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9 of our favourite Andre 3000 tracks and guest verses

Looking back at highlights from the genius's career, on his 41st birthday

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Andre 3000, a man who really needs no introduction but will always get one from us, is widely regarded as one of hip-hop and music’s most extraordinary talents. One half of dynamic duo Outkast, the multi-disciplinary Atlanta rep has rapidly become the music industry’s darling disappearing act — resurfacing at the most unexpected times to remind everyone how truly talented and charismatic he is. His list of accolades is immense, with Complex magazine including him on their list of Top 10 Rappers of the 2000s a couple of years ago, and Billboard following similarly in 2015 to name the man born Andre Benjamin one of their Top 10 Rappers of All Time. Having won multiple Grammys, and earning the adoration and respect of some of music’s biggest names, Andre 3000 celebrates a birthday today, and so we’re bringing you nine of the best Andre 3000 musical moments.

  • Words: James Schofield

01. Hey Ya! - Outkast

Released in 2003, ‘Hey Ya!’ and its accompanying video are arguably the most famous Outkast moments. Led by Andre 3000, the upbeat track still exists as one of the rare songs that everybody seems to know, and nobody seems to hate.

02. Ms Jackson - Outkast

Taken from arguably Outkast’s (other) best album Stankonia, released way back in the year 2000, ‘Ms Jackson’ is similar to ‘Hey Ya!’ in how it is regarded, and how it was received, by the general public. It’s also yet another tremendous example of how exquisitely Andre 3000’s vocals added to the chemistry between the Outkast pairing, if, indeed, they weren’t singularly the highlight of the duo’s musical career.

03. I Do - Young Jeezy (ft. Andre 3000 & Jay Z)

Originally recorded for Andre 3000’s debut solo album (which we still haven’t seen), 3000 tossed this song over to Young Jeezy for his own catalogue. It’s included on this list not only as a solid track, but as evidence of Andre 3000’s truly extraordinary reputation. How else can you explain a man being on the same Grammy-nominated track as mighty hip-hop heavyweights Jay Z and Young Jeezy, but still managing to steal the limelight? The charisma of the man *swoon*.

04. The Real Her - Drake (ft. Andre 3000 & Lil Wayne)

Sorry, Drake. I love you, and Take Care was such a dope album, but Andre 3000 stole this song away from you. Still one of Drake’s best tracks, ‘The Real Her’ sees Drake sharing the song with frequent collaborator Lil Wayne, before our hero Andre 3000 swoops in a steals the entire song (again) with a genius offering. All Drake could do was sit back and tennis clap.

05. Roses - Outkast

Another standout Outkast track, featuring an interpolation of Prince’s famous track ‘Purple Rain’, released from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2003, ‘Roses’ became an anthem for all ages at the time of the release. Even the lowliest school halls sung joyously along with “roses really smell like poo”, because there really isn’t any choice in the matter.

06. Pink Matter - Frank Ocean (ft. Andre 3000)

Frank Ocean might well be one of the only artists not to have been overshadowed by Andre 3000 given his own solid offering on ‘Pink Matter’. But given the fact that this track continues to be one of the highlights of Ocean’s breathtaking, and Grammy award winning, debut studio album Channel Orange says a considerable amount about Andre 3000 and his influence.

07. International Player's Anthem (I Choose You) - UGK (ft. Outkast)

RIP Pimp C, one half of UGK (alongside Bun B). One duo showing love to another, this combination is still one of the best guest offerings Andre 3000, let alone Outkast, produced. Criminally underrated, and smooth AF.

08. Hello - Erykah Badu (ft. Andre 3000)

Appearing on a track helmed by ex-wife Erykah Badu, the most recent inclusion to this list is a groovy, smooth number befitting 3000’s extensive catalogue, and perhaps the best way to send off our most sincere birthday wishes to a man who truly wears, and has earned, the tag of musical genius.

09. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

No Andre 3000 list would be genuine, or respectable, without beginning with the mention of Outkast’s Grammy Award-winning album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Essentially splitting the album in two, Big Boi took the spotlight for the album’s opening half Speakerboxxx while Andre 3000 took the spotlight for the album’s second (better, in my opinion) half The Love Below. Featuring such beloved Outkast tracks as Hey Ya! and Roses, Andre 3000’s The Love Below could easily be argued as solely responsible for the combined project grabbing Outkast the coveted Album of the Year Grammy, and truly affirmed the masterful genius that is Andre 3000 for old, and new, fans around the world.