On May 27th, the best rapper of all time turned 42. No, I’m talking about Jadakiss but about André with an accent, three triple-O, been jammin’. On that day of praise, different blog sites published list praises and ranking Three Stacks best work. One blog in particular ranked the great André feature verses ever. Their list was questionable to say the least, so I thought it would be fun to come up with a revised ranking. For this new ranking, I reached out to Danielle (again) to see what her favorite feature verses are. Below each ranking, we discuss the greatness of the feature/song and whether I agree with her position or not. At the end, there will be a Spotify playlist with all the songs plus some extras to vibe along to. DJ Scratch-n-Sniff on the 1’s and 2’s. Enjoy.
#10 The Real Her
Danielle: I must admit, I don’t like this song. I know this is supposed to be the “Houstatlantavegas Pt. II”, but, like most sequels, this falls short. I do, however, appreciate André’s part so much that I had to include it. Drake and Lil Wayne sound forced but Dre feels genuine and he closes the song perfectly. He takes all the elements of “Houstatlantavegas” and makes the perfect rap compliment to Drake’s R&B classic.
Marc Rob: A recurring theme of this list is 3000 completely outshining the other artist on the song. This song is no exception. On Take Care, Drake had a lot of featured artist and, for the most part, they compliment him well. This song, as well, is no exception. I like the song more than you but I agree more about Wayne’s verse being forgettable. André gives an introspect verse questioning whether it’s better to be single and independent or in a stable relationship. This is a solid verse and a good start to the list.
D: Talk about underrated. It amazes me how many people have never heard or have forgotten about this song. Part of the reason I love this song so much is because, when it was released, I was heavy on Tumblr and the ascetics of the visuals combined with Dré’s eccentric lyrics made for great Tumblr content. 2008 was a great time for music; this song is a great example of that.
M: I don’t remember this song being very popular at all. Not because the song was bad but I don’t think people took a song from Fonzworth Bentley seriously. I’m not even sure the song made it onto an official album, but the song and the video were both cool; a nice break from the volatility of the time. Dré flow is as smooth as silk.
D: This song is so personal to André and Erykah. I’m such a sucker for any verse where Dré talks about love and this one has such a conversational vibe to it. When I listen to it, I feel as if I’m in the same room with them, quietly observing. Rarely do we get to feel what our favorite artist’s feel, but André is able to that here.
M: Question: would you rather have another OutKast album or a André 3000 & Erykah Badu joint album?
D: Hmm, I would actually rather have an André solo album. With a solo album, I could get Big Boi, Erykah and other features. That would be perfect.
M: All André, all the time. I’m with it.
D: What I love about this verse is André’s ability to fit perfectly with the other verses. It’s a fun song and he has fun with his verse. This is a great example of how Andre can combine flair, charm and comedy so effortlessly.
M: This may be the only verse on here that I could leave off the top 10. Not because his verse is bad but the song, overall, just didn’t do it for me. A song with André, Jeezy and Jay-Z is something that should be up my alley, but because there have been multiple versions of the song released previously, I wasn’t moved by this one. For me, I’d replace this with verse from the Goodie Mob classic “Thought Process” or from Big Boi’s “Royal Flush”.
D: Well, your opinion has been noted. But, really, “Thought Process” and “Royal Flush” are great as well. This list could’ve gone on and on…
#6 Da Art of Storytellin’ Part 4
D: Technically, this is an OutKast song, but since it’s not on any OutKast album, I’m counting this as a guest verse on DJ Drama’s song. It’s my list; I can do that. It’s the type of song you have to listen to multiple times over and you’ll still want to go to Rap Genius to fully comprehend its greatness.
M: The loophole you used is totally fine with me; anything to recognize the brilliance of this song, I’m all in. I remember this being the first teaser records where we thought we were really getting another OutKast album. Idlewild released the year before and “Int’l Players Anthem” dropped a few months prior but the status of OutKast was seemingly up in the air. DJ Drama brought together the ATLiens for one last ride for his official Gangsta Grillz album. André tells is how it is and then tells us how it could be, and Big Boi wants his side piece to be ever so discreet with his meat. I still can’t believe it’s been 10 years since this has dropped and no Kast album has released. I need a minute to collect my broken heart.
