Every Andre 3000 Guest Verse, Ranked (An Absurdly Detailed Investigation)


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I've really completely let go of the hope that I'll ever hear "Detox" in my lifetime, much the same way I'm not exactly expecting to fly around on a rocketpack in my lifetime, and emotionally I'm much better off for it. But I'm still not there when it comes to a new Outkast album. Even though it's now been more than a decade since "Speakerboxx/The Love Below", Andre and Big Boi getting back to together seems like just enough of a possiblity that I can't let it go, especially when they're performing together again...even though there still seems to be a chasm between Coachella and any new Outkast songs. 

For years now I've had to nurse my lack-of-Outkast wounds using only the occasional 3 Stacks guest verse as comfort. But as they say, when you want apples but life only hands you lemons, guess fucking what, you're stuck with lemons so you better learn to appreciate that shit. In that spirit, Lucas and I have compiled every Andre 3000 guest verse since 2007, after the last official Kast album, "Idlewild", dropped. And then, because we're the kind of people who do "Absurdly Detailed Investigations", we broke each one down and ranked them using our patented 1-3 Stacks scale.

I'll turn things over to Lucas now, then be back to give some closing thoughts momentarily in four hours when you've listened to every verse. Let's do this thing....
 

2007: Jay Z ft. Andre 3000 "30 Something (Remix)"

Only Andre could take a song about being cool when you are old and turn it into some adept social commentary on the state of hip-hop and life in general. Plus, he makes it sound so god damn easy. It's like watching a pro golfer and thinking, "I could do that," and then you try and see how hard it really is.

Best Line: "Before their brains fully develop they get enveloped by the the vision tele/The television tells them their vision"

Rating: Two Stacks

2007: Lloyd ft. Andre 3000 - "You (Remix)"


Andre takes what most rappers would say in one line ("I met this chick at whole foods/she got me in the right moods" would be a popular choice no?) and makes it into a whole 16. The best verses always paint a picture and make you feel like you are there and this one most certainly does that. The way he explains things with lines like the Audi headlights and the beef/tofu line is some next level shit. The way he sort of goes off topic makes this verse so unique.

Best Line: "Because I swallowed down the wrong pipe/Whatever that mean, you know old people say it so it sounds right"

Rating: Three Stacks

2007: DJ Unk ft. Andre 3000 "Walk It Out (Remix)"


Best Line: It's like in 2007, Andre just decided he was going to take every popular song and embarrass the original emcee. I remember I was at a basketball game and they put this on and I stopped what I was doing (drinking and yelling) to listen. All the noise and hubbub was drowned out when Andre was busy destroying "Walk It Out"; that's power. He fucking rips this. His rhymes are so dense, it feels like he has a million bars; it's perfect in every aspect.

Best Line: "Your white tee, well to me, look like a nightgown/Make your Momma proud, take that thing two sizes down"

Rating: Three Stacks

2007: Rich Boy ft. Andre 3000 -"Throw Some D's (Remix)"


Oh shit! An ignant Andre? Well kinda; ignant, gangsta Andre is still 10 times more intelligent than any other rapper. The way he spins the story of the drug bust is some really dope shit (pun intended). These kind of drug-driven bars aren't his forte at all and he steps in, fits the song, and does it better than the dudes who do this kind of rap for a living. His flow is agile, but it feels like it's lacking a little "umph" for the heavy beat. Still the wordplay is flawless.

Best Line: "That my cousin in the back, and we call him Roto-Rooter/ Slash plumber, cash runner, and he fire on them computers, log out"

Rating: Two Stacks

2007: Fonzworth Bentley ft. Andre 3000 "Everybody"


Look, this is one 3 Stack for me, but one 3 Stack is still better than most other rappers. There just isn't a lot that is memorable here. Michael Jordan didn't score 50 every game, Hank Aaron didn't hit a home run each time, Andre can't always crush everything out of the park. It's good, but a little standard when it corms to Andre. No crazy wordplay or pronunciation flips, just some good rhymes.

Best Line: "All the girls are waiting to see which one he pulls/Eenie meenie miney meenie prenuptial"

Rating: One Stack

2007: Devin the Dude ft. Andre 3000 "What A Job"


Cooler than the other side of the fuckin' pillow. Andre even sings a little bit on this one too; take 'em to church Benjamin! While I don't exactly agree with his stance on music piracy, I couldn't agree more with how he says it. He's just so fucking cool. This one is so easy to vibe out too. Those first few bars after he sings are delivered perfectly. While it borders on creepy, I love the part about those two fans too; kind of weird telling someone you fuck to their songs. Really dig this verse.

