It was one of the most talked-about moments during OutKast’s historic, star-studded homecoming shows at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic. The three late September gigs featured a who’s who of Southern hip-hop royalty and beyond, including members of the influential Goodie Mob; veteran Memphis rhyme duo 8ball & MJG; UGK’s respected orator Bun B; new age Mississippi spitter Big KRIT; critically acclaimed visionary Janelle Monae; Run The Jewels’ mighty Killer Mike; ATL’s current street king Future; and left-field drifter Kid Cudi. But the sold-out crowd during the tandem’s headline-making stand was shocked to witness funk-soul priestess Erykah Badu join ‘Kast’s André 3000 and partner Big Boi on the underrated Stankonia cut “Humble Mumble.”
As the charismatic Badu hugged her former significant other Three Stacks she hilariously mused, “That’s my baby daddy!” It was a clear nod to the now legendary union that produced their son Seven. But André tells VIBE that Badu’s jaw-dropping showing was long in the making.
“[Badu] knew of the tour already,” said the celebrated MC and budding actor born André Benjamin, who is currently making media rounds to promote his portrayal of guitar god Jimi Hendrix in the independent film Jimi: All is by My Side. “She was supposed to come out to Coachella but the dates did not work out. So we already know that we wanted to find the time to bring out people that we knew during the tour, and I think the Atlanta show worked out.”
As for the “baby-daddy” talk, 3000 suggests that people are making too much of a big deal over Badu’s irreverent quip.
“We joke a lot,” André says of his relationship with the unpredictable siren. “People just don’t know our personal life. We joke like that on the phone. She calls me her baby daddy and I call her my baby mama. It’s funny to us now because it’s such a talked-down type term. It is what it is. It’s totally a punch line.”
One person that finds the pair’s relationship off-the-wall is Seven.
“Our son is about to be 17 and he tells us, ‘You guys are nuts,’” André laughs. “Erykah and I are cool friends, man. We talk on the phone. She even asks my advice on relationships. She’s like a cool sister more than anything. The first thing people would think about us is, ‘Oh, they don’t get along.’ But there are always feelings when people grow apart. It’s something you have to get through. But man, we are cool.”
Stay tuned for VIBE’s full André 3000 Q&A. —Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)