If I was André 3000, I wouldn’t come back to rap. Why? With just a single verse, he can turn a good album great or render the rest of it laughable, exposing the Emperor’s proverbial nudity with just a few rhyming couplets. Rap, at least in its most commercial incarnation, doesn’t allow the kind of depth and nuance Andre brings.
Take this track, “Sorry,” from TI’s upcoming would-be comeback LP, Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head. After, like, 32 bars of what would in any other case be a solid performance by Atlanta’s Jay-Z, where he’s lamenting his faults while bragging of doing business with Saudis and flying to Dubai, 3000 immediately murks Tip’s whole everything pretty much from the jump. His melodies, his intelligence, his honesty and his sheer MC prowess overpower the track. He opens up about being “awkward” and running from fame, his son Seven and his general disenchantment with the world. André has the status and track record to command respect for such a personal and cerebral verse in an increasingly myopic (mainstream) landscape.
I don’t know if the current climate deserves André.