Andre 3000 Details Depression, Retiring From Rap, Album Plans

Andre Benjamin, one half out OutKast, speaks to The New York Times about why he doesn't want to rap after 40.

Andre 3000, who has been touring with Big Boi as OutKast this year, says he's getting too old for Rap.

"I remember, at like 25, saying, 'I don’t want to be a 40-year-old rapper,'" 3000 tells The New York Times' Jon Caramanica. "I’m 39 now, and I’m still standing by that. I’m such a fan that I don’t want to infiltrate it with old blood."

The rapper, who says he uses his 16-year-old son Seven and his friends as a gauge for his guest verses nowadays, also says he gets nothing from rapping as part of OutKast. 

"Honestly, I never planned to go onstage again in that way," he says. "If I feel like I’m getting to a place where it’s mimicking or a caricature, I just want to move on. But I felt like: Let me do it now ’cause these kids [in the audience], it feels good to know that they’re happy. I really don’t actually get anything from performing. I feel good in being able to look at Big Boi and say, 'Hey, man, we did it.' Big Boi’s got these great records on his own, but this means something else for him...I think people could see it at Coachella, the very first show. It was foreign. My head wasn’t there. I kind of fluffed through rehearsals. A few hours before the Coachella show, I get a message that Prince and Paul McCartney are going to be there. My spirit is not right, and idols are standing side-stage, so as the show started, I’m bummed. This is horrible. In my mind I was already gone to my hotel room halfway through. So Prince called a couple days after. It was my first time actually talking to Prince. He said, 'When you come back, people want to be wowed. And what’s the best way to wow people? Just give them the hits.' I’m explaining to him that I really didn’t want to do it. He said: 'I’ve been there. I’ve tried to do other things. After you give them the hits, then you can do whatever.'" 

Despite all of his discomfort performing as part of OutKast, Andre 3000 says he would "love to put out an album" as a solo act. He still doesn't know if it will feature raps or him singing, but he says he has plans to finish a project. 

"I know this may sound morbid, but I was like, if I were to die today, I have all these half-songs on my hard drive, and I don’t want that," he says.

Andre goes on to say he will release it, though he doesn't have a time window for the project. 

"When you feel it, it’s right," he says. "If you don’t feel it, then why? Honestly, think about it. Why do it? Why?" 

Beyond music, Andre 3000 has also been working as the star of an upcoming film based on Jimi Hendrix, Jimi: All Is By My Side, a job that may have saved his life, according to the rapper-singer-actor. 

"I was in a not-so-great space, just in a dark place every day," Andre says. "I needed something to focus on to get me out of my depression and rut. Sometimes, when you’re alone, you can let yourself go. I knew if I got on a train with a lot of different people, then I couldn’t let them down."

RELATED: OutKast Members Andre 3000 & Big Boi Working On Solo Albums


  • Anonymous

    Funny, Outkast broke the barrier for some of this wack ass southern artist and other bullshitters. Witnessing them perform at Coachella hurt me, this fucking generation don't know shit about OutKast when reality they should, not to be on Outkast dick or anything but damn theyre legends.

  • d tach

    "Hiphop is for young people" ^ media and label agenda trickery It keeps a fresh group of gullible consumers (and artists) ready to be deceived (the target demographic is 16-34). 35 and older, you're "supposed" to be married with kids, be an "adult", ponder retirement, letting the kids have their "chance". But they (media) stay on the job until either they die or well into the 80s, jobs that include children's books, cartoons, clothes, music, movies, etc. If you can't see this deception of telling you what you should be doing and living by a certain age or advocate it, you have a serious problem.

    • d tach

      It does depend on the message they are applying through media, that's when you get to notice the media pawns and the (no pun intended) outcasts. I haven't brought a Cube album since Death Certificate, his content has been played out for years IMO. Think about how they call him a legend though.

