respect him for that, he won't put out some bullshit just for the sake of it. If its not a classic then he wont' release it and he shouldn't either. That I Need A Doctor song was a disgrace, I'd rather never see a detox album then get a detox album with those kinds of songs

  • Mannneee!

    Aint Nobody checking for no Dre anymore! Andre or Dr dre. Hip Hop Moves on with or without these brothers! Peace!

  • Dr. Dre

    Look out for Detox, it's coming.

  • Anonymous

    Nicely written article - especially this line! "Hip Hops current snarky, comment-trolling culture penalizes experimentation and fails to financially reward its trailblazers"

  • andre 4000

    Its like the NWA reunion, why mess up a good legacy. I've moved on from waiting for these albums a couple of years ago already. There are plenty of other producers out there to listen to that are pretty good. If I wanna hear a dre album I'll put on aquemeni or 2001.

  • Anonymous

    I'm not waiting at all..

  • Fuck Compton

    Dr. Dre in 2001: "Look out for Detox" Dr. Dre in 2002: "Look out for Detox" Dr. Dre in 2003: "Look out for Detox" Dr. Dre in 2010: "Look out for Detox" Dr. Dre in 2012: "Look out for Detox" Dr. Dre in 2090: "Look out for Detox" Dr. Dre in 49875098: "Look out for Detox" When will this nigga tell the truth???

  • Stephenc

    This is all marketing. They don't put out albums and people keep their eyes on them waiting... waiting.. waiting. And you're right they're not going to make any more. Best thing to do is listen to artists who are making music and support them. It annoys me a bit what these guys do, but I remind myself they did put out great music and they have a right to sit back any enjoy the success they've had. I think Dre's #1 concern is coming back like MJ with the Wizards. Back to reality.

  • cf

    2 of the most overblown, overrated artists to ever do it. 2 of the biggest assholes too. dre is too busy being a coke symbol product pitchmen to work and andre 3000 is busy shaving his face on commercials for acting work. andre 3000 has done nothing but live off fumes the past decade and he's still regarded as this mythical giant that may wake one day. he's done. he's a horrible actor and a terrible musician that could really rap once upon a time. kids that thought the love below was amazing need to listen to a prince album or something. that was a good rapper not wanting to rap anymore. meanwhile the game drops another interesting album with no dr.dre help and big boi drops another incredible solo album with zero help from andre 3000. no body cares about dre his headphones sell but he gets no respect as a businessman/musician. imagine a real artist quitting after a pay day. rap is for cream and thats that.

    • jake

      Im gonna go with that line from the piece.. "comment trolling" my man you couldn't be more in correct in anything you have just put forth. Your out on your own.

    • Anonymous

      i agree with this dude..3stackz hasn't been hungry in years..

    • jerryc

      love below did suck. I guess I just dont see how a guy who rhymes day and night in the hallways, playgounds, lunchrooms, etc., can then blow up off of his rapping skill; only to decidehe wants to change his and his partners music and sing. I think his hooks were good when he kindof sung, but to do a whole cd like that is just absurd. Andre 3000 was in my top 5 rappers in the late he has left the game for good. Its sad.

  • Renzo rollin

    Dre fucked up when he decided he wanted to feel more manly/tough and started with the steroids. Steroids ruin the creative part of your brains. He hasn't produced one classic track since he looks like a black version of the Hulk. Steroids in his system=no inspiration= no Detox. I knew his had a serious inspiration problems when I first read he didn't even (co)produced his own songs "Kush" and "I Need a Doctor". He might found out 1 day that the steroids are the reason for his lack of inspiration the last years, but then it might be too late.

  • acidrap

    Dre's output is done.Beatwise-his shit been trash for the last few years.He just aint got the hunger no more.Id be surprised if that detox really do come out.

