Ain't nobody dope as me I'm dressed so fresh so clean / Don't you think I'm so sexy I'm dressed so fresh so clean.
As I came across photos of André 3000 relaxing in Oakland Park for his 43rd birthday, it made me realise how unfortunate the post-1995 generation is. André Benjamin otherwise known as André 3000 has smoothly expressed his style on rapping, singing, songwriting, producing, acting and clothing during his multi-talented career which most of the youth of today are unable to appreciate. André and his rap duo Outkast have taken a 10-year break from music making him no longer in the public eye and therefore ours, but as a fan myself I realised more people needed to recognise his greatness. Sometimes labelled as being one of the ‘top 5’ MC’s in history through his high-speed lyrical wordplay and ability to cross music genres it is difficult for me to not talk about his music, but in this case, fashion takes over as I briefly document the bizarre and bewitching clothes of ‘3stacks’.
During the early stage of André 3000s music career he dressed like a typical 90s rapper. Baggy white t-shirts, baseball shirts, loose denim, and Allen Iverson inspired braids. It was not until 1996 when Outkast’s second studio album ATliens was released and Andre’s relationship with soul singer Erykah Badu began where his deeper interest in clothing started. He displayed his newly found passion through personalised gender fluid costumes which he wore for performances or award shows that ranged from a 1800s wild western cowboy to a rural middle-aged Croatian farmer to a female in a Scandinavian folk tale. As crazy as these may sound you can't help but agree that he pulls them off.
Away from the stage and the red carpet, André 3000 keeps things more casual but still looks fucking awesome. As it was with the outfits above, it was difficult for me to narrow down my favourites but here they are. The first one is of André in New York wearing a denim three-piece and converse. Looking like a rock star, it is the sharp horizontal cut of the undershirt which makes this look particularly striking. The other outfit is less eye-catching but once again stylistically flawless, his monochrome striped shirt which can be seen just above the lighter striped dungarees is a pattern contrast that shouldn't work - but it does.
In Andre’s most recent venture into fashion, the artist created an exhibition featuring 47 couture jumpsuits that he had created for his comeback tour with Outkast. Premiered at Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2014 the exhibition called ‘I Feel Ya’ featured his jumpsuits lined up together in an ‘army of thoughts’ with a painting by Jimmy O’Neal and a video collaboration with filmmaker Greg Brunkalla. The jumpsuits were all black that featured personalised slogans on them which could be anything from a sexual innuendo to a political statement. The idea from André was for the text to be 'things which humans think but don't say to each other' and was shown in bold white writing across the chest of black garments. These included ‘across cultures, darker people suffer most. why?’, ’big girls are beautiful to me’, and my personal favourite, ‘thinking deeply about shallow shit’.