    • R.Pgh

      I don't completely disagree with your point, but it all depends on the type of music a rapper / emcee puts out. Nobody wants to hear a 60 year old gangster rapper. Guys like De La Soul, Common, 3stacks, etc. could put out stuff well into their old(er) age because kick a message and don't act thugged out. Ice Cube is coming out with another gangster rap album soon. He's 45 and makes kids movies. He might have grown up as a gangster but in reality dude has been rich for more than 1/2 his life. I don't need to hear some rich old dude telling me how fucking gangster he is. Because at this stage in his life, it's a lie.

  • Anonymous

    he need to cure his depression with some weed

  • Pepermint Rhino

    Difference being that Kool Keith gives credit to Zapp, P-Funk and even put Roger Troutman on his records whereas this fake nukka Andre pretended to be totally original. Plus Kool Keith never changed. Andre went from regular dude to Kool Keith clone half way through his career. FARK THAT BUMBA CLOT

    • r.Pgh

      Kool Keith clone? GTFOH. Keith spits spaced out shit that nobody knows what the fuck he's talking about. 3stacks at least has a message and you know what the fuck he's talking about. Keith used to be ill, then he got on some weird shit were he was just babbling through most of the song. He's a long way from the Ultramagnetic days.

    • Anonymous

      Kool Keith huh...

  • Pepermint Rhino

    He jacked his whole style from Kool Keith. He came out wearing regular football jerseys and jeans next thing you know he's "Andre 3000" (after Kool Keith was already Sinister 6000), he's wearing costumes and weird clothes (after Kool Keith been doing it), he's rapping about outer space and weird shit (after Kool Keith been doing it for a decade). Maybe he's depressed because he's totally fabricated and artificial.

    • d-nucks

      um....check out P-FUNK...George Clinton...look at whats on stage..thats wear kook keith..AND Andre got that style from....recognize the mothership nigga...

    • Lambert

      LOL at this kid. Andre is a legend with a big discography? Kool Keith been out since Run DMC and invented the big word rap style and a lot of other shit in hip hop. He probably has 100 albums in his discog and has worked with Prince Paul, Wu-Tang, Ice T, Dan the Automator, The Prodigy and tons of others. Lick me like a lolly and slob me down... doo doo brown!

    • Anonymous

      You're an idiot. Just because one cat does one thing and another dude does the same, doesn't mean the second dude copied first dude's style. Also, Andre is a beast on the mic and his discography is huge

  • Anonymous

    He is right why should he chose the path of lame ass rapper like: krs, mobb deep, snoop dogg, ice cube etc. Hiphop is for young people. No disrespect but hear a 48 year old krs rapping about he got flows and skillz thats lame.

    • Anonymous

      Hip hop is not for young people. That's the problem with some dumb as hip hop fans. Hip hop is a way of life that a lot of people (young and old) may experience.

    • killa

      The only reason why you think its lame to be rapping for 40year olds is because rap is still relatively new as a genre of music.. so back in 80s 90s you would never think a 40 year old would rap, but since a lot of these rappers from 80s early 90s are turning 40 and 50, its their music so it should be normal in todays age for a 40 year old to rap since thats what they grew up with..

    • chuckwick_illz

      Love how this is posted anonymously. First of all hop hop is NOT just for young people and Andre wrong for saying that. Imagine 16, 17, 18, 21 year olds running rap... this sht wouldnt even be a viable artform. EVERY act from the top to the bottom has somebody over 40 involved in the process, it aint just a bunch of kids making these decisions about the music and videos you see everyday. Not to mention everybody on Earth dont want to hear kiddie bop all day, we actually want some substance. Only a small minded child that hasnt seen or done much would call KRS or any rapper from the 90's 'OLD' and 'LAME'. You showed your ignorance and your age. Matter of fact if rap is so young then why are the only people making real money in their 30's and 40's? Name one act beside Drake that is making real... REAL money in rap thats under 30? I'll wait... and for everyone you name I'll name 10 over 40 that's making more than him. Corny azz little piss ant... go take a nap.

    • AR

      Disagree. Hip hop is for everyone. There's different styles out there. Now if we're talking about swag rap, trap rap, drill music, etc. Then yeah, that's for teenagers.

