Get Off Andre’s Dick
Hip-hop must collectively be under a rock. You know they say most folks don’t get the flowers while they can still smell ’em and all of ya’ll sending bouquets to Andre 3000 may be a few years too late.
Truth be told, dude has been ill since Outkast’s debut in ’94. Not ill with a guest verse here and there, but conceptually, lyrically and eternally ill. So how come Mr. Benjamin didn’t make hip-hop’s “hot” list until 2008? Let’s go back…
Remember “Myintrotoletuknow” off of Southernplayalistic…? Of course ya’ll don’t. Dre dropped a classic when he spit, “See this rap shit is really just like sellin’ smoke/If you got some fly shit ya niggas gonna always know” (Also see, Jay-Z’s “Rap Game/Crack Game” for you late comers). On “Elevators” off of ATLiens, dude proved that he can relate to the regular Joe when he spat “I live by the beat like you live check to check/If you don’t move ya feet then I don’t eat so we like neck to neck.” Or when he bared his soul on “Millennium” when he goes “I had the best of life in my clinches, but monkey wrenches were thrown/Like chairs kings sit on.”
When Kast dropped Aquemini two years later Dre raised the bar on the very first track (“Return of the G”) as he stood up for himself amongst all the critics who blasted his weird wardrobe choices: “Return of the gangsta/Thanks ta them niggas who get the wrong impression of expression/And the question is Big Boi what up with Andre/Is he in a cult, is he on drugs, is he gay?” Then there was “The Art of Storytellin Pt.1 & 2” which opened up a new lane for 3 Stacks (If you thought his “Whole Foods” verse off of that Lloyd remix was ill, you need to check this). By the time Stankonia came around it became increasingly clear that Dre was getting bored with conventional rap and pushed the envelope on “Gasoline Dreams,” while “B.O.B.” was straight sick. There isn’t an MC alive who can match that flow (“Stack of questions with no answers/Cure for cancer cure for AIDS, make a nigga wanna stay on tour days“). Still most rap fans slept and failed to crown Dre king, and when he dropped “Hey Ya” most forgot that dude was one of hip-hop’s greatest and actually tried to SHIT on him.
The fact of the matter is you’d be hard pressed to find a wack Dre verse, yet he rarely appeared on any one’s greatest MC list. Now he drops maybe 4 verses (Not songs, but verses) a year and Hip-hop is on his dick. Son is ill no doubt, but I can hardly consider him one of the hottest in the game today for the mere fact that he don’t do much.
I will take quality over quantity any day, but I put Andre Benjamin in his own category, at least until he decides to drop a cohesive body of rap work like an album or a mixtape. And I’d go even further to argue that Big Boi is equally as ill as his Outkast PNC, but I don’t wanna give the Dre stans a heart attack, I’ve already done enough damage. —Rob the music editor