Wednesday, January 16, 2013
I never want to mislead our audience - I worried that some would think these were Outkast collaborations. These songs are not Outkast collaborations. I discussed this rationale with Big, Frank and T.I. and everyone agreed. That is why I was surprised to read about these remixes.
The above quote is a part of a statement Andre made to Spin Magazine (full statement here) to clarify the state of the group currently on hiatus. It may seem silly to some that he would have to make such a statement, but when Frank Ocean announces the release of a track as a collaboration with the group, and media outlets lazily report it as such, I can see why Andre would feel the need to make a statement. As much as people like to say they get it (the group being on hiatus), their actions at times say otherwise.
There's some anger being directed at Andre, and I believe it to be unnecessary and unfair. If we're to believe what was written in his statement (I see no reason not to), he made it clear that when he agreed to appear on the track, he was doing so as an individual artist and that having Big Boi appear on the same track might cause a little confusion, or send the wrong message to fans. It appears he wasn't too far off.
I don't want to put the blame on Big Boi (Frank Ocean and his people are also at fault), but even before they went on hiatus, it appeared that he, more than Andre, would be the one to make reference to the group's status (see The Way You Move or Morris Brown). It's clear there is some longing on his part, but if he wishes for the duo to continue recording together, this can't be the best way to go about it. If anything, I can see a scenario of Andre further retreating from recording hip hop, or at least not wanting to collaborate with artists, due to a lack of trust.
So where does this leave his fans? Back to scoffing at his non-hip hop output, and (not so) secretly pining for his return to rocking mics. I understand that many of us love him, but we really need to just leave him be. Do we really want music from him created without heart? No, heart is one of the qualities we like best about him.
If a return to hip hop is not in the cards, or even if it is (at a much later date), I would recommend listening to the works found here. A lot of great music has been left for us. Be thankful.