André 3000: ‘When I Pass Away, People Will Find Hours and Hours of Files’

André 3000 interviews are few and far between, so whenever the celebrated rapper steps into the limelight for a convo on his latest happenings, it always feels like an event of sorts. His new Q&A with GQ Style is no different.

André sat down with the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Will Welch, for a lengthy talk about where he’s at musically, what he has in the vault, and why his longtime Outkast partner Big Boi is a better rapper than him.

The discussion also touched on a pretty entertaining topic: André, inspired by buying a bootleg Anita Baker shirt, wants to spearhead her official merch line.

On a more personal note, the ATLien revealed the one regret he would have if he died today. “Here’s the only thing that I would regret: Man, you know, there is still that album that you wanted to do.”

André previously told Complex he would be at peace if Outkast never dropped another album, and also compared rap to boxing. Here, he used Floyd Mayweather’s career as an analogy for his own.

Check out some choice excerpts below, and head over to GQ Style (the Holiday issue is available on newsstands now) where André also talks about his parents (both have passed) and his partnership with Tretorn.

On being at the end of his music career

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].

I think I have, like, maybe two more Mayweather fights… Or maybe one.

On what he’s got in his music vault

When I pass away, people will find hours and hours of files…hard drives and shit. It’s hard drives of me just in the house alone playing horrible guitar. Me playing piano. Me playing a little sax. I was trying to find out: What can I be excited about? Because I never was, to me, a great producer or a great writer or a great rapper. I always felt that I was less than everybody else, so I fought harder.

On why he believes Big Boi is the better rapper

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 shit? You can’t have thoughts in a battle—nobody gives a shit about that.

On feeling out of the loop with the current sound of rap

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.

For me, hip-hop is about freshness. You can always hop, but you won’t always be hip.

On his plans to start an Anita Baker T-shirt line

I’m an artist, and I’m buying bootleg shirts of another artist, so I felt bad. So I was like, maybe, so my conscience feels good, let me try to find an address for Anita and send her a little check. And it’ll be a joke, like, “Anita, I just bought these shirts, I feel bad about it, here’s $50.” Then I started thinking, wouldn’t it be great to design a line of Anita Baker tees and present the line to Anita? Maybe she needs some merch.

If she says no, hey, it’s fine. It was just an idea. There’s no way to lose here.

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Carmelo Anthony Takes Subtle Jab at Knicks Over Joining OKC

Carmelo Anthony has only been playing for the Thunder for about 10 days now. But to hear him tell it, he’s already way happier playing in Oklahoma City than he ever was playing for the Knicks.

On Monday, Carmelo—who is a three-time Olympic gold medalist—told reporters that playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George on the Thunder feels a little bit like playing alongside his fellow Olympians as part of Team USA. And while explaining why that is, he managed to take a shot at the Knicks and the talent, or lack thereof, that he was surrounded with when he played in New York City.

Olympic Melo connotation comes into play [where] I’m surrounded by great players,” he said, according to the New York Post. “I try to get where the game is easier for myself, easier for everybody else. That’s where I can come in and not have to do too much and bring my game and help me blend with other guys. I’ve always been a product of my environment. Whatever the environment wants from me, that’s what I give my environment. This environment is different, reminds me of being around Olympic teams, those great teams.”

Elsewhere, Carmelo also spoke about how his move to the Thunder has rejuvenated him and put some energy back into his game. It sounds like playing for the Knicks was dragging him down and sucking a lot of the fun out of basketball for him, which isn’t going to be a problem now that he’s in OKC.

“I’m like born again a little bit,” he said. “I feel like I’m in college again. My second college campus being around in a city with a college feel. The energy and joy is back with the game of basketball. I can feel it when I wake up. That energy is different. I think you’ll see something special.”

Can you blame Carmelo for being this happy? After what he endured in NYC over the last few years, the idea of going into a season with a championship being a realistic goal has to feel great. And while the Knicks players who played with him probably won’t be thrilled to hear what he had to say about his time with the team, it’s hard to argue with the things he said and it’ll be interesting to see what he looks like once he starts taking the court for the Thunder on a nightly basis.

