“You know what your problem is?”: André 3000 recalls Prince phone call that changed his mindset on performing

“I don’t know him like that, I don’t know how he got my number.”

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Andre 3000 on stage. He is wearing sunglasses and a hat and is pointing to his right, with a mic in hand.

Image: Prince Williams / WireImage via Getty

André 3000 has recalled the time he received a stern phone call from Prince following OutKast’s set at Coachella festival in 2014.

The hip-hop duo had reunited for the festival and a following tour, but being back on stage after 15-20 years away presented some challenges that lead to him becoming mentally “checked out” mid-set.

Speaking to GQ, he remembers the performance, “You know, there’s new technology like ear buds and shit. I’d never used ear buds in my life! We were always just in front of the monitors or listening to the speakers, so if you were watching the Coachella show, I got people in my ear talking and shit. It’s like, ‘What the hell is going on?’”

He adds, “Halfway through the show, I was already checked out… so I was just trying to get through it. Yeah, the show happens and it was a bomb night. It was horrible, in my eyes.”

Prince, along with Paul McCartney, watched the Coachella set side-stage: “The very next morning I get a call from Prince. I don’t know him like that, I don’t know how he got my number — I do not know,” he remembers. “And the first thing he says is, ‘You know what your problem is? You don’t realise how big y’all are.’ Then he was like, ‘You gotta remind people who you are.’ And from that point on, I was like, ‘Okay.’”

André 3000 released his debut album, New Blue Sun, last Friday (17 November). The record is instrumental, and captures the multi-hyphenate on flute. Elsewhere when speaking to GQ, he addressed why he chose to feature no rapping on the album: “I’ve worked with some of the newest, freshest, youngest, and old-school producers. I get beats all the time. I try to write all the time,” he says.

“Even now people think, Oh, man, he’s just sitting on raps, or he’s just holding these raps hostage. I ain’t got no raps like that. It actually feels…sometimes it feels inauthentic for me to rap because I don’t have anything to talk about in that way.”

You can stream New Blue Sun below:


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