  • TheMadScientist

    It sucks to hear people say the same thing over and over again based on the comments i am reading like, "If you have all of this money and a girl with a phat ass and etc then you should be happy happy happy!" That is definitely not the case as each and every single day of life is an adventure whether you like it or not and there is always a message. The older i get the more that i realize life is extremely meaningful and we just have to let some things ride and work some of the things out. Its not all about money and i know that for a fact coming from a neighborhood that i said i was tired of and then relocating to a place that was much wealthier with much more opportunity. You just have to find your niche i guess because i like money alot just like the next man however MONEY ISNT ALWAYS GOING TO SATISFY YOU. I am making more money than ive ever made in my entire life right now and it comes to a point where you just want more and more and are never satisfied or you just get tired. Have to find something that makes you happy ultimately not based on income.

    • d mac

      Truth. The foolish and "savage in the pursuit of happiness" tend to end up poor and regretful because they never learned anything but did any & everything for a dollar. Money is a paper note of legal tender used for debts owed, public or private. It's not a loved one or has a capacity to love.

  • asaps

    fame and the expectation of appeasing everyone around you can make one lonely or depressed. when where you are dosen't match up to the expectations of those around you, it could lead to something mental...with or without money. you have to learn to live for something sincere. why do you think lauryn hill had all those kids? being a mother keeps you grounded, way past outside expectations. pleasing helpless kids instead of pleasing fans leads to a balance in reality. the difference between true love and fan reality could lead to imbalances, plus he just lost his ma & pa.

  • Anonymous

    he been retired nothing new

  • 3 headedmonstah

    fukin weird! i mean rich as fuk, but still depressed..has an ex like Badu, with an big ol ass on her, nigga still depressed? wtf? nigga go some where.. like i look at Robin Williams and be like damn, depression is some real shit .. but how when you are rich and able to make your self happy .. i don't believe in money not making someone happy .. fuk that .. nigga give me that money give these niggas on here that money i bet we would know wat to do with with it for years and years to come .. look at Jay Z and FiF, fuking Puffy, and Master P .. shit those niggas rich and still doing the damn thang.. i understand you do not want to be 40 rapping .. well stop fukin complaining and start acting .. you are a good actor fukin act! WEIRD!

    • Anonymous

      You really need to do some home work regarding depression. It is a very serious mental illness. Doesn't matter who you have in your life, how much money you have or your status. If you are seriously depressed, nothing matters. Your girl doesn't matter, your kids don't matter and you don't give a sh*t about anything.

    • Big

      More money, more problems If your depressed your depressed, its some real shit, its a disease, money dont change shit, being famous is a whole different lifestyle that u know nothing about, some people can take it, others it breaks them down

    • Anonymous

      Money DOES make you happy in some situations, but it's ridiculous to think that it makes every possible thing ever perfectly fine and devoid of pain.

  • San Diego Negro

    "If you dont feel it, then why? Honestly, think about it. Why do it? Why?" Realest shit. A lot of dudes get to that point in their career but keep putting out garbage even though they don't enjoy what they do. It becomes just a job at that point. You can see that in acting, sports and music. At least 3 Stacks is honest enough with himself to not just record for the sake of a pay check. I remember reading an article a while back where Big Boi was mad at him because Tide approached them to license "So Fresh and So Clean" and Andre didn't want any parts of it. A lot of dudes would have gone against their better judgement just to cash in and not I'm not saying it's wrong to cash in, but if you're not really feeling the product or the deal, then why do it? I respect Andre for his artistic integrity. He went out on top if you think about it. Dropped "Hey Yah", won a grammy and dipped.

  • mario515

    when you reach the pinnacle of your personal success its hard to figure whats next without getting depressed. Your reason for living or your "purpose" fades away, so you have to find a new path and thats the hard part.

    • Anonymous

      Depression is a disease and it has no symptoms. Only prevention I can think of is be a true friend and a good listener, maybe that helps them get thru their dark moments.