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50 Cent Reveals How Floyd Mayweather Really Felt About Conor McGregor

After years of not being allowed into the Hot 97 studios (which stem from a shooting outside of the station in New York City back during the G-Unit vs. the Game days), 50 Cent made his return to Hot 97 to talk about a number of topics with Ebro, Peter Rosenberg, and Laura Stylez.

One of the biggest revelations occurs towards the end of the interview (38:47), when Ebro asks if 50 spoke with Floyd Mayweather after the Conor McGregor fight. 50 says they Facetime'd a few days ago, and says that Floyd wasn't really feeling Conor. “He really didn't like him,” 50 said. “All that, he's getting away with touching his head? That's not Floyd, he ain't like that.” 50 also said that when he heard Floyd tried to bet $3 million on himself, he made sure he got his bet in (although he won't reveal what he made).

50 also spoke on Cardi B hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (at the 19:32 mark). “What Cardi does is so amazing for our culture; it means that there's no rules.” He calls Love & Hip-Hop the “graveyard,” and says that now the visibility of the show will mean that Cardi won't be the only success story.

Now 50 Cent was actually there to promote 50 Central, which is his upcoming variety show on BET. “There's a lot of cool sketch comedy,” he reveals, but does say that you might not see much Trump talk. Not because he's shook, but because he doesn't want to do stuff that a Saturday Night Live has already made their mark with. 50 does have an interesting take on Trump's presidency, though (around 34:36): “his presidency is an accident.” He takes it further, revealing his theory that Trump was “doing that to build his profile for a bigger deal on television,” which is something a number of people theorized during the debate season.

50 also speaks on Power being the No. 2 show on cable television behind Game of Thrones, goes back and forth on WHY Ebro can't blame him for the state of New York hip-hop, his views on 4:44, and much, much more. Check out the full interview up above.

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In the episode, Kofi talks about the Nike LeBron sneakers that he wore the first time The New Day joined as a tag team. The guys also talk about why more wrestlers in the WWE are starting to wear sneakers in the ring and how Kofi helped pave the way for people to ditch their boots. Later in the episode, veteran wrestling fan, Wale joins the trio to talk about his “Intercontinental Champ” sneakers that he made with ASICS and the current crossover between wrestling and the sneakers community. In the end, all four of the guys go shopping, spending over $5,200 on Jordans, Air Maxes, and rare and expensive collaborations from Nike and Adidas.

 

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When we first started making video content, one of our first ideas was to pair rappers with exotic animals. We quickly learned that getting permission to handle exotic animals in New York City is not easy, so we moved onto the next best thing: puppies. What came of combining puppies and rappers is Hounded, our new show where puppies interview the guests—but it's not as cute as it sounds. These puppies aren't asking fluffy questions, and things get pretty intense quickly, as you'll see.

Hounded, presented by Old Spice, premieres on the Pigeons & Planes YouTube channel on September 27, and our first guest is Wyclef Jean, who got deeply personal in episode one. Watch the trailer above, and stay tuned.

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Unboxing Nike’s ‘The Ten’ Collection by Virgil Abloh

Sole Collector's latest unboxing takes a closer look at four of the five pairs that initially released from Nike's “The Ten” Collection by Virgil Abloh.

The “Revealing” Air Max 90, Blazer, Air Presto, and Air Jordan 1 are all featured in the in-depth Unboxing, where we examine the materials used on each pair, as well as details like Abloh's signature red zip ties, quotation branding, and inside out boxes. 

If you missed out on the highly limited release in New York City, they will be receiving a worldwide release this November alongside the remaining five pairs from the collection. Also make sure to subscribe to the Sole Collector YouTube channel today to stay up to date with all of our latest videos.

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Nicki Minaj and Nas Have Reportedly Been Dating Since May

Nas and Nicki Minaj have been fueling dating rumors for months now. It all started with a rather cozy photo taken at Nas’ restaurant in New York City, Sweet Chick. To be fair, not much more happened over the summer, but the two were spotted again recently celebrating Nas’ birthday at The Pool Lounge in New York City with quite a lot of PDA. And now, a source has told E! News that the two Queens rappers have been dating since May.

“Nicki is not the type to date around,” the source said. “They are still getting to know each other.”

Both Nicki and Nas posted photos with each other on their Instagrams after the birthday party, with captions that at the very least suggest the two enjoy the other's company. 

 

Virgo Season With my Real One From Queens! @nickiminaj #hennessylife

A post shared by Nasir Jones (@nas) on Sep 14, 2017 at 9:09am PDT

 

The legend himself… #EscobarSeason

A post shared by Barbie® (@nickiminaj) on Sep 14, 2017 at 11:40am PDT

If this source has more or less confirmed that Nas and Nicki are dating, it would be mostly on par with what Nicki herself has been saying all year long. Nicki announced her breakup from Meek Mill in January of this year, and once the Nas dating rumors began swirling, Nicki was forced to address the rumors head-on when she appeared on Ellen in May. Nicki admitted that the she had “sleepovers” with Nas, but also insisted they had not done “the nasty.”

“I'm just chilling right now. I'm celibate. I wanted to go a year without dating any man. I hate men,” Nicki added. If they are taking things slow, the stories seem like they could match up. 

However, in case that isn’t the story you want to hear, E! News also got some contradicting news from yet another source. This other “insider” told E! News that Nas and Nicki Minaj are only close friends and have been for years.

“Nicki and Nas are just very dear friends. Nothing romantic. They've been friends forever and have seen each other's careers take off,” the source said. “Nas and John Seymour have recently just opened their second restaurant Sweet Chick in LA. The original Sweet Chick is in the LES [Lower East Side] in NYC. Nicki has been to both spots and always supportive of him and his new ventures,” the source said, as if he or she knew exactly why people are speculating about the two rappers’s relationships.

“They share a really close friendship and always has each other's back,” the source continued. “Nicki is single now and dating but nothing serious. Nas is a best friend to her so as of now nothing is stirring up. People always joke around though that they make a great couple!”

Well, there you have it, folks. Are Nas and Nicki just incredibly close friends or something more? Pick your own adventure!

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6 Dogs Shares “Faygo Dreams” Video, Explains His Unique Perspective on Life and Music

Like many fans, I had already heard pieces of the story behind 18-year-old artist 6 Dogs' upbringing before we met—he was homeschooled and raised in a religious household in Georgia, and his mom grounded him when she discovered his music. He persisted, and his unique blend of minimal hip-hop elements, hypnotic deliveries, and dream-like melodies earned him a dedicated and enormous following. Many of his songs have millions of plays, and “Faygo Dreams” has over six million on SoundCloud alone. But throughout his rise over the last year, he's remained an enigma, maintaining distance from the spotlight and holding onto his private lifestyle.

In late July, 6 Dogs came to New York City for the “Faygo Dreams” video shoot, and we planned to link up in Washington Square Park. Going into our meeting during a sunny day in New York City, I knew I wasn't hanging out with the average teenager. I expected someone shocked and possibly overwhelmed by the chaos of New York City, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

If I were to take a guess, I would say 6 Dogs was unimpressed by NYC. After speaking with him, I would even go so far as to say 6 Dogs is pretty unimpressed with the entire world that he was somewhat sheltered from his entire life. 

There couldn't be a crazier time for 6 Dogs to experience the world, but he's taking full advantage of the outsider perspective he has on life, and he's wrapping his head around a plan. Check out the video for “Faygo Dreams” above and keep scrolling for our full conversation with 6 Dogs.

6 Dogs
Photo by Jonathan Astacio

How did “Faygo Dreams” come together?

When I was making the song I just had the hook and my friend had this amazing beat. We made it in the library during lunch. We went in the library for a week, just tweaking and stuff. I was writing some stuff down and it all was corny. I decided to scrap the entire song and rewrite it about five minutes before I left to record it. Then I thought, “What’s something really cool? Faygo.” Then I thought, “What’s something else really cool? Dreams.” Then I put it together.

What about the video?

The video was a dream that I had. It was one of the craziest dreams I’ve had in my life, and I’m very into my dreams and trying to decipher them. You ever have dreams where you just know things without them being explained, even if it doesn’t match up in real life?

