Earlier this year, Big Boi did a series of interviews, and every single one seemed to involve a nosy reporter asking about the thing that hip-hop-heads have been praying for since 2006's Idlewild: "When will there be an Outkast reunion?"
According to many reports, it seems like Big Boi is interested in bringing the group back, especially to mark the duo's 20th anniversary. But André 3000 wants to keep Outkast in the past, telling the Associated Press he's "not the type that prescribes to nostalgia" and making it a point that his and his former partner's concurrent appearances on songs by Frank Ocean and T.I. are in no way a reunion, simply unofficial remixes.
But Big Boi doesn't need André 3000. He's been dropping tracks left and right, collaborating with fresh voices in the biz, and releasing plenty of post-Outkast albums. Three Stacks, on the other hand, seems more preoccupied with grooming his facial hair.
They both have talent oozing from their nostrils. And yeah, together, they're like a puzzle solved. But we at New Times think Big Boi is way better off without Dré at this point. Let us explain.
5. André 3000's short pants. No doubt André 3000 is all fashion, and you gotta give it up for his attention to detail. But he's become too fashion. Big Boi even noted Dré's preoccupation with image in a Village Voice interview last year. Discussing tracks he'd sent to his former partner that they never ended up working on, he said, "I guess [André] was just too busy. He said he had to do some Gillette shit." And lately, André has been superbusy shaving that pretty mug and reviving his preppy clothing line, Benjamin Bixby. He and Kanye are the reason young hip-hoppers are dressing like your grandfather. But Big Boi is keeping it real. He won't let André force straw hats on his head. So soft.
4. No one needs a peacocking rapper in 2013. This leads us to the next point. There's no room in 2013 for rappers who just wanna peacock. Hell, even rock stars have toned it down. The economy isn't what it was in 1994, when dressing to excess made sense. Your cleaning lady had a Fendi bag under Clinton. Now you're the cleaning lady. Even The Atlantic has gotten in on some Big Boi lovin'. In an article about the rapper, the magazine explains that Dré "seems more intent on acting and fashion designing."
3. Speakerboxxx is better than The Love Below. Everyone thought André 3000 was the wonky, creative mind behind Outkast until they heard Big Boi's half of the duo's two-disc collaboration, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Sure, Dré's The Love Below had "Hey Ya!" but it also had that rambling convo with the Almighty about getting the guy's pee-pee wet with a big-booty gal. Plus, people who actually like hip-hop know that Big Boi's Speakerboxxx was the truly superior half of the album. It is, like Mr. Boi's musical career since, more consistent in its brilliance. Yeah, you all got so distracted by André's lovely looks and crazy voice that you thought Big Boi was just a thug with some slick, quick raps. But you were wrong. Very wrong.
2. Big Boi is the perfect Game of Thrones- and Kate Bush-loving nerd. You know why Big Boi doesn't need André 3000? Because he has Words With Friends. That's right — the rapper challenges his Twitter followers to friendly word jousts. He's also big into Game of Thrones. In a recent interview with TV network Fuse, he said the nerdiest thing ever uttered by a rapper: "Khaleesi don't play." And everyone knows Big Boi loves Kate Bush. He's cool the way people are cool these days. He's not dolled up like Jay Gatsby; he's watching freaking HBO and Instagram'ing with the rest of us.
1. Spread the Big Boi wealth. There are so many other people whom Big Boi needs to collaborate with besides André 3000. And yes, for his 2012 solo slab, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, the great Antwan Patton got together with Wavves, Kid Cudi, Phantogram, Luda, and Little Dragon. But how about Kate Bush? He's said they've even discussed collaborating via phone. And honestly, forget Outkast. We can't wait for Speakerboxxx/Hounds of Love!