D: ” It’s the pharaoh, Three Stacks.” André was able to hold his own here, following a strong and aggressive Tech N9ne verse. What I love most is Dré’s imagery. I’ve heard people describe themselves as feeling blue, but I have never heard anyone describe feeling “electric grey” or “neon black.” While 3K’s verse wasn’t as loud, it remained just as memorable and I’ll say more palatable than Tech N9ne’s.
M: Easily the best song on a disappointing Carter IV album. Uncredited on the tracklisting, it took me a second to recognize Dré’s voice when I first listened, so this was a welcomed hidden gem. The vividness of this verse is amazing. I can imagine what it’s like looking at stars so bright in the sky, I’d confuse them for toy marbles from my childhood. This was the album’s best song and best verse bar none.
#4 Solo (reprise)
D: The surprise that none of us were ready for. The long awaited, highly anticipated new Frank Ocean album was here. If you’re anything like myself, you just let the album play and try to process everything you’re hearing. “Nights” just blew your fucking mind and then your hit with an unexpected yet familiar voice. André’s lyrics are great, but the experience means just as much to me. I’m still in awe.
M: On my first listen to Blond, this was my favorite song on the album. Having 3000 rap for 70 seconds on a solo record (pun intended) is like clearing the lane so LeBron James can muscle his way through Kelly Olynyk in the most incredible/disrespectful way possible. Ocean recently praised André for being the best rapper ever and this is a sentiment we both share. For me, however, “Solo” would’ve been ranked lower than “Interlude” and “Da Art of Storytellin’ Part 4” on my list, but I still love this verse nonetheless.
D: I-CON-IC. Living in Texas, when this song comes on, it’s an event. Some people start yelling the “I chose you” background vocals, while others, like myself, start dramatically reciting André’s verse. His opening verse is legendary and sets the stage perfectly for Pimp C. It will never get old.
M: If a rapper gives you a verse without a baseline behind it, he/she better make it count. And–gawddamn–Three Stacks does. I feel like I’m the best man at his wedding warning him to keep his heart. While I’m not from Texas, I catch the Holy Ghost whenever I hear Uncle Chad wax poetic about his lady of the night. I’m actually surprised this wasn’t higher on your list but #3 feels right. This song turned 10 years old two days ago and it’s still one of the best collabs ever. Of all the reasons why the song shines, Dré may be the brightest.
D: Another song where André outshines the main artist. On “Sorry”, André shares some regrets with his career and gets borderline angry. He gets personal while still giving the fans something to bop to, which is not an easy task. Dré saves what would have been a rather basic T.I. song. And he sings on track, which is always welcomed.
M: I must confess: I only have this song set to play only Dré’s verse. I’ve only heard Tip’s verses twice and it was just enough to know I wasn’t missing much by skipping them. But, more importantly, André’s verse is too great to wait on. I remember this verse causing a stir because he apologized to Big Boi for not capitalizing on OutKast’s fame and becoming a recluse. I think it’s always interesting when an artist can express true regret without sounding forced or corny. I forgive you, 3000. Maybe.
D: When sixteen ain’t enough! André holds nothing back on this song. He floats melodically over this beat leaving Rick Ross’ verse as an after thought. André gives us an interlude for the iconic verse, and an outro paired with a guitar solo. Could you ask for anything else?
M: The only things left to ask would be the dozen questions 3000 asked at the end of the song. “Sixteen” is one of my favorite rap song verses ever, so of course I would agree this should be #1. And you’re right about this verse leaving Ross in the dust. What’s remarkable about this is Rozay was in his prime when this song released and he was holding his own with the likes of Jay-Z and Lil Wayne on features. But André totally steals the show. And my heart.