Yeah, like the dreams are an alternate reality.

So basically, I was in this arcade but it was purgatory. It wasn’t scary or anything, it wasn’t hellish. It was just a regular arcade, you could get food at the concession stand, you can play games. I was in this corner of the arcade playing one of the games and I ended up beating the game.

After I beat the game, it brought up three prizes that I could choose from. The first prize was that I could bring this kid I grew up with back to life—he killed himself last year. The second one was that I could bring Michael Jackson back to life, and the third prize was a bouncy ball and some quarters.

I was going through my options. I was looking at the kid I could bring back to life and decided, “I don’t need to bring him back. He’s at peace, he’s in a better place.” So then I got to Michael Jackson and I was like, “He doesn’t need to come back.” I just got an extremely negative vibe looking at the screen. So I ended up taking the bouncy ball and some quarters. It wasn’t like I wanted it, but it was the only option.

Did you ever figure out or look deeper into this dream that led to the video?

The thing with the video is, there’s a lot going on. You know there’s something there, and it’s something profound and incredibly deep, but you don’t know exactly what it is. By the end of the video you’re probably going to have more questions than answers.

For me as an artist, it’s not really my job to give you everything in a nice box with a bow on it. I’m not just going to give it to you, I kind of want to just give you this big mess and let you take a whack at it. That’s what this video is going to feel like.

The thing is, this dream could mean very much more but I haven’t explored that. With some things, you just don’t know and that’s kind of where I’m at with life. I have a few things that are solid in my life and aren’t moving, but there are other things where I have more questions than answers.

It’s interesting to think about. I have so many questions. The other day I was walking around I was like, “Yo, this is crazy. We’re on this ball that is just floating in space and we call it Earth. That is insane.” Things like that just make me wonder what is actually going on—this all is so weird. I’m enjoying it and I love it, I just don’t understand it.

That’s just kind of the thing with a lot of my stuff, some things contradict each other, some things don’t make sense, it’s really up to the listener.

Talking down about other people and talking yourself up and disrespecting women is crazy. It’s sickening how bad it is. The fact that people are putting that on a pedestal and applauding it is crazy.

I think in life you get put in situations like in that dream where you have the option to change certain things, but after thinking it through you just don’t do anything. That’s what the quarters and the bouncy ball reminded me of—sometimes things are fine the way they are.

Exactly, I didn’t even make that connection but me choosing the quarters and the ball is where I am in life. I don’t really know what’s going on but I’m cool with it. It’s nice, existing is a really nice thing. I don’t take it for granted or anything.

Where did the curiosity come from?

I’ve always been like that since I was a kid. Take Legos, for example. I would never use the instructions with the Legos, and I would never build what was on the front of the box. I would always build something random. I’ve always questioned everything because everything is so weird. Why would you not question everything?

I question everything, but at the same time I’m not freaking out. I’m just like, “Yo, that’s crazy, that makes no sense.” It’s in the back of my mind, but I’m always chilling. It’s a weird combination. I have friends who are deep and philosophical and I’m kind of like that too but I just have accepted that there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just not gonna know, I’m gonna keep trying and sometimes it’ll work, sometimes it won’t. At the end of the day I’m just chilling and creating.

Do you think that your music will inspire the deeper thinkers and help them find some of the answers they’re looking for?

Yeah for sure, I feel like I’m helping them understand themselves. It sounds corny, but everyone doesn’t have to be like me. Everyone doesn’t have to think about the deepest thing ever with a blank look on their face. If I inspire them to understand themselves, that’s cool, because for me, I’ve just been talking about how I feel. With the whole flexing, talking about myself, money, and talking about girls stuff, I’m not really with that. That’s another thing that makes absolutely no sense to me, and that is what rap is currently. I don’t understand it at all. It blows my mind on a regular basis.

Rap as a genre?

