3 Stacks recently sat down for an insightful interview with the New York Times where he spoke on, among many other things, his role as Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming biopic “All Is By My Side,” OutKast’s very first performance together in over a decade at Coachella (which, let’s be honest, sucked), how Prince played a role in his future performances and much more.
Some choice quotes:
You’ve been attached to various Hendrix projects over the years. What did you hope to convey about him through this one?
I thought, “What would Hendrix want people to know that’s not on YouTube?” He’s a god, he’s an idol. But he did that onstage. He was totally the opposite in real life.
Given that playing Hendrix had been discussed for so long, were you reluctant?
I may have said it to John [Ridley]: “Man, I’m old. I have gray hair. Get some young unknown kid to play Hendrix.” I turned it down. They kept at it. I actually asked my son, [Seven]. He said, “Yeah, man.” Honestly, I needed it in my life, too. Hendrix kind of saved me. I was in a not-so-great space, just in a dark place every day. I needed something to focus on to get me out of my depression and rut. Sometimes, when you’re alone, you can let yourself go. I knew if I got on a train with a lot of different people, then I couldn’t let them down.
I’ve heard you say that you didn’t want to become an old rapper.
I remember, at like 25, saying, “I don’t want to be a 40-year-old rapper.” I’m 39 now, and I’m still standing by that. I’m such a fan that I don’t want to infiltrate it with old blood.
But over the last five years, you’ve recorded maybe three or four guest appearances a year, and those verses are always really strong.
I struggle with the verses. I don’t sit around and write raps, I just don’t. Now the only time I’m really inspired to write raps is if an artist that I enjoy invites me to their party. So if Future calls and says, “Hey man, I want you to do this,” I don’t want to let Future down. I don’t want to let Lil Wayne or Drake down, because I love them.
Why the tour now, then?
Honestly, I never planned to go onstage again in that way. If I feel like I’m getting to a place where it’s mimicking or a caricature, I just want to move on. But I felt like: Let me do it now ’cause these kids [in the audience], it feels good to know that they’re happy. I really don’t actually get anything from performing.
Not even over the course of the whole tour?
I feel good in being able to look at Big Boi and say, “Hey, man, we did it.” Big Boi’s got these great records on his own, but this means something else for him.
So no plans to put out an album, but we might get a gallery show?
No, I’d love to put out an album.
Sung or rapped?
It’s hard to say. [Laughs.] I’m just going to call it honest. I know this may sound morbid, but I was like, if I were to die today, I have all these half-songs on my hard drive, and I don’t want that.
Read the piece in its entirety at the New York Times’ website.