Best Line: "See we do it for that boi that graduated/That looked you in your eyes real tough and said 'preciate it/And that he wouldn'ta made it if it wasn't for your CD number nine"

Rating: Three Stacks

2007: UGK ft. Andre 3000 "International Players Anthem"


Before I was an adept hip-hop head, I always kind of slept on Andre's verse. I mean it felt more like an intro than an actual verse and considering how insane the song gets it was easy to look over. Now that I am well versed in the art of 3 Stacks, SWEET BABY JESUS!! This is legendary. It feels more like a poem than a rapped verse. Only Andre could kill a song without even really rapping. I memorized this verse without really ever having to try; it just sticks with you. This shit transcends normal rappity raps.

Best Line: "Don't do it! Reconsider, read some liter/ature on the subject. You sure? Fuck it/You know we got your back like chiroprac-tic"

Ranking: 700 Stacks

2008: John Legend ft. Andre 3000 "Green Light"


This is a party song, but one for the grown-ups. If you like trap, club cuts or turning down for what, this may not be for you. If you want to get drunk sipping some aged whiskey out of a chalice talking to a beautiful, sophisticated dame, this one is for you. Andre's verse could not be more fun. Is it perfect? No. Are the lyrics game changing? No. But for a fun, party cut, you couldn't ask for a better effort. Andre is funny, creative, and energetic and it makes for such a fun listen.

Best Line:"You did it! Let's hop a cab, and split it/I'm kiddin! We both goin' to where you livin'!"

Rating: Two Stacks

2009: Big Boi ft. Andre 3000 "Royal Flush"


This one is interesting. One the one hand it's a remarkable display of lyricism, but on the other, I'm not exactly feeling the delivery. Something feels a little off; it's missing that distinctly cool, fluid Andre delivery. Still the lyrics are insane. The way he says it doesn't quite fit the song, but what he is says is some next level shit.

Best Line: "Crack and I have a lot in common/We both come up in the 80's and we keep that bass pumping"

Rating: Two Stacks

2010: Ciara ft. Andre 3000 "Ride (Remix)"


No offense to former Ms. Future, but did you really think Andre was going to bring out his A game for Ciara? Not really feeling this one. His lyrics are average and his flow seems a little to poppy to fit the catchy vibe of the song. When you compare this one to Andre's best stuff there is a noticeable differenence; it doesn't have that "wow" factor.

Best Line: "And ill do the same thing if I was a Minny/But I'm a Micky/And thats where it gets tricky"

Rating: One Stack

2010: Big Boi ft. Andre 3000 "Lookin' for Ya"


Cool little verse here. Andre gets pretty raunchy without being overtly raunchy. I never realized how much he rapped about sex. Perhaps that because he does it so much different and so much more elaborate than anyone else. This one won't knock you on your ass, buy it's definitely cool to vibe to and goes down so smooth; simple yet effective.

Best Line: "Blow to the head is fatal/Wait til, you get a load of me"

Rating: Two Stacks

2010: Chris Brown ft. Andre 3000 "Deuces (Remix)"


After about every other rapper ever steps to to the mic on "Deuces" you might be ready to throw up the deuces to "Deuces" but Andre makes it damn near impossible. This is the epitome of cooler-than-the-other-side-of-the-pillow Andre. The dude has one of the most interesting cadences in the game and this is a perfect example. He staggers, pauses, and switches up the flow, but it all feels so fluid and natural. The lyrics aren't mindblowing, but his flow is just so fucking cool. That first line grabs your attention because it is delivered perfectly.

Best Line: "The farewell email from a female/But I’m a playa, ain't gonna tell you all the details"

Rating: Two Stacks.

2011: Beyonce ft. Andre 3000 "Party"


Is Andre the coolest emcee ever? I mean the way he so casually rips shit never ceases to amaze me. He rattles off all these bars that other emcees could only dream of coming up with and make it sound like it's nothing. It's almost like breaking up words and changing inflection is just him trying to challenge himself because normal rapping is just to easy. He does it again here. Cool, casual flow and some nifty bars.

Best Line: "I got a homeboy named Butter and another homeboy there nigga named Cheese/Fuck with me baby I’ll make it milk till it drip down your knees"

Rating: Two Stacks

2011: Tech N9ne & Andre 3000 "Interlude" (Lil Wayne)


The beat is perfect for Tech N9ne, but doesn't quite fit Andre. As a result this effort is not as effective. There isn't much pep in his step and he even sounds a little bored. Average flow and average bars makes for underwhelming Andre verse. Again, underwhelming Andre is overwhelming good, but it's not his best work by any means. Where's the creativity? Where's the emotion?

