Andre 3000’s Most Personal Verse Ever May Never Be Released
Andre 3000’s rapping remains a big deal. Last month marked 15 years since OutKast’s sixth and final album, Idlewild. Since then, Andre Benjamin has carefully picked his spots to share his talent. Even without albums in that time, for many Hip-Hop Heads, he has cemented place among Rap’s greatest of all time.
During the late 2000s, Dre and Big Boi teamed up for some special verses alongside UGK, DJ Drama, and Raekwon. On his own, 3 Stacks dazzled on collaborations with Devin The Dude, Unk, Rich Boy, and JAY-Z, among others. He carried some of that energy into the next decade, with memorable feature work for Travis Scott, Divine Council, Frank Ocean, and more. However, Dre also admitted in recent years that he has been less inspired to rap. His musical contributions can sometimes avoid rap or vocals entirely. Last year, he raised the Dungeon Family flag with a strong showing alongside Goodie Mob on “No Cigar” while earning a Grammy with Anderson .Paak for “Come Home,” which arrived in ’19.
Andre 3000 Reacts To Being Dragged Into Drake & Kanye West’s Beef
2021 has yet to deliver an official Andre 3000 verse. However, at the top of the month, Drake broadcast a previously unreleased song on his Sirius XM radio show. While celebrating the arrival of Certified Lover Boy, Drizzy played a song, “Life Of The Party,” that Kanye West previously intended for Donda, but did not release. The track, which had first made news at a private Donda listening session in July, now featured some Kanye lyrics directed at Drake, and prompted a rare statement from Andre 3000. The OutKast founder revealed why the song did not come out, and added that when he recorded his half of the lyrics, West’s part was different. The 30-year veteran added that he was a fan of Drake, Kanye, and some others, while calling the situation “unfortunate.”
What may be lost in the controversy is just how incredible Andre 3000’s verse is, on a human level. “Hey, Miss Donda / You run into my mama, please tell her I said, ‘Say something’ / I’m startin’ to believe ain’t no such thing as heaven’s trumpets / No after-over, this is it, done / If there’s a Heaven, you would think they’d let ya speak to your son / Maybe she has in the form of a baby’s laugh / I heard passing by in a stroller remindin’ me, ‘Hey, keep rolling’ / I don’t know, maybe she has with a prick of a blade of grass / I’ve been layin’ on way too long, got me itchy / Got up and roamed a lil’ more / Miss Donda, you see my mama, tell her I’m lost / You see, she’d always light a cigarette, we talk, I would cough / Exaggeratin’ a lil’ bit so she get the point / Try’na get her to stop smokin’, I would leave and fire up a joint / ‘Til I quit, started back up again, 20 years later / All that time, y’all thought a ni**a was high, thought I was crazy,” is how Dre opens his verse. He speaks to West’s late mother in hopes of communicating with his own—Sharon Benjamin-Hodo, who passed in 2013.
Andre 3000’s First 2 Songs Of 2018 Are In Loving Tribute To His Mother (Audio)
The verse continues with clarity—no rose tinted lenses. “My mom, she ain’t cut no corners / Got me back on track, I don’t miss her overstepping / But do miss her showin’/ Seven civilian life sh*t / Ah, Miss Donda, you see my mama whisper her this: The real reason I was geeked to go to church / Must confess, when y’all grown-ups would be in Bible study / That girl helping me with my homework? Her and I were f*ckin’ / So pure and perverted, so spirit spinning and dirty / So on, so on and so on, we hoped that no one heard us / Sh-sh, ah, ah And to this day, I think her mama knew but let us explore.” The MC who has been vivid in descriptions of sex and sexuality on OutKast gems like “Babylon” and “Spread,” as well as their “International Players Anthem” duet with UGK, does not dial it back.