  • Mortis

    All Dre does is sit around and suck dinks

  • So Icy Boi!

    who cares? Lil Wayne's new albums I Am Not A Human Being II, Rebirth II, Tha Carter V and Like Father Like Son II comin soon. hip hop is saved. thanks YMCMB and King Of Hip Hop Weezy F. Baby. swag

  • Anonymous

    Stop waiting. Let them surprise you.

  • jay

    dr dre fucked up by not pushin under pressure.. that song was crazy i still got that on my ipod n bump it in my car. that would of been a smash

    • JJ

      For real man, its crazy how much they hated on that song. I got that song on my i-pod too. The version with Kanobby on the hook.

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  • Wiz

    En nuestro ya habitual esfuerzo de viernes usualmente hemos recurrido a las fuentes. Esto es, hemos ido hacia atrs para explicar la grandeza y la influencia que la msica negra estadounidense ha tenido en el panorama de la msica popular contempornea. Esta es una manera til de rastrear los motivos por los cuales esta movida empez a originarse, los componentes sociales que hicieron a su definicin y los intrpretes que la popularizaron. Pero, claro, la msica negra no se agota en los aos 60 y 70. Muy por el contrario. Como ya lo hemos visto por ac, los msicos ms inquietos e inteligentes de entre los muchsimos que hay en Yanquilandia son los que usan esa influencia, esa genialidad y los derivados que tuvo -no slo en trminos de xito sino en cuanto a lo que refiere a la reafirmacin estilstica- y los inoculan a sus propias ideas, a sus propuestas. Porque, claro, muchos aos han pasado desde que los iniciticos hicieron esas obras por las que hoy todos sabemos lo que fue esa poca, esos retratos de un tiempo convulsionado que ayudan a formarnos una idea de lo que pasaba por entonces. Pero eso no quiere decir que se pueda olvidar aquello, porque eso es lo que tiene la historia, forma todo lo que somos hoy. As que en todas las pocas ha habido msicos lo suficientemente vivos como para no quedarse en una imitacin de sus dolos pero tambin para no abandonar aquello que los hizo volcarse a la msica sino incorporarlo -en forma de influencia- en sus canciones. De eso estn hechas las revoluciones, claro que s: de un sentimiento histrico, de un pensamiento global que nos preexiste y nos atraviesa y sin el que no podramos entender nunca quines somos y por qu hacemos lo que hacemos. Por eso, hoy les presentaremos la que probablemente haya sido la ltima gran revolucin de la historia de la msica negra. Protagonizada, claro est, por los dos muchachos cuyas seductoras (?) figuras ilustran este post. Entonces, de a poco, empezaremos a desgranar sus historias -y la de la banda, o el do, mejor dicho, que integran- para entender cmo llegamos a aquel momento donde, para decirlo de una manera literal pero plenamente figurativa, partieron al hip-hop en dos, redefinindolo y descubriendo, de golpe y porrazo, mil afluentes nuevos para su crecimiento y desarrollo. Esta bonita historia comienza cuando los universos de sus dos facttums colisionan. Por un lado, tenemos al chico malo, al muchacho duro. Nacido en febrero de 1975 en la inmensa ciudad de Savannah, en el estado de Georgia, de muy joven Antwan Andr Patton se mud -junto a sus diez hermanos, cuatro chicos y seis chicas- a la capital de aquel estado, la an ms grande ciudad de Atlanta. Desde entonces ya ostentaba un inters musical, el que ciment a partir de su decisin de asistir a una escuela pblica con enfoque en las artes que haba en su nueva ciudad, la secundaria Tri-Cities. All se encontr con un panorama bastante rico en pibes talentosos y de mente abierta, en das de clase que, por ejemplo, incluan batallas de rap en los comedores durante los recreos. En un par de ellas, se encontr con el otro protagonista de esta historia. Tambin aparecido en este mundo durante 1975, aunque en mayo y con una familia muy distinta a la