Don’t confuse André 3000‘s recent string of jaw-dropping verses as a total interest in rap music. The OutKast legend — who is now dabbling in the fashion world with the clothing and apparel line Tretorn — has openly stated that he doesn’t “want to be rapping in his 50s,” and in a recent GQ Style interview he opens up more on his decision to fall back from rap.
Freshly relocated to New York City, 3 Stacks revealed that he doesn’t feel as connected to the music world much because of, quite simply, aging.
“For me, hip-hop is about freshness. You can always hop, but you won’t always be hip. At a certain point, you just won’t. And this is how I know: All the people I grew up with, none of them, not a one, is thriving. Not a one. So that tells me something. I gotta watch that, as someone that’s come in the game and has loved these guys. I mean, loved them. Loved them. But the potency just moves on…”
Dre, however, does express desires to put out a solo album, and reveals that he has “hours and hours of files” on hard drives…
“Like, I wanted to put out my own project. Things I’ve been working on. But that’s for my personal [satisfaction], you know? And when my dad passed away, there was mourning for him dying, but there was a whole ’nother wave of mourning because I realized, Whoa, he died in his house alone. And I wondered: Had he done everything he wanted to do?”
… but hates the actual process of making music.
“Actually, I hate going to the studio. So what’s got me going once again is me being excited about other artists. I’ve been working on producing a few artists. A couple projects. But here’s the crazy thing: I don’t have the pulse anymore. Rhythms change every generation. The intensity and the drums change. And I’m not on the pulse. I can’t pretend. It’s kinda like watching your uncle dance. So the only thing I can do is this kind of novelty, off thing for them.”
He also shares high praise for Big Boi.
“Big Boi is smart as f**k. We went to the same high school. I dropped out in 11th grade. Big Boi graduated with honors. When you watch early OutKast videos, Big Boi’s the leader. He always had the confidence, where I was kind of like the shy one. Big Boi can rap better than me—I always said that. If somebody said, “Pick who you want from OutKast to go to battle with you,” it wouldn’t be me. ’Cause like, what I’ma do? Say some mind sh*t? You can’t have thoughts in a battle—nobody gives a sh*t about that.”
Despite all of this, Dre hasn’t quite given up on music entirely.
“It’s Mayweather. He knows. He’s like, Yeah, I can fight maybe three more of ’em. But I’m slowing down, and I see these young kids coming up and I was them. And at a certain point, no matter how Mayweather you are, I think it’s classy to be like, You know what? [brushes off hands]… but… I think I have, like, maybe two more Mayweather fights.”
André’s interview can be read in its entirety here.