Andre 3000 feels that Hip Hop audiences have changed their perspective regarding singing in recent years.
“It’s funny because now most rappers have to have some type of vocal melody,” he says during a recent interview with Vibe’s Keith Murray. “It’s just a progression of things, man. Back then it was scary to even try something like that. Not everyone was just breaking out singing verses [laughs]. People would tell me, ‘Come on, dude. We want them raps. We not trying to hear you sing.’”
Andre Benjamin says that singing was scary at first, but that he felt strongly about moving in that direction at the time.
“It was scary, but I just went with my own gauge of what I thought was dope,” he says. “That’s the only thing that I have. That’s what separates me from everybody else. I can’t say that I’m more talented than this other rapper or a much better producer or actor than other rappers, but I know what I know. I know that once I feel a certain thing it’s not up to anyone else to decide at that point.”
Andre’s singing may have helped him work on the Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, but the rapper-singer also had to make some changes for the film.
“The hardest part was the guitar playing and the voice part,” he explains. “I had to lose my southern diction, which was hard because southern diction is really strong and my vocal register is different from Hendrix’s. Hendrix spoke with a kind of lisp so I had to learn how to speak in that way. But it was just fun and interesting to do. A lot of hard work, but it was good.”
Andre also had to take vocal lessons and lose weight for the film, he adds.
While Andre’s singing has been one of his acclaimed traits as an artist, 3000 recently revealed that he is not retiring from Rap just yet. The emcee is also reportedly planning a solo album.