André Benjamin

Active - 1996 - Present  |   Born - May 27, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States  |   Genres - Music, Culture & Society

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Exploding out of Atlanta in 1994 to become one of the most original and invigorating voices in modern hip-hop, versatile musician-turned-actor Andre Benjamin (aka Andre 3000) took the music world by storm by bridging the gap between hip-hop and pop with his band OutKast before making the leap to the big screen with a bit role in the 2003 action comedy Hollywood Homicide. Though the role was a minor one, audiences and filmmakers were quick to take note of the stylish screen newcomer's notable onscreen charisma, and in the years that followed, Benjamin would become an increasingly familiar face to filmgoers thanks to roles in such features as the Get Shorty sequel, Be Cool. It was while growing up in Atlanta and attending high school in East Point that Benjamin first made the acquaintance of future OutKast collaborator Antwan Patton (aka Big Boi). After OutKast scored a hit on the LaFace label with the red-hot single "Players Ball," their success continued with such releases as Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, ATLiens, Aquemini, and Stankonia. In 2001, Benjamin technically made his first foray into film by joining an impressive cast of hip-hoppers such as Snoop Dogg and Method Man in taking on vocal duties for MTV's English-language dub of the international cult hit Volcano High (with the aforementioned appearance in Hollywood Homicide serving as the aspiring screen star's formal introduction into the realm of cinema). Though Benjamin's next screen appearance -- as a quirky rapper in the 2005 comedy misfire Be Cool -- may have done little to advance Benjamin's career onscreen, it did find him taking acting tips from such notables as John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Vince Vaughn. When it was announced that OutKast would be teaming up for a throwback gangster musical drama entitled My Life in Idlewild, fans couldn't wait to see what the successful musical duo would offer when given the chance to shine on the big screen. Benjamin continued his momentum onscreen by recording vocal work for Charlotte's Web before appearing opposite Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, and Garrett Hedlund in John Singleton's revenge drama Four Brothers.

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Factsheet

  • Met future collaborator Antwan Patton (aka "Big Boi") when they were both sophomores at Atlanta's Tri-Cities High School; joined forces to create the rap duo OutKast, which signed a record deal with LaFace in 1992.
  • Made his big-screen debut in the 2003 action comedy Hollywood Homicide.
  • Served as executive producer and musical director for the Cartoon Network series Class of 3000; also lent his voice to one of the characters.
  • Can play a number of instruments, including drums, guitar, clarinet and saxophone.
  • Launched a clothing line called Benjamin Bixby in 2008.
  • Is a vegetarian and advocate for animal rights.