Celebrities have joined Black Lives Matter protests, made protest anthems and videos, and written open letters to support the fight against racial injustice that has been going on in the United States for years.
The Outkast emcee has been incognito for a while but his sudden emergence into public spaces for this cause is more than welcome. He hit Blackbird Spyplane for a ‘conversation’ and shared thoughts on the T-shirt line and how life in quarantine due to COVID-19 has been.
The protest T-shirts were inspired by the jumpsuits the ‘Hey Ya!’ hitmaker wore on his Outkast reunion tour in 2014. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the sales of the T-shirts will go to the Movement For Black Lives “to aid in their fight to end police brutality & racial injustice against Black people.”
Everybody World, a women-owned, women-run company in L.A. created the new line of t-shirts. André 3000 notes that although the reunion concerts where he wore the jumpsuits were the same time as the Ferguson protests, the messages on the jumpsuits are as relevant today because they “ring even Truer.”
With the conversation on Black Lives Matter on media platforms, the slogans on the T-shirts include “the hardest time of our lives,” “which type of stereo are you?” and “across cultures, darker people suffer most. why?”
Speaking to ideas of the original slogans, André says he wanted to find something to keep the excitement each night during the reunion because the songs being performed were old.
“I didn’t have new verses and new songs, and it felt weird to play old songs from 1993, so I said, ‘Let me put these thoughts on my suits. Some were serious, some were silly. Just random thoughts, like me admitting to loving fruit snacks! But also, this was summer 2014…So it was fun and serious and sad and everything. But they still make sense now.”
Speaking on the impact of protests in America, he says he had lost hope in marches until recently, adding that protests only work if the turnout is great and for the recent ones, the turnout was very impressive.
To André 3000, the recent marches gained massive support probably because many people were tired of staying at home during the lockdown.
“It’s kind of the perfect storm because corona had everyone at home, and we had nothing to do but react—and people wanted to be outside. It is kind of a blessing and a curse: If everyone was at work right now, going about their business, the protest turnout wouldn’t be anywhere near as high. But it’s been a long time coming and it came to a head right now.”