LOS ANGELES — Andre 3000 wants us to remember Andre 1995.
“It’s like a history lesson,” the Outkast rapper said of the duo’s new single, “Mighty O”. “It’s been 11 years since we started, and we’ve gone through a whole circus, a whole maze, of different sounds and stuff. A lot of people, they were fans since the beginning, but we just had to let people who didn’t know, who probably came on the Outkast train a little later, let them know how we started.”
“Mighty O” is the first track off Outkast’s follow-up to their acclaimed double album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which is also doubling as the soundtrack to their long-awaited movie musical, Idlewild (see “Outkast Channel Cab Calloway On Long-Awaited ‘Idlewild’ Single” ).
“The movie takes place in the 1930s, but it’s hip. It’s a new musical,” Andre explained. “So ['30s-inspired music], that’s just one part of it. And then there’s some different kind of stuff. Whatever you have liked about Outkast in the past, when you go to the movie theater August 25, you’ll be pleased. Believe me.”
Andre and Big Boi, who made their first public appearance together in months at last week’s BET Awards (see “Eminem Joins Busta Onstage, Jamie Foxx Smooches Fantasia At BET Awards” ), said not to expect a lot of guests on the “Idlewild” soundtrack, although a few unexpected names appear.
“Ben Vereen of Broadway fame and of ‘Roots,’ he plays my dad in the movie, and we actually have a duet together,” Andre said. “It’s a good thing.”
The album is not due until August 22, three days before the movie hits theaters, but Outkast already have the next two singles lined up, complete with finished videos. The first is “Morris Brown,” a Big Boi solo track featuring Scar, Sleepy Brown and the Morris Brown College Band, and the second is “Idlewild Blues.”
A tour is also in the works, although just with Big Boi.
“I will be going out down the road,” Big Boi said. “My brother [Andre], he’s not doing this side of the fence, just chilling. But who knows what the future holds. We’re gonna see what happens, ’cause we got the ball and it’s first down.”
Andre 3000 is instead focusing on acting (he signed on for his next movie role but can’t talk about it) and producing a cartoon series, “Class of 3000,” which will debut on the Cartoon Network this fall.
“It’s about this entertainer who at the top of his career just totally, completely stops doing it,” Andre said. “He moves back to his hometown to teach these five or six musically talented kids. Every show, we have a new song produced and performed by me and the kids, so stay tuned.”
Big Boi also has more films in the works — “but we got to wait till them deals go through,” he said — and continues to run the Purple Ribbon imprint, which is dropping Sleepy Brown’s debut, Mr. Brown, on September 26. Big Boi and Pharrell are featured on the first single, “Margarita.”