As a self-professed "ATLien" and "E.T. (Extraterrestrial)," André 3000 has been one of the biggest enigmas in the music industry since OutKast broke onto the scene in 1994. Humble, reserved, yet wildly eccentric at the same time, his mystical persona is something that has marveled many who've followed his storied career and this fan's recent encounter with André 3000 is everything that anyone could've ever imagined and more from the 43-year-old musician.
According to Twitter user @itsTiana, the meeting went down on a "silent" Soho street, when she happened to run into the rapper while sporting a shirt with rapper's image on it. As she described on Twitter, the artist came "floating" out of a coffee shop, and to her surprise, agreed to take a photo.
Tiana posted a photo of the chance meeting with the musician and gushed about the encounter to followers, tweeting:
"Walking down a silent block in Soho - Andre 3k (my mf hero) walks out of a coffee shop as I’m passing. 'Oh my God you’re on my shirt rn.'"
She added, "He was acting just as hype as me, which maximized my level of happiness/excitement x10000. What a good day."
The image on Tiana's shirt features André 3000 rocking the memorable outfit from the 2014 OutKast reunion tour which read: "Across cultures, darker people suffer more. Why?" The fan also shared a close up photo of the graphic that was on her tee, posting: "This was the shirt. It’s by @ALMGHT"
In a separate post, Tiana revealed that 3000, whose real name is André Benjamin, also snapped a few picture of her in the shirt as she continued to rave about his amazing energy, writing:
"One of the most exciting parts about this moment was that he actually took two photos of me posing in the shirt, hahaha. His energy was absolutely amazing though. I just wish I could explain the pause I took as he floated out of the damn coffee shop on this calm ass street lol."
As for the shirt Benjamin's wearing in the photo, it appears that he's still moving forward with making tees inspired by the legendary singer, Anita Baker. It's something he talked about in a 2017 GQ interview, telling to the mag, "Wouldn’t it be great to design a line of Anita Baker tees and present the line to Anita? Maybe she needs some merch.”
Although he has begun dabbling more into the realms of fashion lately, recently partnering with sneak brand Tretorn for his own line of sneakers, the rapper has been a scarce presence in the music world, granting only handful of guest appearances and interviews here and there over the past decade. And that just makes the random, on-the-street fan meeting feel that much more special.
As half of the legendary hip-hop duo OutKast, 3000, along with group mate Big Boi aka Antwon Patton, was once part of one of the biggest groups in music. After bursting onto the scene with his effortless lyrical flow and undeniable avant-garde aura in the mid '90s, 3000 was quickly heralded as one of the greatest emcee's in rap history. In 2015, Billboard notably cited Benjamin on its list of the 10 Greatest Rappers of All Time. Two tears prior, Complex included him on its list of the 10 Best Rappers of the 2000s.
Now that his music career has quieted, it looks like Benjamin has been spending more of his days waltzing around the streets of New York. The father of one, who was born and raised in Atlanta GA, revealed the reason for his move to NYC during his fall interview with GQ.
With his time in the spotlight now seemingly behind him, it appears that Benjamin has freed up more space in his schedule to meet and greet fans such as Tiana. And even though his fans might miss his music, as long as he keeps being good to his fans, it doesn't look like they'll be complaining any time soon.