Dre continues, addressing both of his parents. “Miss Donda, you see my father, please, ask him: Why he never married? / Always smiled, but was he happy inside? / Because I carried my mother’s name, did he carry shame with him? / I’m sure she did it out of spite, it was her decision at birth / Sh*t, she probably was hurt, ah, poor baby / Two young people with different views, a lot for a young lady / No coincidence, they both passed away from heart conditions / There’s a dissidence at play, dad and mom do hard division / Three Thou’, poster child for big-d*ck ni**as raised by their mothers / I’m supposed to smile as if God knew that I would be troubled / Keeps me around, for what? I don’t know But I do know that it’s crucial, that we do so, pronto I don’t know how much long though.”
An Argument For Why Andre 3000 Is The Greatest MC Of All-Time (Video)
Notably, the curses in Andre’s verse are the thing he alleges kept the record from releasing. The true artist refused to deviate from the initial take on the meaningful subject—in one is one of 2021’s best verses, and a standout moment of personal reflection in an incredible career of artistry. Just weeks after Lauryn Hill stunned listeners with a marvelous contribution to Nas’ “Nobody,” another reclusive and illusive artist does the same. Only this collabo’ may never get proper release. On the latest episode of What’s The Headline, the Ambrosia For Heads team discusses the song, its many merits, and why it was not authorized for release. There is a deep-dive into new music from Common, Drake and Swizz Beatz’s apparent issues, and lots of new music to chat about.
Below are the time-stamps for episode #61 of the What’s The Headline podcast:
1:09 Drake has the best first week sales of 2021, with Certified Lover Boy
1:40 Which album between Certified Lover Boy and Kanye West’s Donda will better stand the test of time
11:40 The critical reception for Drake’s Certified Lover Boy has been mixed
13:20 Why Drake dissed Swizz Beatz on Certified Lover Boy’s “You Only Live Twice”
15:00 Was Swizz Beatz upset with Drake for not accepting an offer to battle Kanye West on Verzus
16:54 Who would win Kanye West Verzuz Drake
20:48 The reception to Kanye West’s Donda is becoming more favorable over time
24:10 Kanye West’s “Life Of The Party” featuring Andre 3000 was removed from Donda
27:00 Andre 3000’s “Life Of The Party” performance is the best verse of 2021
28:50 Unpacking Andre 3000’s “Life Of The Party” verse
36:23 Kanye West’s verse on “Life Of The Party” is filled with controversy
41:00 Who between Andre and Kanye caused “Life Of The Party” to be removed from Donda
42:24 Will “Life Of The Party” ever be officially released
47:00 Common re-established his MC roots with one of the year’s best freestyles
52:00 Should artists market their albums before they have been released in the era of streaming
56:30 What is Hip-Hop’s best outlet for freestyles in 2021
1:00:22 Reviewing Common’s new A Beautiful Revolution, Pt. 2 album
1:11:59 Will Common when a Tony award to complete his EGOT
1:13:47 Has Common’s Hip-Hop credibility been diminished over the years
1:19:40 Afrika Bambaataa will face trial for alleged sexual assault
1:29:04 Freddie Gibbs attacks Kendrick Lamar, BET and the Grammy Awards on his “Vice Lord Poetry Freestyle”
1:32:30 Kendrick Lamar has a new verse on Baby Keem’s “range brothers”
1:37:20 AZ has released his Doe Or Die II album
1:39:20 Blackalicious’ Gift Of Gab’s posthumous album, Finding Inspiration Somehow, has been released
1:42:40 New music from Damu The Fudgemunk, Yebba, Wiki, and Bronze Nazareth
AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline podcast. Additionally, What’s The Headline has recent interviews with Blu & Mickey Factz, Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse. All episodes of the show are available to view or for listening wherever you stream your pods.
Last month, Sony released a special 25th anniversary edition of OutKast’s ATLiens on vinyl, CD, and digital.
Andre 3000 Speaks On Not Having The Confidence To Make New Music (Audio)
#BonusBeat: Several selections from Kanye West’s Donda are presently on the official AFH playlist: