Beyond OutKast: Andre 3000's Successful Solo Ventures And Collaborations

A guest verse from the Outkast legend is quite rare, but André 3000 never fails to impress

BYWyatt Westlake
andre 3000 career

Andre 3000 is one of hip hop’s most famous geminis, recently celebrating his 48th birthday on May 29th. The hip-hop legend came up alongside Big Boi as one-half of Outkast. Together, they released six studio albums, spawning some of hip-hop’s most iconic records. Andre 3000’s career and legacy have been cemented by Outkast’s historic run but he has since moved on to other successful solo ventures and collaborations. He has had a prolific acting career, notably starring as Jimi Hendrix in the biopic, Jimi: All Is By My Side and the animated series, Class of 3000 on Cartoon Network. Nowadays, he can be seen in random locations playing the flute.

The closest thing to a solo album from André 3000 came in the form of the second disc on Outkast's penultimate album, Speakerboxxx / The Love Below. The Love Below was handled entirely by Andre, including production. Still, Speakerboxxx / The Love Below was still billed as an Outkast album. Beyond Outkast, André 3000 has produced songs for other artists, including Killer Mike, Kelis, Gwen Stefani, and Kids See Ghosts. He even produced a song on Big Boi’s debut solo album. He also released a 2-song EP in 2018 dedicated to his mother. Since the last Outkast album in 2006, André 3000 has expressed that he has little desire to release a full-length album, though he tends to hop on songs from other artists and obliterate his verses. An André 3000 feature verse is rare but always a moment as he tends to outshine whoever he is on a song with.

The Top Collabs of Andre 3000's Solo Career

This is a list of André 3000’s best solo collaborations, drawing from his work with other artists outside of Outkast. Although some of his recent contributions, such as Kanye West's "30 Hours," have been minimal, he's continuously showcased his unique flare on songs in recent years, such as the remix of Chris Brown's "Deuces." Still, Andre 3000 has had some unexpected collabs throughout the years that showcase exactly why he's a rare breed in hip-hop. Below is a ranking of his best guest appearances throughout the years outside of his work with Big Boi. Take a look at the list below.

11. Frank Ocean - "Pink Matter" (2012)

What makes “Pink Matter” such a special collaboration is that it goes beyond just a simple guest verse. Frank Ocean pours his heart out onto the song’s slow, melancholic instrumental. For his verse, André 3000 fits perfectly into the pockets of the production’s downbeat rhythm. His contributions aren't limited to bars, though. He follows his short yet potent verse with a show-stealing guitar solo. Towards the end of the song, André also sings a soulful outro. Many of Andre 3000’s collabs throughout his solo career consist of a guest verse, which is rare on its own. He and Frank Ocean went above and beyond on this song.

10. Beyoncé - "Party" (2011)

Beyoncé’s “Party” is the ultimate summer block party song. The song heavily samples Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s “La Di Da Di.” Beyoncé’s vocals shimmer over the song’s glamorous instrumental before Kanye West strips back the production for André’s verse. He “sets the scene” within his first line and weaves between different flows in a short verse. He approaches the song in a calm and collected manner and seamlessly flows over the beat. 

9. Erykah Badu - "Hello" (2015)

André 3000 and Erykah Badu have a strong relationship, both as co-parents and as musical collaborators. “Hello” is a reflection of both of those relationships. The song interpolates “Hello It’s Me” by The Isley Brothers. It starts with a lush instrumental and André 3000 effortlessly floats over the simple chords with impressive rhyme patterns. He handles the song’s bridge, sings a second verse, and ends the song by singing the outro with Erykah Badu. The song is a highlight in Andre 3000’s solo career.

8. Drake - "The Real Her" (2011)

“The Real Her” is one of Drake’s best collaborations, featuring Lil Wayne and André 3000. In the beautifully moody song, Drake sings about falling in love with a stripper and wanting to know who she really is. Lil Wayne continues the same sentiment when rapping about how she stands out to him even though she has met other rappers. While the two rap about their feelings toward the girl, André focuses on the girl’s experiences. Though this thinking makes him feel attached, he does not give in to temptation.

