Beats By Dre

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Written and Curated by Andy Bustard

Putting “André 3000” and “slept on” in the same sentence may leave your facial expression looking silly, what with him being one of the greatest rappers of all time and everything. But when it comes to his prowess as a producer, the love that 3 Stacks gets is sadly below par.

After studying Organized Noize during those formative sessions down in The Dungeon, André 3000 helped steer OutKast’s sound to extraterrestrial heights during the duo’s iconic and innovative run in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Alongside his partner-in-rhyme Big Boi and Dungeon Family relative Mr. DJ, as well as numerous local Atlanta musicians, André introduced us to his sci-fi soundscapes on ATLiens. But it was on AqueminiStankonia and the wildly successful Speakerboxxx/The Love Below that the trio truly came into their own as a production team, taking over the reigns from Rico Wade and co. and pushing every boundary possible: of OutKast, of Southern rap and of hip-hop as a whole.

If it’s possible to capture André Benjamin’s immense musical talent in one moment, it’s that time he picked up a guitar and the first chords he played became “Hey Ya!”

Outside of the OutKast universe, Dre has quietly put together an impressive production discography, even if it’s not as large as we’d like (hey, we’re used to it by now). In the early ‘00s, he blessed the likes of Kelis, Gwen Stefani, Killer Mike and Big Gipp with his distinctly funky, frantic and futuristic beats — just another way he bridged the gap between Atlanta rap and pop music. Disappointingly, he’s picked up just three production credits for other artists since: Big Boi’s “You Ain’t No DJ,” Aretha Franklin’s Prince cover “Nothing Compares 2 U” and Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s “Fire.” Much like his guest verses over the last decade, hearing new music from 3 Stacks is a rare but always special occasion.

Minus a few songs that can’t be found on streaming services (but are linked below!), here’s a near-complete collection of André3000’s uniquely brilliant yet criminally underrated production.

Stream: Beats By Dre (Spotify)

Stream: Beats By Dre (Apple Music)

Stream: Beats By Dre (Tidal)

BONUS BEATS:

OutKast ft. Slimm Calhoun – “High Schoolin’” (1999)

OutKast ft. UGK – “Tough Guy” (2000)

OutKast ft. Slimm Calhoun & Killer Mike – “Funkanella” (2000)

Lenny Kravitz ft. OutKast – “Again (Stankonia Remix)” (2001)

OutKast ft. Cee-Lo – “Speedballin’” (2001)

Killer Mike ft. OutKast – “Akshon (Yeah!)” (2002)

OutKast ft. Sleepy Brown & Killer Mike – “Land of a Million Drums” (2002)

Killer Mike – “U Know I Love U” (2003)

Gorillaz ft. André 3000 & James Murphy – “Do Ya Thing” (2012)

André 3000 – “Me&My (To Bury Your Parents)” (2018)

André 3000 – “Look Ma No Hands” (2018)

Ed. note: Big shout to Andy for contributing to the site—if anyone else would like to contribute or simply has a playlist they’d like to submit for consideration, holler at your boy!

 

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