Photo by Chris Tuite
In a new interview, André 3000 said he "felt like a sell out" during OutKast‘s recently concluded reunion tour, which staged the group’s first shows in a decade. During the tour, he wore several custom jumpsuits emblazoned with messages, with a big price tag hanging off the side that said "SOLD".
"I felt weird about going out on stage and doing it again," he told Nicolas Jaar in an interview conducted for The Fader. "I felt like people would be like, ‘Y’all are doing all these festivals, y’all are just doing it for money.’ And I felt like a sell-out, honestly. So I was like, if I’m in on the joke, I’ll feel cool about it."
He added: "It was a decision. I’m 39, I got a 17-year-old kid, and I gotta support certain things. And my partner Big Boi is like, ‘This is a great thing for all of us.’ So I felt like there was a certain sell-out in a way, because I didn’t wanna do it—I knew I was doing it for a reason. So maybe if I’m telling people, ‘I am selling out,’ then it’s not as bad as pretending. It’s being honest about it like, ‘Shit, I did these songs when I was 17 and I’m out here peddling them now.’ But it’s the honest thing, that’s what it is."
André’s jumpsuits are currently on display in Miami, coinciding with the annual Art Basel event. He said that he became more excited about debuting new jumpsuits than the tour itself, and that he saw the jumpsuits as a more effective medium for communicating new ideas.
"Honestly, just, you know—I didn’t wanna do the tour," he said. "We hadn’t performed in 10 years. It was old songs. I’m like, How am I gonna present these songs? I don’t have nothing new to say. So I was like, maybe I can start saying new stuff while doing these old songs. It became a theme where I was more excited about this than the actual show. This is fun, running out in these."