de Patton: Andr Lauren Benjamin, nacido en Atlanta, era el nico hijo de una vendedora de bienes races y un rompehuesos cobrador de cuentas a morosos. Sin embargo, tambin haba tenido algo de drama en su vida, pues sus padres se haban divorciado ms o menos cuando l tena diecisis. Para ese tiempo, Patton y Benjamin se conocieron. Haban protagonizado alguna que otra batalla de improvisacin, como contamos antes, pero realmente se hicieron amigos en el shopping Lenox Square y no tardaron mucho en darse cuenta que tenan que juntarse. Para entonces, Antwan ya haba tomado el nom de plume que lo caracterizara durante todos sus aos en la industria, Big Boi, mientras que Andr an se haca llamar Dre. No pasara mucho tiempo hasta que eso cambiara. Porque en 1992, poco tiempo despus de haberse juntado y bautizarse OutKast (descastado, claro), estos pibes -que, recordemos, tenan apenas 16 aos- fueron contratados nada ms y nada menos que por L.A. Reid y su sello discogrfico LaFace Records. Reid le sugiri a Benjamin que cambiara su seudnimo -no quera ser confundido con Dr. Dre, naturalmente- y as el pibe pas a llamarse como hoy lo conocemos: Andre 3000. Rpidamente, OutKast tuvo su primera probadita de xito. Inflados por L.A., que haba visto en ellos algo grosso, primero aparecieron en el remix de un tema de las TLC (grupo muy popular en los 90) y luego, alrededor del Ao Nuevo de 1993, sacaron a la calle su primer simple. La cancin, de nombre Players Ball, sorprendi por su mixtura entre rap y funk, llegando al nmero uno de la lista de temas de rap de Billboard. Nada mal para un grupo debutante, claro. As que LaFace, ni lerdo ni perezoso, los meti en el estudio, donde grabaron su primer disco, que sali en abril del 94 y se llam Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Este disco es, hoy, un pedazo as (?) de clsico, considerado por muchos como el disco que defini las fronteras del hip-hop sureo. Con apenas 19 aos, los pibes estaban en la cresta de la ola. Dos aos despus, tras haber girado y aprovechado con simples el suceso de su debut, sali ATLiens que, junto a el ahora reconocido Aquemini de 1998 solidificaron el prestigio de OutKast como una banda a respetar tanto por la coste oeste como por la costa este, como sabemos, faros del hip-hop y el rap. Cmo justificar tanto logro? Pues vale decir que si hay algo que caracteriza a OutKast, esto es la novedad de su sonido. Pueden usar instrumentos analgicos (de hecho, Benjamin es un gran guitarrista y pianista) como redefinir la nocin de los beats hacindolos ms orgnicos, tomando influencias del gangsta funk, del soul o hasta del techno y combinndolas con sus lricas intensas, bien pronunciadas y que pueden ser odas a las mujeres como pedidos de ayuda como crticas a su sociedad. Adems, de a poco haban ido tomando control de sus propias canciones, prescindiendo de productores externos en favor de reflejar lo que estaba en sus propias mentes. Dos aos despus de Aquemini, demostraron que podan seguir manteniendo la frescura y la innovacin de ese sonido tan caracterstico sin por ello perderse de adaptarlo para que fuera ms atrayente a audiencias no tan acostumbradas al hip-hop y el rap. El disco resultante de esta riesgosa pero recompensada decisin se edit, como dijimos, en 2000 y se llam Stankonia. Con Stankonia, OutKast volvi a romper las barreras. Pletrico de hits, ebullente en canciones de amor y desamor (por entonces Benjamin se haba separado de Erykah Badu y esto lo marc bastante, as como al disco que escribi), cada vez ms autnticamente negro y entrecruzado por el soul y el funk, fue su lbum ms exitoso y los convirti ya no en figuras del gueto del rap, sino en uno de esos grupos que hay que ver a ver con qu salen despus. Las personalidades de Andre y Big Boi se balanceaban: la dureza de Antwan, la dulzura de Benjamin, el rapper hardcore Patton, el soulero seductor Benjamin. Eso se notaba en