Andre 3000 on His Gillette Campaign, Style Choices, Becoming Hendrix, New Music
As 2012 comes to a close, Andre 3000 remains as one of the most sought after rappers in Hip-Hop. It’s been quite some time since ½ of OutKast released a solo record, yet his coveted guest verses shine like gold when seen on any given tracklist. Few MCs have been blessed enough to receive a sixteen from Andre. Consider Jeezy and Ross as two of the chosen few.
No one knows when he’ll officially release a new album, or even confirm the next OutKast project, not even himself. Still, as most listeners have given up on Dr. Dre’s Detox, the hunger for new rhymes from the enigmatic icon doesn’t look like it will let up anytime soon.
Most recently, we have witnessed the ATLien pop up as the new face of Gillette. Together, they have introduced a specialty razor/trimmer (The ProGlide Styler) for all the beards of the world, while simultaneously bringing awareness to Prostate cancer through the newly introduced Movember campaign. On a recent stop through the Big Apple, VIBE was able to wrangle Mr. Three Stacks for an eye-opening interview on being the face of Gillette, his style choices, transformation throughout the years, the Jimi Hendrix movie, and of course the status of his musical career. –Mikey Fresh
VIBE: To hardcore OutKast fans, the Gillette campaign seems like it came from left field. Can you explain why and how it happened?
Andre 3000: Gillette actually approached me. You know they do thorough research. They came to find out the landscape of men is changing. It’s not about the clean-cut shave anymore. I mean you see people all over with these cool beards and cool mustaches, so Gillette jumped in and made a tool just for that. And they needed people with hair on their face, man [laughs]. I was just amazed because the 150 years this company has been around they’ve never, ever had any ads with guys with hair on their face, never. I loved the idea.
I also really want to bring awareness to the Movember movement. That’s the serious part about the Gillete campaign. We need to bring more awareness to Prostate cancer in African Americans. My father had it and he beat it, thank God. We’re really trying to bring way more awareness and Gillette is backing the Movember movement
That’s a great cause and so relevant to the hip-hop generation.
Yeah and it’s one of those things where you know as men we don’t like to talk about certain things down there.
It’s a little tougher for us to be like ‘Hey guys let’s all go get our prostates checked.’
Yeah, and it’s kind of one of those things where we want make it not so taboo to talk about. I think when you’re trying to reach the youth there’s always a struggle because when you’re young you just think you’re invincible. I don’t care how much information or many websites are around. Teens think they’ll live forever. But the older you get you start to figure it out. Hopefully, we can reach the world.
Well you have our support. I’m sure being a “stylish guy” had something to do with it, too [laughs].
That’s what they said and you know the whole Masters of Style campaign idea was cool to me as well.
I kind of pictured you having a personal barber to take care of your beard grooming needs.
Nah, man. I haven’t been to the barber shop in almost like 4 or 5 years.
Yeah, my hair has always grown long, and I do it myself so I don’t even have a need for one. So it works. The ProGuide Styler can give any cut you want. It’s the perfect tool for facial hair.
Well as a bearded man myself, one of my biggest problems is messing up one side of my beard, than having to trim it all the way around to make it even.
Mirrors! Mirrors! See, I used to cut all the kids hair in the neighborhood when I was in high school.
Oh, I didn’t even know that.
I used to cut my own hair. Like blends and all kinds of stuff, and it’s all about the bathroom mirrors that you open up. You have to master the mirror. That’s what it’s about. I came up from using the old school clippers but you get gashes that way sometimes. I’ve done that to myself. I had to color it in with a marker.
[Laughs] Aw man, honestly what was the worst haircut you’ve ever received in your life?