Joe Stile | BASSic
You can’t predict the weather
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 08:12
T.I. has released his new single, “Sorry,” featuring the renowned Andre 3000. As with any track that Dre puts his verse on, he is astonishing and the main reason to listen to the recording at all.
The song’s hook repeatedly asks, “What should I be sorry for?/ Who should I be sorry to?” and sets up the theme for the verses: these hip−hop veterans are going to look back on their lives and apologize to the ones they’ve truly wronged.
For most of his three−minute verse, the ATLien is in rapid−fire mode. It’s as if he doesn’t think he’ll have time to make amends to all the people he wants to address.
Three Stacks begins his rhymes by talking about himself, and makes some surprisingly honest observations in the process. Andre goes off about how life is more exciting when you’re striving for something rather than when you’re already a legend. He talks about how jaded someone can become once they have nothing left to go after, nothing left to prove. While the average listener might not relate to this idea of “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems,” the concept itself still is moving.
Dre uses a nice metaphor when he says how his Porche has led him “off course.” The extravagant wealth that he has worked so hard for and now obtained is nice, but now that he’s got it, what’s left to keep him going so hard? Where’s the motivation when you have the world? It’s this kind of honest reflection that’s missing from a lot of the more superficial rap out there.
Next, he switches to what will likely be the lines that get the most attention: he apologizes to his former Outkast partner Big Boi. Outkast was one of the biggest names in music, racking up numerous awards and selling millions of records, when Andre decided he needed a break from rap. In his apology, Dre admits that it was his own fault for the break−up, but also makes it clear that the pronouncement didn’t come from a place of malice, but rather from Three Stacks’ own disillusionment with fame. In only a few lines, Andre opens up while always making his intentions and perspective apparent. It’s stupefying that he can do all of that in so few words.
Andre is one of the densest lyricists working today — in the following lyric he connects both the ideas mentioned previously in the track when he addresses Big Boi with, “Why did we try so hard to be stars/ just to dodge comments?”, which references both the day−to−day grind of Outkast’s beginnings and the flurry of questions he and Big Boi have received about a possible reunion. It’s this kind of self−awareness that makes Dre one of the wisest rappers in the industry.
The final wrong he brings up is leaving the mother of his child to keep pursuing rap back before he was famous. It’s an excellently detailed account of complex emotions and regret.
As if all this wasn’t enough, Andre then goes meta and talks about how after this verse is released, “All some p−−−y n−−−a on the Internet can say is that verse ain’t good/ it’s boring.”
He’s just poured out his heart about his biggest regrets and some annoying tweeter will likely find it “boring.” It causes Andre’s remarks about making the wrong choice when he picked his career over staying with his family make perfect sense.
Over the past decade, Andre 3000 has only released a handful of verses and has yet to make a solo album. While I would gratefully accept a more prolific Three Stacks, as long as the little bit of material he does make is of this exceptionally high caliber I have nothing to complain about.
Joe Stile is a senior majoring in political science. He can be reached at Joseph.Stile@tufts.edu.