sus lbumes, pero nunca se notara tanto como en el lbum que hoy les ofrecemos, no slo el opus magna de OutKast sino el disco que define al hip-hop de la dcada pasada, un corpulento y extenso muestrario de todo lo que se poda hacer en el marco de la msica negra por entonces. Les dijimos un disco. Creo que mentimos. Porque la idea fue diametralmente distinta: el prximo proyecto de OutKast seran dos lbumes en solitario de sus dos miembros, empaquetados con el nombre del do que los uni. As, el 23 de septiembre de 2003 y tras dos aos de produccin (de septiembre de 2001 a aquella fecha) LaFace les edit el ambicioso resultado de esa experimentacin. Speakerboxxx sera obra de Big Boi, The Love Below de Andre 3000 y entre ambos conformaran algo mucho ms grande que la mera suma de estas partes. Sus dos discos le sirvieron de exhibicin al grupo que formaban: esto, esta amplsima variedad de gneros, estilos, rimas, instrumentaciones y formatos, esto era todo lo que OutKast estaba listo para ofrecerle al mundo, y lo mostraba de la manera ms descarnada posible. Sin el lmite de un solo disco, sin la obligacin de repartirse la cantidad de canciones de cada uno, Benjamin y Patton se sintieron a sus anchas y as lo demostraron. El primero de los discos, el ms breve (apenas 56 minutos contra los 78 de su acompaante, lo que equivale a ms de dos horas de msica) y a su vez el ms purista, vino del lado de Big Boi. Speakerboxxx es un disco de hip-hop, s, pero eso est muy lejos de definirlo: desde el momento en que estalla la enfermiza y potente Ghetto Musick hasta la cada de la cortina con Last Call (interludios afuera) el lbum no nos da descanso. Orgnico cuando lo necesita, electrnico cuando la situacin lo requiere, estribando a partes iguales entre el funk, el rap sureo y yuxtaposiciones sonoras con el jazz y la electrnica como (algunas de sus) influencias, Speakerboxxx por s solo podra ser un lbum rupturista. Su idea es de old school, s. Pero su amplitud, su descarnada experimentalidad, su fuerza snica, el poder de las lneas de Big Boi y sus invitados (entre los que contamos a Cee Lo Green, Sleepy Brown y Ludacris) hacen de l un disco muy diferente de todo lo que se haya escuchado hasta entonces, un intento consciente de estirar las fronteras hasta que stas ya no existen o se han modificado decisivamente. Pero este disco impactante e increble no est solo, y vaya si su compaa le va en zaga. Atrs de Speakerboxxx viene el solista de Andre 3000, al que podramos definir como el gran lbum que Prince nunca grab (?). The Love Below es una leccin de funk, soul, jazz, R&B, hip-hop, en fin, todo lo que le vino en gana a su creador a la hora de poner en msica lo que pasaba en su cabeza. Benjamin demostr ser muchsimo ms que un rapero y aqu, superando las dificultades que l mismo se impone con su ambicin osmsica, se recibi de cantante e intrprete, de letrista y productor, de compositor y arreglador. La hermosa Love Hater con sus guios hendrixianos, el funky Roses que fue un buen xito, la psicodlica Prototype y, sobre todo, la explosiva Hey Ya! con su estribillo que le vol la cabeza a millones en aquellos aos son la muestra cabal de un tipo en la cspide de su creatividad, un hombre al que le dieron la posibilidad de mostrar lo que quisiera y que as lo hizo, creando un expansivo corpus en el que la excentricidad y la carencia de lmites son las nicas normas posibles. All est, entonces, el balance del que tanto habamos hablado y que haca de los OutKast lo que eran, un grupo nico en su especie. En ellos haba tanto hip-hop que era imposible de mensurar, y por eso, probablemente sin quererlo (pero, a su vez, conscientemente) sus ideas y sus cabezas le escapaban a las limitaciones de ese estilo hacia todos los terrenos que podan abarcar y que configuran la msica negra con la que crecieron y que tanto aman. As que a escuchar el momento que redefini el hip-hop se ha dicho.