Best Line:"Please remember, don’t feed the Simba/Three’s assembled like nobody/He's a symbol of what's safari"

Rating: One Stack

2011: Drake ft. Andre 3000 "The Real Her"


I don't know what it is about this verse exactly, but it is strangely captivating. When Andre raps, you can't help but listen close. It feels like he is saying something important with each breath. It's hard to kill and R&B beat, but he definitely does it here. Andre takes the spotlight so effortlessly. He is charismatic, but blends perfectly with the softer vibe. Not my favorite, but better than a One Stack.

Best Line: "Now the both of us are colorblind/Cause the other side looks greener/Which leaves your turf in the Boise state/Can't see her play or the team cuz"

Rating: Two Stacks

2011: Ke$ha ft. Andre 3000 "Sleazy 2.0 (Remix)"


Do not adjust your dials, that is in fact Ke$ha and Andre 3000. If we were ranking the songs, this would be negative 5,000 Stacks because of Kesha, but it's only about Andre. Lucky for us, that means we get to skip most of the song. It's hard for me to endorse this song in any manner, but Andre does a decent job.  Nothing overwhelming her, but a solid effort by Andre to turn something awful into something decent. It's not easy to make me like a verse on a Ke$ha song, but he did it. Still nothing to write home about.

Best Line: "If not, he's human, I'm human, you human, we'll forgive him"

Ranking: One Stack

2011: B.o.B. ft. Andre 3000 "Play The Guitar"


I like when Andre pick up the pace a little. His slower, finessed flow is cool, but I when he double-times his verse, it really shows his range and ability. I'm always amazed at his ability to rattle these bars off without slipping up and making it flow so nicely. Again, he is fleet-of-flow, but makes it sound so damn easy. Cool, unique flavor on this one.

Best Line:"Silverback Stacks, jumping out the jungle"

Rating: Two Stacks

2011: Lloyd ft. Andre 3000 "Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)"


Seeing Andre in cat form is a little strange, but even when he is a feline he can flow. Feel like there could be a little more energy from 3 Stacks, but in terms of the lyrics and how he delivers them, it's pretty cool. I don't know how he doesn't get tripped up. He squeezes as many words as possible into each line but has no trouble hitting every single one. Really listen to the way he breaks up the words in this one.

Best Line: "Damn, darlin', do change your oil/I’m your number one fan-belt, they are not important"

Rating: Two Stacks

2012: Young Jeezy ft. Andre 3000 "I Do"


This is why I love Andre. While Jay and Jeezy are busy rapping about the drug game, Andre is rapping about an actual girl. I'll take a verse about a girl over a verse about drug dealing ten times outta ten, especially when it's Andre; the man has such a way with words. It might not be his most technically sound verse, but it's a lot of fun. I don't always need a insane display of tongue-twisting talent, so long as the energy and vibe is on point and here it most definitely is.

Best Line: "Her proud like her mother and ooohh momma’s sweet/So you just know that Juicy Fruit ain't gon’ fall too far from tree"

Rating: Two Stacks

  

2012: Gorillaz ft. Andre 3000 "DoYaThing"


This is a little hard to judge since it's so out there, but what other rapper could even attempt something like this without falling flat on their face? On the one hand, I don't really like the altered vocals, but this effort is still flawless. Nobody could rattle off this many cascading bars without a break. Each one rolls into the next and he keeps building momentum. I had never heard this verse before, but I'm really impressed. It's a little like "Rap God". The song might not be my favorite, but from a technical standpoint it is incredible.  It feels weird because I'm not the biggest fan of the song, but I have to give this verse 3 Stacks because of his delivery.

Best Line:"Asinine ass and a gorgeous coocher"

Rating: Three Stacks.

2012: Frank Ocean ft. Andre 3000 "Pink Matter"


Only Andre could make something like this work. It isn't my favorite Andre verse, but he makes it work better than anyone else could have. If you love his staggered flow breaks a part words and spaces them out this one is for you. Nothing overwhelming, but Andre blends so well with the unique song that it becomes more impressive. Also, let's not sleep on his little outro.

Best Line: "My memories no sharp/Butter knife, what a life, anyway"

Rating: Two Stacks

2012: T.I. ft. Andre 3000 "Sorry"


I love this verse. Fucking perfect. Andre is in rare form here. It's so funny the way his flow commands a track and establishes the vibe more than the beat. He can shape it and shift it so many ways, but they all seem to fit, and he shows 'em all here. In addition to a stellar flow, the content is fascinating. he doesn't come right out and say it, but a lot of this definitely has to do with Outkast. We probably won't ever get a full explanation of the complexities of their relationship and quasi break-up, so "Sorry" is as good as it's gonna get. It's legendary in that sense and legendary in the sense that Andre leaves it all out there and is so stylish with how he does it.

