André 3000 (born André Lauren Benjamin on May 27, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American rapper, hip hop producer and actor. He is half of the successful hip hop duo OutKast. He is also the creator of Cartoon Network's Class of 3000.
André is an only child, and was raised by a single mother in Bankhead, in the inner-city of Atlanta, Georgia. He attended Sutton Middle School, Tri-Cities High, Southwest Dekalb High, and Frank McClarin Alternative School.
In 2003, Outkast released Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, a double album that highlighted the differences in the musical styles of the group's two members. André's half of the album, The Love Below, garnered the most attention from mainstream audiences, with the popular singles "Hey Ya!" and "Roses". The album's fourth single and video (Andre's third), "Prototype", was released shortly after, where as Big Boi's Speakerboxxx has seen the release of the hit "The Way You Move" and most recent single "Ghetto Musick." The Love Below was, unlike Speakerboxxx, an exercise in funk, jazz, and alternative music, featuring mostly sung (instead of rapped) vocals from André.
In addition to rap groups A Tribe Called Quest and 2 Live Crew, other influences on André 3000's music include punk and new wave artists The Ramones, the Buzzcocks, The Hives, and The Smiths. In the February 14, 2004, issue of British music magazine New Musical Express, he identifies "William, It Was Really Nothing" as his favorite Smiths tune. André has also been outspoken about his admiration for British electronic composer Squarepusher and has mentioned an interest to possibly collaborate in the future. He has also expressed his fondness for Prince's music, which he claims heavily influenced his musical style. He also went to Southwest Dekalb High School.
André has moved into the film world and has made appearances in Families, The Shield, Be Cool, Revolver (2005), and a co-starring role in Four Brothers. Andre is also cast as Percival in Idlewild, released on August 26, 2006. He is currently shooting a movie with Big Boi for HBO. He is also currently working on an as-of-yet untitled project, filming on location in Lousiana and is being produced by Chesley Seals and Kat Hantas. He is voicing a crow in Charlotte's Web, a movie adaptation of the 1952 children's book. As of November 2006, he voices "Sunny Bridges," a prize-winning musician who gives up touring to teach at his alma mater, in a new animated series he produced on Cartoon Network called Class of 3000. In addition, each episode features a new song. He has also worked with Esthero on a promotional version of "Jungle Book" which was on a Wikked lil' grrrls sampler, but never made it to the actual album due to issues with Esthero's publisher, Warner. In February of 2007, Andre started practicing for the basketball comedy Semi-Pro, where he will appear with Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson and Vladimir Cuk. It has been rumored that he is starting his own clothes-line which is unknown when it will be launched. He has returned to Rap, appearing on many various remixes of including Walk It Out, Throw Some D's , You, UGK's 'Players Anthem' and Devin the Dude's What A Job ft Snoop .
André was in a romantic relationship with neo-soul songstress Erykah Badu for several years. Together, they have a son, Seven (born 1997). On the last track of "The Love Below", entitled "A Life in the Day Of Benjamin Andre (Incomplete)", he delivers an epic, breakneck-pace autobiography chronicling his youth to the present day. Benjamin has been the subject of continued interest and speculation about his sexuality, possibly owing to his persona and flamboyant sense of style. He has rejected these claims, however, saying "One of the worst rumors I heard about myself was that I was homosexual. Especially in the hip-hop world, that ain't a cool rumor to hear."He addressed rumors of his sexuality and drug use as far back as 1998, on the first track from OutKast's album Aquemini:
Return of the gangsta thanks ta', Them niggas that get the wrong impression of expression
Then the question is "Big Boi, what's up with Andre?
Is he in a cult? Is he on drugs? Is he gay?
When y'all gon' break up? When y'all gon' wake up?"
Nigga I'm feelin' better than ever what's wrong with you? You get down!
In 2004, PETA named Andre "Sexiest Vegetarian of the Year", Andre has been a vegan counting 8 years.
Andre is a fan of New Wave and Electronica.
Andre is also big fan of The Smiths, Kate Bush and Prince.
Andre is a big fan of his local college team, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. He is also a big fan of the Atlanta Braves.
According to an article provided by "World Entertainment News Network", Benjamin claimed to always carry a gun for protection, not wanting any bodyguards around him. Benjamin also stated he intends to buy his nine-year-old son a gun as soon as he is old enough to carry it, claiming that "packing heat" is a necessity of life. This advocating of guns caused some outrage amongst gun protesters, while it won him praise from 2nd Amendment supporters.
André has several aliases:
-Most of these names appear in the "Hey Ya" music video, where he and his doubles all have different names ("Johnny Vulture", "Dookie", "André (Ice Cold) 3000", "Possum Jenkins" and "Benjamin André"). Also, when asked his name by a phony police officer on Punk'd he calls himself Bill Bixby.