    • Anonymous

      How to justify both achievement? Well, that is if there is something that characterizes OutKast, this is the novelty of their sound. They can use analgicos instruments (in fact, Benjamin is a great guitarist and pianist) and redefine the notion of the ms hacindolos beats organic, taking influences from gangsta funk, soul and techno or until their lricas combinndolas intense, well-spoken and can be odes to women as requests for help as their society criticisms. In addition, slowly Haban been taking control of their own songs, apart from external producers in favor of reflecting what was in their own minds. Two years later in Aquemini, showed that pruned continue to maintain the freshness and innovation of that sound as caracterstico without thereby losing out to adapt to more appealing to audiences not so accustomed to hip-hop and rap. The album resulting from this decision is risky but rewarding edit, as we said, in 2000 and calls Stankonia. With Stankonia, OutKast came back to break the barriers. Pletrico of hits, ebullient in songs of love and hate (then separate bean Benjamin Erykah Badu and this marc fairly, as well as the album that I wrote), ms autnticamente increasingly black and crisscrossed by soul and funk, was his successful album and convirti ms longer in the ghetto rap figures, but in one of those groups that must be seen to do with qu come after. The personalities of Andre and Big Boi swayed: Antwan hardness, sweetness of Benjamin, the hardcore rapper Patton, the soulful seductive Benjamin. That was obvious in his Albums, but never so much as noticed in the album that we offer today, not only the magnum opus of OutKast but the disk that defines hip-hop in the last decade, a burly and extensive sampling of everything Pruning is done in the context of black music at the time. We told you a disc. I think we lie. Because the idea was diametrically different: OutKast's next project will be two solo Albums of its two members, packaged with the name of the uni do. As on 23 September 2003 and after two years of production (September 2001 to that date) LaFace edit them the ambitious result of that experimentation. Speakerboxxx will play Big Boi, The Love Below Andre 3000 and between both conform something much bigger than the sum of these parts. His two albums he served exhibicin the group formed: this, this amplsima variety of genres, styles, rhymes, instrumentations and formats, this was all that OutKast was ready to offer the world, and it showed in the way most starkly possible . Without the limit of a single disk, with no obligation to divide the number of songs each, Benjamin and Patton felt at ease and so it proved. The first disc, the more brief (just 56 minutes against 78 of its acompaante, equivalent to more than two hours of music) and in turn the more purist side came Big Boi. Speakerboxxx is an album of hip-hop, s, but that far from defining est: from the time that the sickly and powerful bursts Ghetto Musick to each curtain with Last Call (interludes outside) the album does not give us rest . Orgnico when needed, electronic when the situation requires it, stirrups equally between funk, rap and juxtapositions sureo sound with jazz and electronics as (some of) influences, Speakerboxxx by s album can only be a breakaway. His idea is old school, s. But its breadth, its stark experimentalism, SNICA strength, the power of the lines of Big Boi and his guests (which we Cee Lo Green, Sleepy Brown and Ludacris) l make an album very different from everything have heard before, a conscious attempt to stretch the boundaries until stas longer exist or have changed decisively. But this shocking and incredible hard not alone, and what if your company is going in behind. Speakerboxxx comes Atrs of Andre 3000's solo, which Could we define as the great Prince album that never grab (?). The Love Below is a lesson in funk, soul, jazz, R & B, hip-hop, in short, everything that came in its creator wins when put into music what was going on in his head. Benjamin Demo tour muchsimo ms be a rapper and here, overcoming the difficulties that he himself imposed osmsica his ambition was received from singer and performer, lyricist and producer, composer and arranger. The beautiful Love Hater hendrixianos winks with the funky Roses which was a good success, the psychedelic Prototype and, above all, the explosive Hey Ya! with its refrain that head vol millions in those years are the perfect example of a guy in the cspide of creativity, a man who was given the chance to show what he wanted and as he did, creating an expansive corpus wherein the eccentricity and the lack of standard techniques limits are possible. All est, then the balance of both spoken and HACA habamos of OutKast what they were, a group unique in its kind. They both hip-hop Bean was impossible of measuring, and so, probably unintentionally (but, in turn, consciously) their ideas and their heads were beyond her limitations that style to all land cover and pruned that make up the black music they grew and they love

