If you’re a performer, some reviews mean more than others. A bad write-up or two goes with the territory, but if Prince calls to give you some notes on your performance, you’re probably going to sit up and listen.
As he releases his unexpectedly flute-heavy album, New Blue Sun, André 3000 has been telling GQ about the time that he was on the receiving end of some frank criticism from Prince the day after an OutKast show in 2014. The duo, which also featured Big Boi, had just reunited, and it’s fair to say that His Royal Badness thought they were a little rusty.
Having watched OutKast on their first night back on stage, André 3000 says that Prince phoned him the following day. “You know what your problem is?” he asked, but didn’t wait for an answer.
“And I’m like, fuck,” thought André, before Prince told him where he was going wrong. “You don’t realise how big y’all are,” he opined. “You got to remind people who you are.”
André seems to have been happy to take this on the chin: “And that point on, I was like, OK,” he says, suggesting that he upped his game for the rest of the subsequent tour.
What Prince would have made of André 3000’s new album - a lengthy collection of rap-free new-agey ambient jams that opens with a song called ‘I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a “Rap” Album but This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time’ - we’ll never know. However, he certainly wasn’t averse to the odd stylistic gearshift himself - he released his own vibey jazz-fusion album, N•E•W•S, in 2003 - so we’re guessing he would have been fine with it.