Best Line: "Why do we try so hard to be stars, just to dodge comets"

Rating: Three Stacks

2012: Rick Ross ft. Andre 3000 "Sixteen"


Can we even call this a guest verse? Andre grabs this song from Ross' pizza grease hands and makes it his own. "Like DoYaThing" this is an impressive display of sheer rapping talent. It's perfect; enough said. I could listen to this verse on loop forever. Flawless.

Best Line:"She yelling that selling’s a sin, well so is telling young men/That selling is a sin, if you don’t offer new ways to win"

Rating: Three Stacks

2013: Beyonce ft. Andre 3000  "Back To Black"


Dafuq? I'm going to chalk this weird one up to the fact it's attached to a movie. Rarely do soundtracks bring you anything memorable and this is another example. It's kind of interesting because it's so different, but it just feels flat.

Best Line: "I,I, I left no time to regret/Kept my dick wet with that same old bet"

Rating: One Stack

2013: Capital Cities ft. Andre 3000 "Farrah Fawcett Hair"


This one is a little different than any of the others. I feel like Andre wasn't brought in to "Sixteen" the song, but to help create a mood. He did it perfectly. Is he the most diverse emcee ever? I mean he can do everything and shows it on this tune. Still, with only a few bars, it's not what I want from my Andre verses. I'm kind of confused on how to rate it because it's nothing like his usually verses, but it's not supposed to be and it is still effective. Hmmmm...I'll give him two for doing something nobody else could.

Best Line:"Or getting tucked in every night for a month/By all of the American Apparel ad girls"

Rating: Two Stacks

2014: Future ft. Andre 3000  "Benz Friendz (Whatchutola)"


My expectations were lower than Lil' Jon stuck in a mine shaft, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. Not saying it's amazing, but considering Future's ability to make my ears sad, I'd say it turned out OK. If I close my eyes and try hard enough, I can forget it's a Future song. But this isn't about Future. As for Andre, he does his thing, but there is nothing overly memorable to me. It's a noble effort on a less than noble album, but there is only so much Andre can do. Make no mistake about it though, he makes this song.

Best Line: "But this shit comes back up like some acid reflux/Or a Michael Jackson jacket with some plastic zippers"

Rating: Two Stacks

 

For the record, Lucas looks like I just made him work a day in a Andre 3000 sweatshop after putting all of that together. Next up I'm going to make him sew 1,000 tiny bow ties. I'll jump back in before he develops carpal tunnel from inserting all those YouTube embeds. 

Stats

We've come this far, we might as well get a little Sabermetric-y. It's important to note that there's only a rough correspondence between when Andre recorded a verse and when it came out, and the guest artists has very little control over when his verse is released. Still, it's interesting to note that in 2007, when Andre was closest to his Outkast output, he dropped seven guest verses. After that, it's been much more meager offerings. We're talking one in 2008, one in 2009, three in 2010, six in 2011 (a semi-resurgence), five in 2012, two in 2013 and one in 2014 (so far, obviously).

Removing the abnormally productive '07, that's a 2.71 verses a year average, and a grand total of 25 verses in eight years (with essentially no other solo songs or albums). Plus, that output arc doesn't suggest that there's significantly more material on the way in '14, although in '10 you couldn't have predicted six verses would drop in '11. 

The point is, this is why new Andre verses feel so rare, and why I care so much about the songs he's jumping on; because history suggests it might literally be the only or one of two verses from him we get all year.  

Closing Thoughts

Frankly I don't know if this did any good in terms of helping me cope with the ongoing lack of new Outkast material in my life. If anything, it might have made it worse. AAAAAAHHHHHH, STOP RAPPING THAT INCREDIBLY ON KE$HA SONGS AND RECORD YOUR OWN SHIT!!!

Ultimately though, all of these verses have helped me deepen my appreciate for Andre, an appreciation I didn't think could get much deeper. There's just no way I can include him near the top of any Greatest Alive discussion considering he hasn't released an album or even a full song in years, but verse for verse, word for word, he's just undeniably one of the best to ever touch a mic. So no matter the context, I need to try to appreciate the fact that Andre's still rapping at all. Hip-hop's so much better with him in it, even if just for a couple 16s a year. Sweet baby jesus bless André Lauren Benjamin.

DJBooth Nation, you know what to do. Let's rap nerd the fuck out. 

UPDATE: To listen to all of these songs in one playlist, click here

 

Lists on Ranker

 


[Nathan Slavik is the managing editor of DJBooth.net. He has a beard. This is his Twitter. Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth and RefinedHype. He does not have a beard. This is his Twitter.]

This article originally appeared on RefinedHype.com, which has now merged with The DJBooth. For more info, click here.

Andre 3000   RefinedHype  

Written by on 04/23/14


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