  • gbladdr

    Great article Omar. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. It's a shame that for both artists, so much time has passed since their last body of work that you won't be able to please everybody, and ultimately at least one group of people will be disappointed. Some people waiting for Detox will want that classic west-coast sound (i.e. Hey Young World), while others will expect something revolutionary. Although, back in 1999, I would argue that Dre struck a perfect balance between the two with '2001', so maybe he can do it again. Same thing with 3000: 'The Love Below' was arguably his most experimental work, which ultimately was a success both commercially and creatively. I can't really picture how he can follow that up pleasing everyone. 'Aquemini' and 'The Chronic' have a definite spot in my top 5 hip-hop albums. With that said, they've both earned enough respect and admiration from me that they both can take their time with their albums; I can wait, just as long as it's dope at the end of the day (and well, of course, they'll actually release something :P).

  • jr_rider23

    I have lost all hope from Detox, I'm just not really digging much of the new shit that dre has come out with. On the other hand I'm still anticipating the Andre 3000 album. He's more diverse and should be able to pump out some fresh new stuff.

  • Anonymous

    So sad our favorite rappers are getting were stuck with Minaj, MMG (Minus Meek). I'll always enjoy the few songs Wayne, 50, Em, and etc put out. Brings back memories of late 90s and earl 2000s.

  • Anonymous

    "we still have NAS, COMMON and BIg Boi" Hip Hop is really dead then.

  • Anonymous

    "I think his best buddy, the good ol' Jimmy Iovine exactly knows what kind of treasures Dre hiding on his HDDs" They're making so much money they probably aren't even talking about Detox, ever. Only his fans from The Chronic era are still bringing that up.

  • Anonymous

    "just ask game" In fairness to Game, the song was nothing special anyway.

  • Anonymous

    respect to the grand doc and andre 3 stacks oh and marshall , the white boy shits all over your favourite black rapper.... just ask game

  • One

    I don't expect Detox anytime soon. Well over a decade of waiting and just a few singles at a time. I have stacked up a few mixtapes with unreleased material by Dre over the years. Mostly through torrents but even with that material; if he would just clear that up in sound and released it, I'd be happy with that. Call it, "This is closest to detox you're going to get." Dre and Jimmy are getting greedy with that Beats franchise. Expect a music store from them later. As for Andre 3000, he may just be tired of the lack of effort in the rap. When you have a man who can sit comfy on what he has done throughout his career and don't really need much; he can ride like that. He may or may not release something. Hard to tell with him.

  • Anonymous

    none give fuck about detox RIP DrDre

  • Anonymous

    The most laughable thing is that probably Dr. Dre easily has enough material to make a 5-CD-long Detox. Recording in the past narrow decade with whoever he wanted to, having A-list co-producers under his wings and legendary MCs/songwriters around him is a guarantee for that. I think his best buddy, the good ol' Jimmy Iovine exactly knows what kind of treasures Dre hiding on his HDDs, but somehow don't push him to release it. You can its because their hugely sucessfull headphone business, but that's just the story of the past one-two years. And keep mind, Detox is in the mix since '02-'03... So I don't know, the lack of initiative is certainly a huge roadblock, but I can't find an explanation why Detox haven't dropped in '04-'05. Maybe that usual "Dre is perfectionist" stuff is the reason behind it, which could be true, but looking back its sounds more like a cheap PR bullshit than a valid fact. For me, I don't give a damn about Detox anymore, just put out those shelved albums from previously neglected Aftermath artists, and we'll be fine. Hell, even I'd pay significant price to own the original version of Stat Quo's Statlanta, executive produced by Dre and Scott Storch in his prime, co-prod by Mel-Man, DJ Khalil, Mike Elizondo, Jeff Bhasker and of course Eminem. And the list goes on.

