Thursday, December 2, 2021

Andre 3000 Drops Protest-inspired Clothing Line for ‘War Against Systemic Racism’

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Andre 3000 of Outkast performs at Samsung Galaxy stage during 2014 Lollapalooza Day Two at Grant Park on August 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
(Aug. 1, 2014 – Source: Theo Wargo/Getty Images North America)

*André 3000 has dropped a collection of merch inspired by the jumpsuits he designed for OutKast’s 2014 reunion tour.

The t-shirts feature messages such as, “Ok, hand over the cure and stop playing,” “I pray there’s a god at the end of all this,” “Can one rest in peace & violence?” and more.

Proceeds from the limited collection will go to the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL).

“Something very important is happening all over the world and it is happening to all of us,” he wrote upon announcing the shirts on Instagram this week.

“How does it make you feel?” Andre added “For 3 days, a selection of shirts inspired by a collection of my jumpsuits will be sold and 100% of net proceeds will be donated to Movement for Black Lives @mvmnt4blklives to aid in their fight to end police brutality & racial injustice against Black people.”

The hip-hop star also noted that “this is only piece in the war against systemic racism,” and  “BLACK LIVES MATTER … at a minimum.” 

In a new interview with Blackbird Spyplane, the artist explained how he came up with the phrases for the merch. 

“All these slogans were made during the OutKast tour in 2014,” he said. “I wanted to find something to keep myself excited each night, because I didn’t have new verses and new songs, and it felt weird to play old songs from 1993, so I said, ‘Let me put these thoughts on my suits.’”

He continued: “Some were serious, some were silly. Just random thoughts like me admitting to loving fruit snacks! But also this was summer 2014 so with a lot of these suits I was responding to Ferguson in real time. So it was fun and serious and sad and everything. But they still make sense now—they ring even truer.”

The Atlanta native said “every day I’m looking for better ways to make it make sense, because honestly a lot of these clothes we’re making aren’t necessary, so we have to find the best way to make these artful goods. We’re not in Alaska where we need to cover ourselves to survive—these are fashion.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Andre touched on how COVID-19 and the ongoing protests over police brutality are “affecting all of us—things like classism and money separate us, but this sets the record straight.”

He added, “I guess we’re seeing how bad it is, but that’s the point: this makes everyone see it clearly. I love that part of it because it’s making everyone respond in some type of way. You get to see who you really are.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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