The rapper also said that he got introduced to Baker’s music as a child when his mother brought home a cassette tape from work, and he quickly took to it.
Then in his adult years, Andre tried to purchase a t-shirt with the singer’s image on it and hated what he got back in the mail. That made him want to start the Baker shirt line, just out of his sheer respect and admiration for her.
“The part of the shirt where the picture was printed on there was so hard,” Andre described. “It feels like this big piece of wood on your chest so it’s like ‘Man, this clearly has to be bootleg.’ I felt bad about it because it’s like I know Anita ain’t got sh– to do with this shirt.”
3 Stacks also said that he wanted to honor Baker with the t-shirts, not just create something to build off her brand. “I just want it to come from an angle of like ‘Anita, we love you’ instead of ‘Anita, we’re trying to put out a line,'” he explained.
At the time of the interview, Andre’s idea was a mere shot in the dark but it landed in the right place. Because not only did Baker seem to be open to the t-shirt line, she also gave him encouragement, since the rapper spoke candidly about having social anxiety.
“You’re an artist,” she wrote. “We isolate sometimes, become solitary and yes, it’s true, the artistry of others pull us out. I know. I understand. We’ll talk. ABXO.”
Andre hasn’t responded to Baker yet, at least not publicly, but others on social media have. Some even thought the R&B singer could help him start making music again.
“I feel your words will be like a defibrillator to Andre,” one person tweeted. “His pulse for the craft will return.”
“You’re the best,” another person wrote. “I love you and your music. This will help him find his way through difficulties.”
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Other responses to Baker’s tweet acknowledged how honest Mr. 3000 was in the GQ interview, which is rear in hip-hop when it comes to talking about feelings or mental health.
Often times rappers will only talk about their personal issues within the confines of a verse, and they won’t sit down in front of a reporter and pour their heart out.
Based on Baker’s tweet to the Outkast member, it was clear that she empathized with his struggles. Perhaps, some of those same issues of dealing with fame drove her away from the music business, although she’s never stated that.
The last release we heard from the singer was in 2012 when she covered Tyrese’s hit “Lately.” Before that, she released an album titled “Christmas Fantasy” in 2005 and her last studio album was “My Everything” in 2004. Baker has also stayed away from the limelight, and she rarely gives interviews or makes huge public appearances.
But earlier this year some fans thought she was making a return, which Baker addressed on Twitter.
“Lotta rumors out there,” she wrote. “No Tour. No CD. Jan 26th will celebrate my 59th birthday. Retirement was one of many goals/dreams.”
But now it looks like the legendary singer had a change of heart or at least a change of plans because she’ll be performing on Tom Joyner’s 2018 Fantastic Voyage Charity Cruise.
It’ll be from April 29 – May 6, 2018, and proceeds will help keep students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
So from this point, we’ll have to see if Andre and Baker will really partner up on the t-shirt line and more importantly, it’ll be interesting to see if she can help him with some of his struggles dealing with fame.
Ur an artist we isolate S'times, become solitary & Yes, its true the Artistry of Others pull us out. I know. I understand. We'll talk ABXO pic.twitter.com/4iR0gKHXuI
— Anita Baker (@IAMANITABAKER) October 31, 2017