  • Anonymous

    How long has it been since we have been on this detox debate? Ages. If dre announces a release date for detox today that will be an event in itself, and the record will definitely go plat, thats a garantee no matter what he puts out. But there will NEVER BE A DETOX ALBUM, from a business point of view it is a risky gamble; those headphones are selling like candy because of dre's previous reputation. If that reputed is tainted one single bit, the stock for those headphone will head rock bottom worst that the facebook stocks. Follow the Mulah and you will understand this situation. As for 3 stacks, fuck him.

    • Anonymous

      Sup, I said fuck 3 stacks cus I see no reason why he is holding back from putting out new material and I am not talking about the features.

    • Anonymous

      Dunno why you said fuck 3 stacks, but what you said about Dre and the importance of his brand for his headphones is right on the money. He's an icon, a classic; anything less would only ruin his brand. I don't think we'll see Detox for that reason.

  • Anonymous

    It's not a big mystery. On Dre's side he's making too much money off the headlines and realizes that the thought process that goes into making good music has changed. He released a few Detox songs. They didn't take the world by storm so not wanting to possibly embarass himself in an age of downloading, he probably washed his hands of it. On Andre 3000's side he's doing movies and slowly moving away from music. I think he's better as a guest spot on other albums anyway. People just have to realize that artists evolve and don't owe you a new album every year. Or in Dre's case every 10 years.

  • Esteban

    what a dope article, Andre and Dre thez r legendz in da game!

  • jay

    ive stopped caring about detox a few years ago..

  • westside

    uk both these have been waitin for years for there albums...the people are getting upset and thhey dont fuk them ...they can take their albums and shove it up there asses.. we still have NAS, COMMON and BIg Boi..

  • Hatez

    Cute article. Bottom line: Fuck them both.

  • Wrecka

    Dre made some good beats on Doggystyle but that was about it, he doesn't even write his own lyrics, I think he is famous for the Snoop and Eminem connection. He has completely sold out now w/ those lame headphones and is butt buddies w/ his young lover kendrick retard. 3000 used to be one of the best but hasn't done jack shit since Idlewild except some "gillette shit" and collabos w/ wack rappers and won't even colab w/ Big Boi whose releasing his 2nd solo album since then. Generation yolo and the rappers of the day are wack so there is plenty of opportunity but it's understandable, fuck rap.

    • Wrecka

      I'm going to hafta beat u w/ a ruler for disrespecting an OG like myself. I almost mentioned NWA and the chronic but they didn't have any gin and juice or gz and hustlaz caliber beats. Dre is filthy stinking rich w/o pimping shit, overpriced headphones. If u remember around the been there done that time is was perfectly acceptable to hate on dre like, diddy, yea he was already famous but Eminem helped solidify him.

    • Rick

      I'm going to have to give you detention for not completing your homework.... Have you heard of the D.O.C's No One can Do It Better, EFIL4ZAGGIN, The Chronic. Please know what your're talking about before making non sense comments..EMINEM did not do anything for Dr Dre. Dre was already a household name prior to EMINEM's signing. And if talking about being a sell out. Wouldnt YOU do the same if you had headphones that were generating millions of dollars for you? When one has a family to support along with bils etc. FUCK KEEPING IT REAL!!! I'm going to make money so that my kids kids future are set for life. Its not always about keeping the fans happy. One has to think about family first and if thats being selfish then fuck it. Call me selfish. Nobody else is looking after my family you know. Yeah, I'd love to hear new music from Dre but I'm always on the look out for new artist that will satisfy my appetite for great music.

