André 3000 is arguably one of the most enigmatic figures in hip-hop. As one-half of the Grammy Award-winning duo OutKast, Three Stacks has become a vital, respected voice in Southern rap coming from Atlanta.

Born André Lauren Benjamin, the ATL rapper caught rap fans' attention with his supreme flow and sheer magnetism on ’Kast’s stellar albums, including ATLiens in 1996, Aquemini in 1998 and Stankonia in 2000.

But it wasn’t until the duo released their fantastic double album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, in 2003, that André was more widely recognized for his musical abilities as both a thoughtful lyricist and producer. On The Love Below, André conveys his vulnerability as he explores the pitfalls of love and relationships. The album earned OutKast three Grammy Awards in 2004: the coveted Album of the Year honor, Best Rap Album and best urban/alternative performance for the catchy, doo-wop-inspired track “Hey Ya!”

After OutKast disbanded around 2007, André became more of a Renaissance man. He has dabbled in music production, acting and fashion designing. On production, he has worked with fellow rappers Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Travis Scott and R&B singer Frank Ocean on their respective music projects.

In November of 2023, André left fans shell-shocked when he announced that he will be releasing a new album titled New Blue Sun. However, instead of rap songs his fans eagerly anticipated, the ATL legend decided to showcase his musical versatility by playing the flute on the entire album, creating an entirely instrumental project.

It's clear André 3000 is not just a rapper, but a creative who’s not afraid to explore his individuality in any medium. In honor of André 3000, who celebrates his 45th birthday on May 27, XXL highlights 45 facts that you may not have known about the rapper.

See 45 Facts About André 3000

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