Oh, Andre. It sure does seem an age since Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik caused more stutters than a substitute teacher pronouncing an ethnic surname. Outkast have contributed some of the most funk-drenched hip-hop debauchery to ever schmooze an iPod playlist.
But, I’m sad. I'm sad because in the past few years Andre has been relegated to the lower echelons of the song format. Everyone and their varicose-veined aunty has tried to get him on the latter end of a musical soiree of sorts and I’m tired of it. He's one of the most overlooked hip-hop artists of all time and should be fronting tracks with the type of double-time rap mastery he made his name with.
Could it just be that he's run out of steam? Are the proverbial juices no longer flowing? Maybe it's time he changed his name to Feat. André as an MBE-type ode to his "designated rapper" status.
See, bar his addition to Frank Ocean’s “Pink Matter” in 2012 and a few others, the past few years have seen A3K leapfrog onto the buttocks of too many tracks. Mediocre ones at that. I don’t like the idea of Andre being the farting coda of Beyoncé’s “Party”. In fact judging by Bey and A's recent collaboration, a botch job of Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black” for The Great Gatsby soundtrack, I’d rather they stay a suitably safe distance apart. Preferably the distance between West and East Egg.
We have to back track to 2007 for prime time Dre, when the likes of “Everybody” with Fonzworth Bentley had my replay button frazzled. (2008, at a stretch, if “Green Light” had you frothing with excitement every time you paused at a traffic signal.) For an original ATLien, that is far too long.
So rather than present the drivel of recent times, we’ve excavated the depths of the Outkast discography. In homage to the brighter days of The Love Below maestro, The Last Skeptik collated a playlist containing some of Andre 3000’s best verses into a handy one-hour mix. There’s snippets of “She Lives In My Lap” and “Art of Story Telling Part 2” buried in there to mull over, as well as a couple of the more acceptable cuts from his more recent "three grand and I'm anyone's" phase. While you listen to it, clasp your hands together and pray for The Prototype to return.
Follow Errol on Twitter: @errol_and
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