You may not have seen Andre 3000 at any protests recently, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t down for the cause. In a new interview with media newsletter Blackbird Spyplane about his new slogan T-shirts in support of Movement For Black Lives, Andre explained why he felt reticent to join the masses in the streets like some of his fellow artists, admonishing fans to use caution when pressuring their favorite musicians to join the crowded protests.
“I haven’t gotten out to any protests, to be honest,” he admitted, but says he has a solid reason. “I would love to be out, but I haven’t been: personally, I felt like I wouldn’t want to risk the virus at all.” While some artists felt compelled to join, Andre asked for a little more empathy for those who felt like they couldn’t or shouldn’t protest in person and tried to help in other ways. “I saw a lot of rappers getting pressured by people, with fans saying, ‘You need to be out here, where are y’all,’ but you have to think about it: How much of it is just for the people to say, We saw a celebrity there? What if your favorite rapper goes out — I’m not even talking about me, ‘cause I’m from the ‘90s, but the kids’ favorite rapper now, say they go out and catch corona and die? Were they more effective and valuable to all of us at home writing music, and doing what they do best?”
Andre also pointed out that as a natural loner with social anxiety, the thought of diving into the sea of humanity stressed him out too much. However, he also acknowledged that folks who went out had valid reasons, as well. “People screaming and touching!” he said, “And when you scream there’s projectiles in the air. And yet, even with people knowing they could get the virus, they still turned out! So either they were really bored or they were so angry they said, ‘F*ck it,’ and went out anyway.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Andre explains how he ethically sourced his shirts, why the slogans felt so important to share, and his hope that this round of protests helps to make a last change. Read the full interview here and see Andre’s new line of shirts here.