It was the Spring of 1994; my friends and I had just purchased the album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and after listening to the first minute of the title track “Player’s Ball,” we knew that the duo OutKast — (Andre Benjamin also known as Dre/Andre 3000 and Antwan Patton also known as Big Boi ) would be one of the musical talents to put Atlanta on the map in terms of their music and lyrical style. *Oh, and let me not forget to mention the Dungeon family* Not only did OutKast create music that was hip and popular, but they created music that had substance and made us want to engage in discussion about their lyrics.
Their lyrics had depth, and they made us think…
They made us move.
They carried our mind to places, and left us open to what hip hop could really be.
Outkast rapped about social issues on a local and national level. They were consistent throughout the years, and the music they made was timeless. But it was Andre 3000 that captivated me the most. Don’t get me wrong, both Andre 3000 and Big Boi had an audible and mental hold on me…But there was just something about Andre 3000. There was something about the way he delivered his gift to his audience that made me feel like I was a pupil being schooled by this master of style on how one should deliver as a creative professional.
I think I was 14 when he first spoke to me, or at least made me feel like he was specifically talking to me. He had me at his first bar on “Players Ball.” It is no secret that Andre Benjamin better known as Andre 3000 has been one of my many inspirations. Andre has always had a lyrical and fashion style that he owned and this has allowed him to possess a creative savoir-faire that only a handful of artist possess. And like Andre said in the first bar or so on the“Players Ball” track:
“It’s beginnin to look a lot like what? Follow my every step take notes On how I creep I’s bout ta go in depth….”
And..I have followed his every step.
In following Andre’s music career, acting career and his entrepreneurial endeavors there are quite a few things that I believe many creative professional can learn from the success of Andre Benjamin’s journey as an artist…
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