Andre 3000, the poetic half of the rapper duo OutKast, is easing back into the spotlight after some time away to partake in a bit of cognitive therapy — or what Three Stacks calls it in the latest issue of GQ magazine: “fac[ing] that shit.” And part of the rapper coming to terms with who is he means finally embarking on dreams he’s always had — including being a clothing designer.
In 2008, Andre 3000 had a line called Benjamin Bixby, but in his own words, it just didn’t “pop.” “I was trying and it just didn’t click. I learned a lot, though,” he told GQ. “I learned that you should just do what you do the best first. Do that one thing.” And for the rapper, that means trying his hand at designing again. In fact, he says he wants to have a line of Anita Baker merch, specifically T-shirts.
The idea, according to GQ, was for the 42-year-old born Andre Benjamin to pitch his plan to the legendary R&B singer. “I was going through an Anita Baker phase, and I started trying to buy a T-shirt,” Benjamin explained. “So I go on the Internet and I find this site that had shirts with photos of Anita on them. So I bought two or three of them. Then when I got ’em in the mail, they were like — the part of the shirt where the picture was printed on there was so hard.”
That’s when he got to thinking: What if he made his own, much cooler version? “I’m an artist, and I’m buying bootleg shirts of another artist, so I felt bad," he continued. 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.” But for Benjamin, it was more of a joke. “Like, ‘Anita, I just bought these shirts, I feel bad about it, here’s $50,’” he adds “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.”