Wednesday, September 08, 2004 Andre 3000: The Awakening - Interview Andre 3000: The Awakening: "The admittedly spaced-out half of Outkast has taken his head out of the stars and changed his attitude. Back in 1994, on on Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik's 'Git Up, Git Out,' Dre rapped, 'Y'all tellin' me that I need to get out and vote, huh?/ Why? Ain't nobody black runnin' but crackers, so why I got to register?/ I'm thinkin' of better sh-- to do with my time.' And even as late as 2003, around the time the Kast released Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below, the world's best-dressed man still wasn't down with going to the polls.

Almost a year later, though, 3000 is a changed man. He's registered for the upcoming election, and every time we see him, he's encouraging his fellow Americans to follow suit. Dre has become so passionate that he's currently shooting a documentary on youth and voting, which will come out a little before Election Day, and has signed on as a spokesperson for Declare Yourself, an organization set up to get people registered.

'If you don't vote, you're pretty much giving up your power,' Dre advises. 'You're pretty much saying, 'Do what you will with me.' '

So why the change of heart? We caught up with Dre in his New York hotel one day before he went to the RNC to watch President Bush speak, and the poetic performer chalked it up to being swayed in part by the man behind such 1970s TV shows as 'All in the Family,' 'Maude' and 'The Jeffersons.'

MTV: So with all that you have going on - winning awards, shooting a movie, recording an album, clothes shopping - why even take time out to get involved in this voting situation?

Andre 3000: Honestly, what got me involved — 'cause I'm not really political at all — was [TV producer] Norman Lear contacted my acting agent. I really didn't know the name, I didn't know "Good Times" and all this production history. My people were like, "You would want to meet with this guy." So I sit down and meet with him. He said, "I'm doing this campaign and getting the youth to vote. My kids tell me if I need the young people, I should come to you because people respect what you do. We want you to head up this campaign to get young people to vote."

by Shaheem Reid


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