Andre Benjamin, who is set to star in the role of Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming Jimi: All Is By My Side biopic, likens portraying Jimi Hendrix to playing Andre 3000.
“There’s not that much difference at all,” Andre says in an interview with TIME’s Lily Rothman. “The only thing is I’m writing the story and I’m picking out my wardrobe. That’s the only difference.”
While Andre 3000 has said he has no plans for new OutKast material, he says he has other goals for his future.
“I still write music so hopefully I’ll be able to put another project out, another album, but I think you just have to figure out what’s your grown-man dream,” he says. “I was 15 when I said, ‘Hey, I want to do this OutKast thing.’ I’ve lived that out. And I think you’ve got to figure out what’s your grown-man goals, what’s your grown-man dreams. There’s something that you’re passionate about that you can do, that you can put yourself into.”
Despite wanting to venture outside of music, possible to theater, Andre says he does not believe that music is in a negative space.
“You can’t say the state of it is horrible or bad,” he says. “It’s just life. It’s just a day. Some days are more exciting than others but at the end of the day it’s like, these are people’s expressions. I hate when people come up to me in public, in the street, and they say, ‘Aw man, don’t you think rap sucks?’ Or, ‘Don’t you think this is not real music?’ I’m thinking in my mind: What do you mean, ‘Real music’? What does that mean? I know what they’re saying, but it’s just unfair to say what’s real and what’s not. Someone’s expression is what it is. Either you like it or you don’t. Especially being in the South, trap music has gotten a bad rap but I think it’s so inventive and so much of a departure from what we did, and I think you should do that. Every generation after should kill all of their idols, kill all the people before them, don’t mimic them. Keep it moving.”
Still, Andre isn’t solely focused on music, something he touches on when he’s asked if he is a recluse.
“That’s pretty accurate,” he says. “I haven’t had a lot of output, as far as a music artist is concerned. And personal life. I’ve done little things here and there but the focus has been different. I still am a fan of the music, but it’s kind of like it’s not the wonder years of it. I’m not comparing myself to Jordan in any kind of fashion, but you know when Jordan goes and plays a celebrity basketball game and shoots a little bit? That’s kind of what it feels like. Like, you know, you’re going to just shoot around a little bit and then you go back home. It’s not like you’re in it every night. When you’re an artist and you’re in it every night, it’s your only focus. Your intent is different.”