The knob-twiddling wizard behind Darkside, Nicolas Jaar – half of a two-man group that sadly closed shop this summer after releasing one of 2013’s finest albums – had a recent run-in with Andre 3000. Dusting off his reporter fedora for The FADER, Jaar conversed and recorded his and Andre 3000’s talk over the Outkast reunion tour and, specifically, how Andre made transparent his sentiments toward performing decade-old songs purely to cash another check.
“I felt weird about going out on stage and doing it again. I felt like people would be like, ‘Y’all are doing all these festivals, y’all are just doing it for money,’ and I felt like a sell-out, honestly. So I was like, if I’m in on the joke, I’ll feel cool about it. It was a decision. I’m 39, I got a 17-year-old kid, and I gotta support certain things. And my partner Big Boi is like, ‘This is a great thing for all of us.’ So I felt like there was a certain sell-out in a way, because I didn’t wanna do it—I knew I was doing it for a reason. So maybe if I’m telling people, ‘I am selling out,’ then it’s not as bad as pretending. It’s being honest about it like, ‘Shit, I did these songs when I was 17 and I’m out here pedaling them now.’ But it’s the honest thing, that’s what it is.”
There’s meaning behind his statement “if I’m in on the joke, I’ll feel cool about it.” As some sort of silent protest to the uncomfortable familiar feeling of rehashing the work that made him a household name, Andre crafted 47 jumpsuits, each with a unique slogan, pun or personal insight imprinted on it. Each jumpsuit was cartoonishly matched with a platinum wig and price tag which read ‘SOLD’.
“I’m like, How am I gonna present these songs? I don’t have nothing new to say. So I was like, maybe I can start saying new stuff while doing these old songs. It became a theme where I was more excited about this than the actual show. This is fun, running out in these.”
Andre isn’t a proud owner of much digital real estate. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Instagram. Instead, he chose to voice his opinion within the space allotted on his chest. What’s come of these bite-sized tweets is something not to be expected. Featured as part of the i feel ya art collection in Miami, all of Andre’s jumpsuits will remain open to public viewings until December 14th. The Savannah College of Art and Design took equal stake in co-producing the exhibition, one that features art inspired from Andre’s jumpsuits. The additional pieces of art include a film and six Rorschach-like paintings, along with an impression wall where visitors could voice their reactions to the exhibit.