Not as a genre, just the content. I love the sound, but the content feels like someone sitting in the booth with headphones on, rapping into the mic while they’re looking in a mirror saying, “Dang, I look good” and then talking about themselves. I just don’t understand it, if someone was just bragging in person in front of me, I’d be like, “Yo, get out of my face, you’re weird.” Then there's the stuff that’s said about women, if you said any of that stuff in a public area you’d get jumped. The stuff they’re saying is wrong.​

Isn’t that trippy how in rap, that kind of talk is normal and it’s the kids that don’t talk about those things that are labeled weird?

Talking down about other people and talking yourself up and disrespecting women is crazy. It’s sickening how bad it is. The fact that people are putting that on a pedestal and applauding it is crazy. That’s one thing about humans that makes me think like, “Yo, you guys are weird.”

So then who or what inspired you to become 6 Dogs and make your music?

I grew up homeschooled in Georgia, kind of in the mountains. My mom’s Christian so I was completely removed from music as a whole. All we really listened to was Christian music. I think that plays to my advantage, because I have an outside perspective and I’m not influenced by certain things that most people would be influenced by. That really attributes to why I’m so different.

The first rap that I ever really listened to was MC Hammer, and then when I started actually getting into the genre it was Lil Wayne, some Drake, Kanye’s hits. “All Of The Lights,” “Power,” stuff like that. Then I started progressively getting more into it, but a few months ago I just stopped listening to rap completely.

I have friends that’ll play stuff and be like, “You know that Pharrell song?” and I’ll be like, “No, I don’t know that Pharrell song.” They’ll show it to me and I’ll take a little inspiration. That’s why I think being so removed is an advantage, because whenever I do hear stuff, it’s later than everyone else and I’m hearing it for the first time.

What made you decide to do music? It seems like you put a lot of thought into it.

I was a lifeguard and I would work six hours a day just thinking about it. I’m not a normal person, I don’t want to be another sheep. Making music is one of the biggest stages in the world, and music is the universal language. I’m good at coming up with ideas, eventually I want to get into movies. I want to make an anime show one day. It’s not just music, it’s creating. I want to create every day.

Also I was going through stuff when I started and needed an outlet, so music helped me a lot. That was the catalyst—me feeling bad and wanting to do something about it.

Are you in a better headspace now?

Totally. I’m just existing. I’m chilling and enjoying what comes my way.

I was just trying to be trendy. I’ll be real with myself. But the stuff that I have been starting to make doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It sounds really good though

Did you already know what to do as 6 Dogs, and what would and wouldn’t work for your music?

Nah, I was just trying to be trendy. I’ll be real with myself. But the stuff that I have been starting to make doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It sounds really good though, and I'm talking about stuff that I find important. That’s it. I’m not trying to do what everybody else is doing. Let’s be honest, it’s about time. I feel like everybody knew that the idea of what everyone considers to be a rapper was going to collapse eventually, because it doesn’t make sense.

How do you think you’re going to adjust to the music industry?

A ton of labels have already hit me up. I have a manager now, I’m getting a lawyer. I know how it works, I know that there are mistakes and you have to watch your back at all times. It’s fine, it’s nothing I can’t handle. I already get the gist and I have my foot in the door.

It’s about to get crazy, I know a bunch of people are going to hit me up. It’s going to be challenging but I have my friends, I have a girl, she’s sitting right across from me. I have everything I need already and I don’t really need anything else.

The only thing that’s going to change is how much money is in my bank account. I’m not clout chasing or anything, that’s so dead. I’m just making solid music. People get too caught up in all this stuff and make it all complicated. There’s a formula, but a lot of people get tripped up and hang out with people that only say yes.

Where do you see 6 Dogs in a few years?

I’m going to be doing the same stuff with the same people. Again, the only thing that’s going to be different is the money in my bank account. I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I’ll be a household name. Sooner than four or five years, probably a year, maybe two. The stuff that I’ve been working on… I think I’m starting to find my groove and starting to get into a rhythm. I see things going really well.

Do you have a name for your project or a timetable for your plan to release?

I don’t have a name, and I don’t want to set a date because I don’t want time to be a factor in the project. I want the project to be perfect. I’m not saying it’s going to take a year, but I don’t want to say two months and then be pressured to make that time. I want to take my time and make every song really good.

6 Dogs GIF
Image via Jonathan Astacio

 

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