Andre 3000 did a lengthy interview with GQ Style for which he talked about a number of things: his parents, how he left Atlanta and moved to New York, and his Anita Baker inspired clothing line.
On how he got the idea to do the line, he told the magazine:
“As you get older, the people you love pop back up. I was going through an Anita Baker phase, and I started trying to buy a T-shirt. So I go on the Internet and I find this site that had shirts with photos of Anita on them. So I bought two or three of them. Then when I got ’em in the mail, they were like—the part of the shirt where the picture was printed on there was so hard.”
“Right, 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 shit to do with these shirts.”
“I’m an artist, and I’m buying bootleg shirts of another artist, so I felt bad. So I was like, Maybe, so my conscience feels good, let me try to find an address for Anita and send her a little check. And it’ll be a joke, like, “Anita, I just bought these shirts, I feel bad about it, here’s $50.” Then I started thinking, Wouldn’t it be great to design a line of Anita Baker tees and present the line to Anita? Maybe she needs some merch.”
The goal of the GQ Feature is to use the photos of Andre wearing the line to pitch the concept to Ms. Baker.
I personally love the idea of being able to wear an Anita Baker t-shirt boasting high quality graphics and materials. As an R&B lover it’s hard to not include her in a list of the greatest singers. Her beautiful alto vocals are distinct and undeniable. Her songs are simply timeless. Beyond her musical prowess, I’m just damned proud to see a black man uplift a black woman this way. It’s the reason my heart melted when I first heard the news. This just seems like the right thing to do given how the image of R&B has changed so much since Ms. Baker heyday. Thankfully with artists like Solange and SZA seeing so much success, there’s hope for a resurgence in diversity for the genre.
Would you wear a line of Anita Baker t-shirts?