    • jeca

      lol this generation Yolo. They really are a sad generation for everything. They legitimately have no taste, they just follow what the others do. You could put out the worlds best phone but it aint an iphone. Put out any rapper and feed it to them and they start liking it(2chainz, Gucci, Ross). Its just a sad sad time.

  • kaly

    It is really sad because, as hip hop has declined in recent years, these are two of the guys that couldve kept it natural. Dre, with either production or an album, could have significantly changed the current hip hop landscape. With Andre 3000, its just a sad story. Youre talking about the greatest duo ever(clipse and mobb deep arguably as well), and he quit for nothing. He didnt have to be in the spotlight, but he couldve stayed with Big Boi and continued to make RAP. HE was damn good at it, and compared to these wack artists and albums today, he wouldve been an even brighter star in the game. The sad truth, to me, has alwso been the fact that both of these guys have changed themselves and their style. Why? I think they both think its the only way to stay relevant. I couldnt disagree more. I think Dr DRe would sell the same amount of records whether he fuses pop into his music or he goes for that same sound that made him famous. In reality, I believe it was that confusion that made detox never come. He wanted to stay current with rap music trends and music trends, but what we all wanted was a 2001 type cd for all of those years in the early decade while he was promising the new cd. I hope one day Dre just puts it out, because I guarantee you it will go platinum no matter what he puts on it. These new kids will listen to whatever is fed to their ears. He hould put out the album he wants to and it will succeed; the only thing that coudl prevent that success would be if he completely sold out, therefore selling records but ruining his image. Big Bois cd is real good btw...go pick it up. If only andre 3000 would jump on board and give us another classic

  • Anonymous

    Dre doesn't need to put out another album, he makes more money off of his headphones than he would he he droped DETOX. Plus, DETO would BOMB. Its been too hyped for too long. it would have to be the most PERFECT album EVER! and NO album will ever surpass ILLMATIC.

  • Long Beach Ninja

    "Omar Burgess is a Long Beach, California native who has contributed to various magazines, newspapers and has been an editor at HipHopDX since 2008." Hope this nigga got the fuck outta here, cause I'd proudly slay him and dump him on a sewer.

  • bv

    great article, you have to understand these are people & everybody works different/has different levels of inspiration the whole QVC argument made some troubling sense though, really sucks that their perspective might be "what will make more $ this or hip hop" just wish there wasnt any "this will be dropping around..." or "this I'm working on..." don't front to get fans excited, just say "I have no fucking clue we'll see what happens", especially with the Outkast reunion announcement

  • Fuck Compton

    Ain't no such thing as a Detox. That whole shit is a rumor.

  • R.Pgh

    I don't really care if Dr. Dre ever puts out another album. He puts out good music, but you already know it's not him writing the words, so it takes away from some of the luster, to me at least. 3stacks though is just an immaculate lyricist. He approaches a track like very few. It's a damn shame I don't think he'll every put out a solo or an outkast album. I feel robbed of something.

  • Anonymous

    if you want andre 3000, ur gonna have to listen to outkast and appriciate that shit for what it truly is.. same with dr.dre. Even if we never hear new shit from them at least people will cherrish the old shit..90s(period)

  • Anonymous

    great read, enjoyed it

  • Anonymous

    dr dre is too busy in the gym gettin hench

  • Shuttaman

    Fuk them niggaz, not 3stacks doe matter fact fuk all this im tired of waitin on em fuck the lupesection from kanyetothe bang bang!

  • Anonymous

    yall dont deserve a andre 3000 album yal dont buy the albums hahaha

  • Jus10

    At least throw us an EP, Andre (Benjamin)... please?