"Just give them the hits." Andre 3000 on Prince's advice, new music and more

The OutKast enigma sits for an interview with The New York Times.

In advance of the release of his Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side, Andre 3000 spoke with Times critic Jon Caramanica in a rare, wide-ranging interview. While there is plenty about the film, fans of the multi-hyphenate might be more interested in his comments about OutKast’s reunion tour and his vague plans for more music.

Regarding the tour, he says he “never planned to go onstage again in that way” and that he “really [doesn’t] actually get anything from performing” — unsurprising considering the tepid reviews of his phoned-in performances. However, he credits Prince with post-Coachella advice that has helped him get his head straight:

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.” … He broke it down like this: “You’re a grown man. You’re either going to do it or you’re not.”

Adding to the long-running will-he-won’t-he debate about a new solo album, he says he’d “love” to put out an album, but it’s unclear if it would feature singing or rapping: “I’m just going to call it honest. 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.” As always, the time frame is fluid: “When you feel it, it’s right. If you don’t feel it, then why? Honestly, think about it. Why do it? Why?”

However, those expecting a return to rapping should take caution: “I remember, at like 25, saying, “I don’t want to be a 40-year-old rapper.” 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.”

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