Fans of Hip-Hop have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the musical genre throughout the summer. However, the official birthday was yesterday, August 11. In honor of this occasion, I dedicate this week's Slow Jam Saturday to one of my favorite MCs. The song I have chosen is "Prototype," from André 3000's solo offering, The Love Below.
André 3000 and his rhyming partner Big Boi, collectively known as Outkast, had already achieved commercial success with their first four albums. Following the crucial and commercial success of Stankonia, André 3000 was compelled to venture into the new creative territory and relocated to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for acting.
His acting career didn't initially take off, so 3stacks returned to his bread and butter. Andre embarked on a thrilling journey with his solo album, aiming to create a unique sound separate from his previous work with Outkast. The result was an extraordinary fusion of pop, jazz, and funk, accompanied by the brilliance of live instruments and an increased emphasis on singing rather than rapping.
Initially planned as the first single from The Love Below, "Prototype" followed the success of "Hey Ya!" and his only song with Big Boi, "Roses." Produced by 3tacks, "Prototype" is a delightful love song that radiates pure happiness and celebrates the joy of a new relationship. Set against a captivating instrumental backdrop, Andre pours his heart out, expressing his optimism and excitement about this particular connection. He hopes this newfound love will be his lucky charm, accompanying him on a lifelong journey filled with love and happiness.
Even though André acknowledges the possibility of separation, he emphasizes that everything happens for a reason and cherishes every moment spent together. The chorus echoes Andre's elation as he proudly declares his love again. The bridge plays a playful tone, inviting listeners to join in on the fun as Andre playfully invites his love interest to watch a movie together. In the outro, ad-libs overflow with gratitude and affection as Andre expresses his immense appreciation for rediscovering the magic of love in his life once more.
For whatever reason, "André 3000 " wasn't promoted as much as the previous singles, but the song remains a favorite among Outkast fans. Andre 3000 once said, "As a rapper, your verses are like a window into who you are." So when I think of the quote, I feel that Andre's true creativity emerged with his solo project and this song.
Final Grade: A
"Prototype" from The Love Below is available on all streaming platforms