    • Anonymous

      He's great, just not feeling it any more. Sometimes when you are a great artist you do what comes naturally, if you have to force it than why do it.

  • micah dancy

    Andre 3000 has a right to say what he feels about not wanting to mess Outkast legacy up by releasing a wack album which they never did anyway cant wait to see them in charlotte sept 12

  • marcada

    he doesnt wanna rap in his 40s, well he hasnt done any rapping in his 30s either

  • Anonymous

    is 3 stacks jocking Drakes style next album??

  • Anonymous

    Good to see some recent responses from people with experience and who can CRITICALLY READ. "How come rich niggas are always depressed?" ^ THIS is the first comment on the board It doesn't ask "How come ANDRE 3000 is depressed". The question was asked (and worded) because of an observation of MANY, not just one. And with the recent suicide of Robin Williams, due to DEPRESSION, the underlying tone of the question is "why are celebrities so unhappy?". That is why money and fame were expressed. I know about his parents but Andre self exiled himself from the game a long time before that and NONE OF US know if he was depressed THEN. I ain't mad at y'all because I know CRITICAL THINKING was absent in many of your school teachings. Don't be so quick to reaction respond like kids do in school trying to impress the teacher being first to answer without READING the actual context and CRITICALLY THINKING out your answer. There is NO CURE for depression, so peace and blessings for 3Stacks.

    • Anonymous

      You right though. Somedays we gotta just chop it up for the sake of improvement for us and be ready for the cloudy days with the shotty when the f*ckboys slither through. Peace and blessings family, let's take some leadership out here.

    • Anonymous

      But what does lord jamar have to say about this!?

    • Anonymous

      Niggas is finally having a healthy discussion out here in DX, first time I didn't see y'all roasting each other in the comments section

  • Jason Vos

    Wow very interesting read. I often feel like I wanna be involved in many different avenues and therefore cannot pinpoint my true calling.

  • Rapper-In-His-Thirties

    He's in that place where he just doesn't know what to talk about on songs. That's the hard part about being rapper and actually being a mature grown Man. You don't want to rap about the shit that people want you to rap about it. You feel phony talkin' about 'the streets', 'cause you ain't there. You get tired of going on political or 'conscious' diatribes. You don't wanna talk about women on every song. You don't have the hunger to make some ferocious battle rap. You don't want to brag about your riches or complain about your problems. So you end up in this grey area. What he needs to do is get in the studio with people he can have fun with, and not a bunch of uptight self-important mothafuckas.

  • Anonymous

    its quite sad to see andre in the state hes in..i believe there is a lot of pressure on him to do an album, but hopefully like he said he'll do it if it feels in no rush, outkast and big boi's solo music is great to playback time in and time out

  • Wow!!!

    @Ummm Helllo!!!!!! I'm glad somebody has some a little sense and has been following 3stacks to know he lost his parents and it wasn't about money! Smh

  • Mike Davis

    I think depressed people (and people with mental illness in general) often are creative geniuses because their minds work differently than others. I wouldn't be so quick to assume it's the money that made him depressed, it could well be the depression that made him the unique talent he is.

  • Anonymous

    How come rich niggas are always depressed?

    • son of sam....uel jackson

      you can't go pump your own gas without people running up on you.unless you're working on something a lot of the time famous people stay inside their home.shit has to be depressing after a while.

    • Ummm Hello!!!!!

      Dude lost his parents last year, show a little respect. Money can't buy family fool.

    • Anonymous

      Because having money and fame doesn't cure your ills or make you above being human young person. Having money is just more access to do what you want but if you have long money you become bored, only so much you can buy that you don't have already. Fame means your privacy is gone and you'll do anything to get it back, which increases your unhappiness. Add in the leeches, groupies, and desperate souls looking for a dollar from you and ask yourself, how would YOU be happy? Success comes in many ways and most of the time has NOTHING to do with a lot of money and fame. Look for those moments in your life young person.

    • 614grind

      Maybe it's the pressure to be the person you were when you were climbing the ladder. Once they rich, they ain't that person no more. They're lost without that hunger.

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