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?


From the Web

More on Vibe

AP Images/Grand Marnier

Celebrate Apollo 11's Historic Moon Landing With Grand Marnier's "Moonwalk" Cocktail

It's been five decades since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to land on the moon. To mark the historic moment that occurred on July 20, 1969, global French liqueur brand Grand Marnier is celebrating the historic "Moonwalk" cocktail inspired by Amstrong and Aldrin's lunar journey.

In 1969, Joe Gilmore, head barman of the Savoy Hotel's American Bar, invented the drink to commemorate the astronauts' return from their successful mission. The classic cocktail — made of Marnier's cognac and bitter orange-flavored liqueur, champagne and more — is said to have been the first beverage they sipped upon their homecoming.

“The cocktail was a mix of grapefruit juice, Grand Marnier, champagne and rose water,” he explained to Wonderland in 2008. “The Savoy sent it off in a flask and I received a letter back from Neil Armstrong thanking us and saying it was the first drink they had when they came out of quarantine.”

In honor of the 50th anniversary, we're sharing the classic "Moonwalk" recipe for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home today and for years to come. Scroll down for more details and relive the historic moment in the video below.

Bonus: We've added four more Grand Marnier cocktail recipes for the French holiday, Bastille Day (July 14). À votre santé (Cheers)!


Continue Reading

Scotch Porter Taps VIBE Editor-In-Chief Datwon Thomas For 'Dare To Care' Campaign

Grooming brand Scotch Porter has selected VIBE editor-in-chief Datwon Thomas as one of several men to participate in its "Dare To Care" wellness initiative launching on Father's Day weekend.

"Dare To Care," according to a press release from Scotch Porter, aims to "evolve the perception of manhood." The project will highlight men who use philanthropy, media, education, fashion, music, and advocacy to "aggressively push boundaries to reveal the multiple internal and external layers of themselves to inspire others."

Along with Thomas, other notable participants include Akbar Cook, principal at Westside High School; Carl Banks, two-time Super Bowl Champion and founder of Gil Sports; Emil Wilbekin, founder of Native Son (and former VIBE editor-in-chief); hip-hop artist Grafh; Travis Simons, pastor and life coach; and Iquan Worthington, founder of The Artoholiks.

“For so long you’re taught ‘you can’t cry, you know you play ball... that’s a hard foul’, it’s all these different things,” Thomas said. “It’s about understanding when you need to step up into a position and when you to need to be empathetic to others and yourself.”

The "Dare To Care" campaign will open Father's Day weekend with a multi-city digital billboard review, and across multiple platforms.

Scotch Porter customers can also visit to submit their own videos about how they're driving change around the mindset of being a man. More information about the company and the "Dare to Care" mission are available on Instagram and Twitter (@ScotchPorter), Facebook (ScotchPorter), and join the conversation with the #ScotchPorter hashtag.

Continue Reading
Courtesy of STRONG by Zumba

Zumba, But Make It Slap: Grammy-Nominated Producer Sevn Thomas On Creating 'STRONG By Zumba' Music

As New York residents anticipate the summer sun, the dancefloor of popular hotspot Copacabana was transformed into a full-blown STRONG by Zumba session.

With a high-intensity exercise led by Ai Lee Syarief, one beat, in particular, riled up attendees. It's the aptly titled "Knock 'Em Down," created by Grammy-nominated producer Sevn Thomas. Fast and slightly akin to his many hits (turn up Travis Scott's "WAKE UP" and Drake's "Pop Style"), the Toronto native gave the crowd another bop to add to the workout playlist.

Scoring a workout isn't easy, but the pairing seemed ideal for Thomas. "It's the perfect merge between music and exercise," he tells VIBE before the big workout. "They go hand in hand with each other, they complement each other. A lot of people listen to music when they work out to get in their zone and channel that energy. I thought it made perfect sense."

Thomas' collaboration with the STRONG by Zumba brand falls in line with the non-dance workout and incentive to challenge traditional fitness regimens. Past collaborators include Timbaland, Steve Aoki, and Krewella. While Thomas isn't the first hip-hop based producer, his take twists the brand's sound with an arena-like quality and a high tempo beat.

"["Knock 'Em Down"] is energetic, intense—a driving force," he said. "It's the perfect pulse for an intense workout. I tried my best to represent that in the beat as best as I can." 

Thomas' beat was used during the middle of the workout when legs were giving out and water breaks lasted a little longer than intended. As Syarief set up the next set of crossovers and squats intervals, guests like Chanel Iman were moving to Thomas' beat with ease. Thomas also joined in on the fun, STRONG by Zumba gear and all.

"Sevn's innovative sounds, blending of multiple genres with hip-hop beats and wrapped with a hint of his signature Caribbean-inspired bounce syncs perfectly with STRONG by Zumba," said Zumba CEO, Alberto Perlman. "By working with world-renowned producers, we are able to provide the best, most motivating and unique beats in every class that drive the ultimate afterburn."

For Sevn's personal STRONG by Zumba playlist, the producer is all about trap beats and artists like Young Thug's YSL Records signee Lil Keed.

"I really like trap music. That's my type of stuff [to workout to]," he said. "I've been listening to a lot of Travis Scott. I'm not sure if you're familiar with an artist named Lil Keed. I love Lil Keed right now, he's one of my favorites. His brother, his name is Lil Gotit. I love Lil Gotit's stuff too. I've been rotating that stuff when I'm in the gym doing my thing, I kind of zone out to that."

But STRONG by Zumba's workout not only came from a little inspiration from trap music but martial arts as well. Lead instructor and developer Syarief found her way to the brand in 2010 and has been the face of their many workouts like Zumba, Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba, Zumba Sentao, Zumba Gold, Zumba Gold Toning, Zumba Kids/Kids Jr. and Zumba Step. Syarief says the latest Zumba workouts are less about perfecting reps and more about moving to the beat.

"There are so many fun movements. You're going to sweat, you'll go to your limit, it's going to be hard. But the music is always there to push you," she said. "Even though you feel like, 'Can I still go?' The music will push you and we don't count reps. You won't even think of the reps, just to move to the beats. That's what makes it different than any other workout. We're going to start a bit slow and then it's going to increase the intensity until we really push your limits. You always have small, active recovery bouts in between so you can really catch your breath and then go full high intense, work hard. So that you have the afterburn effect and then you have the active recovery."

When Thomas isn't on the boards, he's trying his hand at developing artists. Currently, he's working with Long Beach native Gibby, a partnership that fits his organic approach, not molding them into a carbon copy of what's trending.

"I think he's going to be super special. He is super special but for the world not to see how super special he is[...] That's one of the things I have on my agenda right now," he said. "It's super cool and interesting to work with a new artist because you see how chemistry and synergy work as well as working with somebody that gets it. An artist such as Gibby, he gets it, it makes it so much easier for me. It's not as much heavy lifting, but it's super dope to see how people are on the same wave and how they can exchange ideas with each other. The end result is always the best when you guys have the finished product, it's kinda like 'Look what we created together.' That's the fun part."  

Thomas also has a few major productions on the way, noting how he's very booked and busy. "I've been getting in the studio with everyone right now," he said. "So I'm super excited to see how that unfolds."

Learn more about STRONG by Zumba fitness here.

Continue Reading

Top Stories