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Missing image
Outkast-speakerboxx-lovebelow.jpg
André 3000 (right) on the cover of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

André 3000 (born André Benjamin on May 27, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia) is a vegan African American hip hop artist and producer; one half of the successful and avant-garde hip-hop duo OutKast. He is also known by the aliases "Dre" (his original moniker), "Possum Jenkins", "Dookie", the reversed "Benjamin André" and "Johnny Vulture" (for example on Gwen Stefani's album Love. Angel. Music. Baby., on which he produced/appeared on the tracks "Bubble Pop Electric" and "Long Way To Go").

André was born in Atlanta and raised in poverty by a single mother. He met Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, his future OutKast partner, when the two attended Tri-Cities High School in East Point.

André dated neo soul musician Erykah Badu for several years, and has chronicled the relationship and its breakup in various OutKast songs, including "Ms. Jackson," the second single from the album Stankonia. The song is addressed to Badu's mother, whose born surname was Jackson). André has also written songs about his turbulent youth, including his experiences as a drug dealer before his days in OutKast.

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, whereas Big Boi's Speakerboxxx has seen the release of the hit "The Way You Move" and most recent single "Ghettomusick." The Love Below was, unlike Speakerboxxx, an exercise in funk, jazz, and alternative music, featuring mostly sung--instead of rapped vocals from André.

Influences on André 3000's music include punk and new wave artists the Ramones, the Buzzcocks 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. Other influences include A Tribe Called Quest and 2 Live Crew. [1] (http://www.mtv.com/bands/o/outkast/news_feature_031031/)

André has moved into the film world and has made appearances in The Shield and Be Cool. He is currently shooting a movie with Big Boi for HBO before moving on to star in the dramatic role of a yet untitled film set to shoot in Louisiana, produced by Chesley Seals and Kat Hantas.

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