Foreign Gists

The kooky career of André 3000


André 3000 is one of the most innovative men in hip hop, and since the 1990s, André has been bringing us groundbreaking, out-of-the-box music. From Stankonia to SpeakerBoxxx/The Love Below, the Atlanta rapper has been around since the days of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. As one of the first experimental rap artists from Atlanta to break into the mainstream, André 3000 (real name André Benjamin) is considered one of the most forward-thinking rappers of all time. 

Born and raised by his mother in the Atlanta neighbourhood of East Point, Benjamin was raised by his mother. Atlanta was an upcoming musical hotspot during the late 1990s and early 2000s, especially for hip-hop. As an adolescent, Benjamin attended Northside High School and Tri-Cities High School for the Performing Arts but had an overwhelming desire to make music instead of studying.

In East Atlanta, after school, teenagers would flock to the Lenox Square mall, where they could hang out and also have rap battles. It was here, in 1992, at the age of 16, that Benjamin would meet Big Boi (Atwan Patton), his rap partner in crime. Although they initially battled as rivals, they grew to become friends.

The two had a mutual friend Rico Wade who owned a basement studio nicknamed ‘the Dungeon’, which was home to the Atlanta production team Organized Noize. After seamlessly becoming part of the family and recording on a weekly basis, the two would use the studio for their work as a duo operating under the name Outkast.

Producing and recording beat tapes and rap mixtapes, in 1993, the duo would sign with music mogul Antonio ‘LA’ Reid’s LaFace Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music. From here, the rest is history. From their initial $15,000 advance, they began to snowball into what we know Outkast today, with the frontman André 3000 receiving vast amounts of critical acclaim for his ability to morph and integrate the sonics of hip-hop into other genres.

During the elate-1990s and 2000s, André 3000, as part of Outkast, was unstoppable. With six Grammy awards and six BET awards, the Atlanta artist has most definitely had a whirlwind career, so in this article, we’re going to break down the facts and figures to present you with the career of André 3000 in numbers.

André 3000’s solo albums:

Across his 30-year career, André 3000 has released six studio albums, one compilation album, one EP and one soundtrack. André 3000 has had one number-one album on the Billboard 200. As a lead artist, André’s highest-selling solo album is the Outkast album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. The 2003 project debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and is certified eleven times platinum in the US, making it a Diamond-certified record.

Internationally, the project was still received well but did not perform as well as it did in the US. The album peaked at number eight on the UK Albums Chart and is certified two times platinum in the UK and Canada. The album’s most successful singles were ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘Roses’.

André 3000’s most streamed song:

As a lead artist, over his 30-year career span, André 3000 has released a total of 58 singles. However, his most streamed song of all time on the prevalent music streaming service Spotify is ‘Hey Ya!’, the lead single from Outkast’s fifth album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. The single, as of 2023, has been streamed approximately 998.6 million times.

As a featured artist, André’s most streamed song is ‘Millionaire’ by Kelis. The 2003 track from Kelis’s album Tasty was a hit in Europe and debuted at number three on the UK Singles Chart, the song was not released in the US. It has been streamed approximately 44.3 million times.

André 3000’s biggest video on YouTube:

Drake’s most viewed video on YouTube as a lead artist is the music video for his hit track ‘Hey Ya!’, which was released as the lead single for Outkast’s 2003 album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.  The video has approximately 638 million views.

The rapper’s most viewed video as a featured artist is the 2007 UGK music video for their track ‘Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)’. The video has been viewed approximately 59 million times.

André 3000’s net worth:

Outside of music, André has made endeavours in the world of acting, and has made appearances in several TV series and films such as, Families, The Shield, and All Is by My Side. The Atlanta rapper launched a clothing line called Benjamin Bixby in 2008 and last year worked with fashion brand Supreme for their Fall/Winter collection. As of 2023, André 3000 is worth approximately $35 million.