Share
View All

Watch It

In Theaters
  • Jimi: All Is By My Side

At Home
  • Jimi: All Is By My Side

  • Battle in Seattle

  • Semi-Pro

  • Revolver

  • Charlotte's Web

  • Idlewild

  • Four Brothers

  • Be Cool

  • Hollywood Homicide

1 of 9

André Benjamin Biography

  • Profession: Actor, Co-producer, Musical Direction/Supervision
  • Born: Jan 1, 0001
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001

Better known by his MC pseudonym, Andre 3000 (a moniker by which he performs musically, as one half of the Dirty South rap act [[Performer~P293582~OutKast~outkast]]), André Benjamin first practiced rapping in his teenage years, when the genre was still relatively fresh and young. The then-Atlanta-area teen met [[Performer~P398082~Antwan Patton~bigboi]] (aka [[Performer~P398082~Big Boi~bigboi]]), a fellow student at a local high school in the city's East Point; the two impressed each other enormously, via joint participation in rap battles, and officially formed [[Performer~P293582~OutKast~outkast]] in 1992. In time, they solicited the attention of Organized Noise Productions -- the very same outfit that made TLC superstars. The duo issued the "Players' Ball" single immediately after graduation in 1994; it shot up to blockbuster sales on the charts. Several records followed, including 1994's {^Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik}, 1996's {^ATLiens}, 2003's {^Speakerboxxx/The Love Below}, and 2006's {^Idlewild}; in the process, [[Performer~P293582~OutKast~outkast]] rewrote the rules of Dirty South rap, by downplaying aggression and vulgarity, building lyrical complexity, and deepening their arrangements.

Benjamin segued into movie stardom independently of [[Performer~P398082~Patton~bigboi]], with a role in [[Performer~P111129~Ron Shelton~ronshelton]]'s 2003 action comedy [[Feature~V280226~Hollywood Homicide~hollywoodhomicide]], co-starring with the ever-reliable [[Performer~P24238~Harrison Ford~harrisonford]] and [[Performer~P241673~Josh Hartnett~joshhartnett]]. The rapper's portrayal of Silk Brown constituted only a bit part (and an urban stereotype at that), but the high profile of the picture jump-started Andre 3000's career as an actor. [[Feature~V280226~Hollywood Homicide~hollywoodhomicide]] failed to score with either critics or the public, and disappeared quickly in the summer of 2003. Two years passed before the rapper-cum-actor's next turn, as the diligent Jeremiah, one of the four titular siblings in the gifted [[Performer~P111663~John Singleton~johnsingleton]]'s 2005 action thriller [[Feature~V323029~Four Brothers~fourbrothers]]. Benjamin stuck with urban action for the disappointing [[Performer~P242801~Guy Ritchie~guyritchie]] genre piece [[Feature~V315886~Revolver~revolver]], but, as 2006 rolled around, dramatically expanded his repertoire with the courageous (and intuitive) decision to branch out into a broad panorama of roles. He voiced the part of Elwyn in that year's [[Feature~V318186~Charlotte's Web~charlottesweb]], and -- under the direction of longtime friend and [[Performer~P293582~OutKast~outkast]] music video director [[Performer~P421786~Bryan Barber~bryanbarber]] -- performed with [[Performer~P398082~Antwan Patton~bigboi]] as one of the two leads in [[Feature~V318001~Idlewild~idlewild]]. The latter was a longtime dream of the duo's: to create a black period musical set in the '30s South, with a contemporary hip hop soundtrack. In addition to Benjamin and [[Performer~P398082~Patton~bigboi]], [[Feature~V318001~Idlewild~idlewild]] starred a veritable who's who of African-American entertainers, including [[Performer~P73323~Ben Vereen~benvereen]], [[Performer~P39732~Patti LaBelle~pattilabelle]], [[Performer~P72317~Cicely Tyson~cicelytyson]], and [[Performer~P59836~Ving Rhames~vingrhames]]. In 2008, he worked with Woody Harrelson and Will Ferrell for the sports comedy Semi-Pro.

Andre continues to be active in film and music. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Advertisement