NEW YORK — Between attending the VMAs in Miami and working on their upcoming HBO film in North Carolina, Outkast have been all over the East Coast in the past week. But possibly the most controversial Outkast sighting has been Andre 3000's presence at the Republican National Convention in New York.
Contrary to a rumor that has been spreading faster than Farnsworth Bentley can steal a show, Dre is not attending the convention to support George Bush, or to perform.
"The reason why I'm here [is because] I'm doing a documentary on youth and voting," Dre said at his hotel Wednesday night. "I guess people got wind that I was coming here for the Republican convention, [but] they really didn't know the complete story. I wanted to clear it up. You had a lot of people around town, people in the streets, that heard I was supposed to be performing at the convention. A lot of people [are] riled up and upset, and that was never the case. It almost [leads] me to think, 'Who put it out there that I was performing?' I don't know if it was to bring heat to a certain party. I just want to let people know that this is a nonpartisan documentary I'm doing."
The Bush twins namedropped Outkast in their speech at the RNC Tuesday night.
Dre said that he recently received phone calls, including one from his partner, Big Boi, telling him that the topic was the talk of radio in Outkast's home base of Atlanta. Some fans were even calling up to say that if he performed at the convention, they would never buy another Outkast LP.
"Well, actually it wasn't a big scare," he said, "because whoever was on the radio saying they'd never buy an Oukast album again, they probably wasn't true fans. True Outkast fans love the music. I understand the politics of it — it does matter who I vote for — but it's none of their business. If they like the music that's cool. I just want to clear it up that I was not supporting a certain party. I was here for the convention to finish up my documentary and show both sides. I spent time in Boston [at the DNC] and I'm spending time here [in New York for the RNC]."
The MC said he still hasn't decided which candidate will get his vote.
Dre got involved in the election after meeting with famed television producer Norman Lear. Lear founded the organization Declare Yourself, for which 3000 has appeared in advertisements. The still-untitled documentary Andre is working on should be out before Election Day (November 2) and is being shot by Donovan Leitch. For the film, Andre has interviewed the daughters of both presidential candidates, among others.