“I Lost Hope in Marches — Until Now”: André 3000 on Global Protests

Torry Threadcraft Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and…
Photo Credit: Rick Kern/WireImage

Legendary MC  André 3000 recently spoke out about current events.

André 3000 doesn’t grant interviews that often, but when he does, they’re usually an entertaining listen. Recently, he reached out to BLACKBIRD SPYPLANE to talk fashion, American current events, and more.

As expected, the conversation moved to the COVID-19 pandemic and also global protests against police brutality. Twenty years ago, on the Stankonia track “Humble Mumble,” he even went as far as calling marches “obsolete.” However, seeing millions hit the streets during a pandemic changed the way he viewed the modern protest.

“I feel like marches, in the ’60s, they worked,” he said. “But over time they might have lost power. The opposition figures out the trick, and they figure out how to deaden it. Honestly, I lost hope in marches–until now. I saw it working again and I said ‘whoa.’ The thing is that, for it to work, people have to turn out.”

On Wednesday, André dropped a shirt collection to support the Movement for Black Lives. The slogans on the shirts were inspired by nationwide protests surrounding the death of Michael Brown in 2014. The fact that concerned citizens would risk their health to make their voices is heard clearly inspired him.

“It’s kind of the perfect storm,” he continued. “Because corona had everyone at home, and we had nothing to do but react. And people wanted to be outside. It’s kind of a blessing and a curse: If everyone was at work right now, going about their business, the protest turnout wouldn’t be anywhere near as high. But it’s been a long time coming and it came to a head right now.”

“People screaming and touching,” he exclaimed. “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 fuck it and went out anyway.”

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