7. Jeezy - "I Do" (2011)

Throughout his career, André 3000 has appeared on many all-star collaborations, many of which are on this list. No matter who is on the song, he manages to have the best verse, and “I Do” is a prime example of that. He joins Jeezy and JAY-Z for a song that gives “Int’l Players Anthem” vibes. Much like that UGK song, the song is extremely soulful and discusses marriage, although Jeezy and Jay marry the streets on “I Do.” André however, actually expresses his love for his woman.  

6. Kanye West - "Life of the Party" (2021)

This song is the most recent addition to André 3000’s best collaborations in his solo career. “Life of the Party” comes from a deluxe version of Kanye West’s Donda album and its soulful instrumental brings fans back into the “old Kanye.” Though Kanye spits one of his best verses in recent memory on the song, it is André 3000 who steals the show before Kanye even begins. He raps about the pain of missing his mother and what he would say to her as he pens his verse. 

5. Lil Wayne - "Interlude" (2011)

The intro, interlude, and outro of Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV album are essentially one long posse cut split into three songs. Each song features the same beat. Lil Wayne handles the intro by himself while the outro features Bun B, Nas, Shyne, and Busta Rhymes. “Interlude” is arguably the best out of the three as Tech N9ne spits his signature chopper flow, rapidly impressing with his complex rhyming. While only having 46 seconds to rap, André 3000 comes in with a relaxed verse and nicely contrasts Tech N9ne’s with his raps.

4. B.o.B - "Play the Guitar" (2011)

“Play the Guitar” is definitely playful. The funky instrumental allows B.o.B to showcase his animated flow, making for one of his greatest rapping performances. The song is fun on its own but André 3000 steals the show and makes the song his own. Some of the songs on this list are serious rap performances or vulnerable poetry-like verses. However, André is definitely enjoying himself on “Play the Guitar” as he slides across the beat. It makes for one of the most memorable verses of André 3000’s solo career. 

3. Anderson .Paak - "Come Home" (2019)

“Come Home” is already a compelling album intro on its own as Anderson .Paak provides his signature soul to the percussive production. The 2019 track features a rare contribution from André, who spits a dazzling verse that only he could write. The verse is a masterclass in rhyme schemes as he raps at double time with tongue-twisting bars. The verse is even more magnificent as he manages to squeeze in multiple double entendres that will have you doubling back.

2. T.I. - "Sorry" (2012)

T.I. once admitted that André 3000 outrapped him on “Sorry” and it is clear why. The song is one of T.I.'s best rap performances but Andre 3000 rapped one of his best verses in his post-Outkast career. He starts his verse rapping fast but slows it down after saying, “I don't even like rapping fast but that's how the world comes to me.” André incorporates his different flows and cadences throughout the verse, even harmonizing part of it. He ends his verse with a bang, rapping, “all some pussy n**** on the Internet can say is, ‘That verse ain't good.’"

1. Rick Ross - "Sixteen" (2012)

Like the majority of the collaborations on this last, André 3000 manages to make another artist’s track his own when he hops on it. Rick Ross’s “Sixteen” sounds like it was specifically designed for André to do just that. The idea of the song is that 16 bars just is not enough for a rapper to get their point across, which is articulated in the chorus. On the song, André goes above and beyond, handling the song’s hook and bridge while also rapping a 2-minute verse and playing a guitar solo at the end. 

Rick Ross curates the song with a luxurious beat from J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, rapping a clean verse, and leaving everything else to André. Ross spits 32 bars while André raps a whopping 50, reflecting on his upbringing and how it got him to his current position. An André 3000 guest verse may be rare as he has not rapped much in his solo career, but verses like these are what make them such an event.

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