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7 Great André 3000 Guest Verses

On this verse, featured on a single from Beyoncé’s 2011 album “4,” André indulges in some light braggadocio, makes up his own memorable pronunciation of “gyro,” and, approaching his late 30s, expresses ambivalence about his evolving status as an elder statesman of hip-hop: “Kiddo say he looks up to me, this just makes me feel old.” (Listen on YouTube)

This eight-minute track from Rick Ross’s 2012 album “God Forgives, I Don’t” is a meta-meditation on what happens when “16 ain’t enough” — or how difficult it is to condense one’s life into a standard, 16-bar rap verse. Both Ross and 3000 manage to cram multitudes into their rhymes here. André’s feature in particular is an absolute tour de force, beginning with a vivid flashback to his youth (when he was just “drawin’ LL Cool J album covers with Crayolas on construction paper”) and somehow shifting into another gear toward the end, as he offers some clear-eyed reportage from the other side of one’s childhood dream coming true. (Listen on YouTube)

From way back in 2011, when Drake was still trying to sound like a genuine romantic, André 3000 slid onto this “Take Care” track to show him how it was done, name-dropping Adele and laying his soul bare. “Everybody has an addiction,” he raps with arresting simplicity. “Mine happens to be you.” (Listen on YouTube)

Another meta-ode to a musician’s creative process, this song from Devin the Dude’s gloriously named 2007 album “Waitin’ to Inhale” finds the Houston rapper — along with Snoop Dogg and André 3000 — offering perspective on and gratitude for his chosen profession. André uses part of his verse to make an argument against then-rampant piracy: “If I come to your job, take your corn on the cob,” he asks, “and take a couple kernels off it, that would be all right with you?” (Listen on YouTube)

André proves he’s still got bars in the present tense on this track from Killer Mike’s 2023 album “Michael,” which just last week scored Grammy nominations for best rap performance and best rap song. Amid some evocative bleeps and bloops, André sounds like an alien visitor beaming in from another galaxy, though his verse is also imbued with plenty of human vulnerability: “Too much that I can’t communicate with all of them,” he raps. “I do wish I had scientists to engineer friends.” Later on, though, he’s more optimistic when considering the future: “Hope I’m 80 when I get my second wind.” We should all hope so, too. (Listen on YouTube)

Keep your heart, Three Stacks, keep your heart,


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