Big Boi swears that a new Outkast album is coming any year now, but the fact is you don’t have to wait for that mythical day to hear André 3000 on a track — for nearly the last half-decade, 3000 has been steadily contributing surprising, sometimes seemingly arbitrarily selected, and nearly always fantastic guest verses on other people’s songs. Last Friday afternoon, André did it again, popping up on (no longer ostracized?) Chris Brown’s “Deuces” remix alongside Kanye, T.I., Drake, and Fabolous, and did his best to relegate those heavy hitters to afterthought status. In respect to this latest awesome drop-in, Vulture picks five great André 3000 guest appearances from his post-Idlewild semi-hiatus.
5. UNK, “Walk it Out (Remix)” featuring André 3000 and Jim Jones
There are, of course, more auspicious ways to jump-start an awesome guest-verse run than by hopping on a dance-rap single from a regionally famous Atlanta rapper. But, as always, a rising André 3000 lifts all boats.
Potent Quotable: “If you wanna go to war, the guns my pleasure / even Jesus had twelve disciples on the lever, trigger, whatever.”
4. Devin the Dude, “What a Job” featuring André 3000 and Snoop Dogg
A smoothed-out ode to the rap life from the Dude’s 2007 album Waitin’ to Inhale that found 3000 criticizing illegal downloading in the most charming way possible, then directly addressing a young couple that used to “get high to me in high school / and they used to make love to me in college.”
Potent Quotable: “So if I come to your job / take your corn on the cob / and take a couple kernels off it / that would be alright with you?”
3. Rich Boy, “Throw Some D’s (Remix)” featuring André 3000, Jim Jones, the Game, Nelly, and Murphy Lee
“Throw Some D’s” is good enough to stand on its own, but that doesn’t take away from André’s add-on. Just ask Rich Boy: “I studied his [’Throw Some D’s’] verse — it’s genius.”
Potent Quotable: “If you wanna try it sucker, now, then we can do it / Ha ha, sleep, Tylenol PM if I pull it / Sh’ sh’ sheep, count ‘em for the rest of ya life / Yeah yeah, your partner got away but now he vegetable-like / So so I sent his mom and dad a whole case of V8.”
2. D.J. Drama, “The Art of Storytellin’ Part 4” featuring Outkast and Marshia Ambrosius
From D.J. “Barack O”Drama’s official Gangsta Grillz album, this is basically just a non-album Outkast song. Technically a guest appearance, though, so it is eligible for the list. Illicit sexual encounters, criticism of strip-club behaviors, references to Edgar Allan Poe and umbilical cords: This verse has it all.
Potent Quotable: The way it’s structured makes it tricky to break up, but here goes a try: “Niggas rock to me, women be up in they tubs / exfoliating, wit’ they pom poms / yelling ’Go, 3000’ / I’m in my whatever bumping NWA” (pronounced nuwa) “’A Hundred Miles and … ”
Hear it at Fader.com
1. UGK, “Intl. Player’s Anthem (I Choose You)” featuring Outkast
André 3000 starts off justifying his decision to enter in holy matrimony and ends up addressing himself in the voice of a second character trying to talk himself out of marriage. Makes more sense when you hear it. Super-special bonus: The video features UGK and Three 6 Mafia ragging on 3000 for wearing a kilt.
Potent Quotable: Ehh, just listen to the whole thing.