Rappers are puzzling. Case in point, Andre 3000. The eclectic OutKast member hasn’t put forth an album since 2006’s Idlewild, leaving hip-hop fans to question why a stellar MC wants to keep his talents all to himself. While Big Boi pushed out his solo project, Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, last year, it’s like hitting the jackpot when hearing Three Stacks on a track these days (it’s that rare). He’s spit a few verses and teamed up for some notable collaborations but it’s apparent the ATLien has taken a giant leap back since Idlewild’s release. A new album may be on the horizon, but it looks to be nowhere in sight. So what has Andre 3000 been doing for the last five years? While we hope he’s been secretly hard at work crafting his solo debut, XXLMag.com takes a look at his moves both in and out of the booth. —Georgette Cline

#andre3000-featured

#andre3000-homepage

2006 - Became a Cartoon Character on Class of 3000

Classof3000

Three Stacks moved into animated form, voicing the character of Sunny Bridges on the Cartoon Network show, Class of 3000. The cartoon was created, and executive produced by the Grammy-winning rapper, whose character gives up life as a musician to teach at his old stomping grounds.

2006 – Flew With the Birds in “Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte

Even if rap fans never picked up the 1952 children’s book written by E.B. White, when Charlotte’s Web turned animated in 2006 and featured Andre, they surely paid attention to the flick’s commercials. Benjamin was tapped to take on the roll of Elwyn the Crow, a “little thinker” according to the rapper. He also landed parts that following year in the dramatic film Battle in Seattle and the crime suspense movie ‘Fracture.’

2007 - Dre Shows His Age

DreJay

Dre landed a sweet spot opening the remix to Jigga’s Kingdom Come single “30 Something.” “My child's in the third grade/His favorite rapper wasn’t rapping till he heard me,” he boasts.

2007 – Walks Ahead of the Competition

WalkitOut

When Three Stacks joined forces with the likes of Jim Jones on the remix to DJ Unk’s “Walk It Out,” he proved he hadn’t lost a step, spitting lyrics like, “Not saying I'm the best but ‘til they find something better/I am here, no fear write me a letter.”

2007 – Steals Rich Boy's Show

DreRichBoy

He scored another front-of –the-line verse when it came to Rich Boy’s remix of his 2007 Polow Da Don-produced hit, “Throw Some D’s.” Three Stacks jumped ahead of Jim Jones, Nelly, Murphy Lee and Game, proving that the best lyricists take the lead even if it’s not on their own project.

2007 - Got Married During UGK’s “International Players Anthem”

PlayersAnthem

Dapper Andre hung up his player hat and put on a tux to wed his lady love in the video for this UGK anthem. As he threw out memorable lyrics still quoted today (“Hate to see ya’ll frown but I’d rather see her smiling”), fans got to see, and hear, Big Boi and Three Stacks reunited on record.

2007 - Talked Shop With Devin the Dude “What a Job”

DreDevintheDude

Houston rapper Devin the Dude detailed his life pulling “all-nighters” in the booth, calling on the assists from legends Snoop Dogg and Andre 3000. Delivering yet another monster guest verse began to give fans hope that 3000 was working on something.

2008 - Got Sentimental With Lloyd

DreLloyd

R&B crooner Lloyd had an undeniable hit in 2008 with “You,” which begged for a remix on the hip-hop tip. When Andre 3000 was tapped again by a younger industry dude like Lloyd to star on the new version, it was apparent the OutKast member preferred showing love to the south’s rising artists (i.e. DJ Unk and Rich Boy).

2008 – Rubbed Elbows With Will Ferrell in Semi-Pro

Semi-pro

Andre 3000 showed his comedic shops alongside funnyman Will Ferrell. He played Clarence Withers, a ladies' man, who is the best player on the fictional Flint Michigan Tropics basketball team.

2008 - Reunited with Raekwon on Big Boi’s “Royal Flush”

RoyalFlush

OutKast came together on this single that was set to be included on Big Boi’s debut solo album Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, but was canned due to legal complications. The track was the first time the Atlanta rap duo teamed up with Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon since “Skew It on the Bar-B 10 years prior.

2008 – Banded Together for Fonzworth Bentley’s “Everybody”

everybody_575

Dre popped up on Fonzworth Bentley’s single alongside Kanye West. In the video, Dre starred as a member in a five-man singing group called C.O.L.O.U.R.S. Eye patch in tow, the rapper was far from laying low from the music biz as he two-stepped around in the clip.

2008 – Passed Go With John Legend on “Greenlight”

DreJohnLegend

By this time, Three Stacks still had no solo album to his name, but he wasn’t sitting idle, coming out of rap’s woodwork to appear on this song off John Legend’s Evolver album. With the help of Andre’s rhymes, the R&B crooner’s single was the second top 40 hit he earned in his career.

2008 – Took Part in “Declare Yourself” Voting Campaign

declare_yourself_600

In 2008, New York City residents walking in Times Square couldn’t take their eyes off billboards featuring Christina Aguilera and Jessica Alba, their provocative images used to support the “Declare Yourself” ad campaign encouraging youth to vote in the 2008 presidential election. Andre 3000 took part in the initiative as well, only his photo, shot by famed David LaChapelle, featured the OutKast member silenced by his signature bowtie as it was stuffed in his mouth.

2008 – Created the Benjamin Bixby Clothing Line

BenjaminBixby

Andre 3000 has always been credited with possessing a “uniquely raw style, “ and the rapper relied on that when he dipped his hand in the fashion realm, creating the Benjamin Bixby line. Inspired by college football circa 1935, basic shirts and pants kicked off at $195 at select stores like Barneys.

2009 – Was Arrested for Speeding in Georgia

Mugshot

The always dressed-to-impress ALTLien was driving his Porsche Carrera at speeds of 109 m.p.h, causing police to refer to the reclusive OutKast rapper as an “accident waiting to happen.” He was subsequently arrested then released after posting a $1,200 bail.

2010 – Searched for Shortys on Big Boi’s "Lookin For Ya"

OutKast

Last summer, OutKast fans’ prayers were answered when Big Boi and Andre 3000 appeared on another track expected to make the former’s debut solo album. Though it never made the cut – once again due to label politics – Andre’s lust-filled rhymes of fornicating at Ikea brought it back to The Love Below: “Test every piece of furniture to see if it is stable/You want to take it out on me then do it on the table.”

2010 - Three Stacks Rides With Ciara

DreCiara

Ciara’s “Ride” grabbed the attention of horny dudes everywhere, however, it was the visuals for the song that caused heads to turn in her direction. The ensuing popularity of the song is probably what caused Bei Maejor to produce a bouncier version of the track and Ci Ci’s Jive Records label mate Andre 3000 to spit a closing verse.

2010 – Produced and Rapped Alongside Yelawolf on “You Ain't No DJ"

DreYelawolf

Yelawolf scored the opportunity of a lifetime when he landed on this Andre 3000-produced track included on Big Boi’s debut solo effort. The veteran rhymer not only crafted the beat, but showcased a teasing of what an OutKast track should sound like with both members on board.

2011 – Dre Gets Sleazy With Kesha

Sleazy

Surprising as it was to hear Andre 3000 sleaze it up on the remix to Ke$ha’s “Sleazy,” we’re just grateful to have heard him at all. The southern rhymer opens the track as an eight-year-old lyricist, before rapping about the pop star eyeing his ride: “I was gon’ save it for later but later look like maybe/ This crazy lady named Ke$ha is guessing my Mercedes/ Would be all new and frou-frou, but it’s a 1980s.”