It all started on my 26th birthday, January 19th, 2012. I was visiting my Queen at Illinois State University and was headed to the bank when I got “The Phone Call” that would change my life forever. Later, I would learn that this legendary phone call was set into motion by my Queen with the help of Andre’s older cousin “Lo”, and her older sister, “Portia”.
In 2010 or 2011 (I don’t recall precisely), Portia’s friend “L” (he produced 2 joints on “The Talented Tenth 8.0”) invited her to an event in Chicago where Big Boi would be. “L” had access to VIP where Portia and him both met Big Boi and “Lo”. While leaving the event, Lo told L and Portia “y’all are cool peoples. stay in touch, hit me up, we’re not “hollywood”. Indeed Lo kept true to his word. Long story short, they ended up fostering a business relationship. Portia informed me every now and then of what they were working on. About a month before my birthday, she told me that Lo was planning an event that would take place in Atlanta, GA and she would want me to DJ.
Now FAST-FORWARD to my 26th birthday! My Queen told me that I’d get a call from Portia regarding me DJing the event. Sure enough Portia called me and said that a representative from her company would be calling me to get a price quote for my DJ-ing services. Some 404 area code number calls me; I would later find out that it was Lo.
”THE PHONE CALL”
on the phone>
Lo: Is this Brandon Williams…DJ Hollywood?
Me: This is he.
Lo: Okay cool cool. You’ve been referred by Portia Mittons to DJ our launch in Atlanta, Georgia. How would you feel about coming down here to DJ?
Me: That’ll be dope! I’ve only been to Atlanta once.
Lo: Okay are you familiar with Southern music? You’ll have to play a good amount at this event, because you’ll be in the ATL.
Me: Of course! I’m familiar with the current “Southern sound”.
Lo: Okay so who’s hot in the ATL right now?
Me: T.I., Jeezy, 2 Chainz, Gucci, Travis Porter etc.
Lo: Okay Okay, you know a little bit.
Me: Yeah but, I was introduced to hip-hop in the 90s, so as far as hip-hop in Atlanta…OUTKAST ALL DAY!
Lo: Yeah OutKast is kinda decent
Me: (interrupting) MAAAAAN! OutKast is the s#!t….Andre3000 is my favorite rapper.
Lo: Oh yeah…hold on
(Andre3000 gets on the phone)
Andre3000: Brandon what’s up man?! Happy Birthday!
Me: OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTT!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!
OHHHH MY GOD!!
Andre3000 laughs. My Queen is laughing as well and smiling. I give her this look that says: “I love you, you’re the best”. Then I proceed to give Andre the “elevator pitch”.>
Me: Bro, I’m a huge fan joe! I’m really not a DJ like that, I’m a rapper, well an emcee! I was featured in The Source Magazine as “Unsigned Hype”. I’m a huge fan fam!
Andre3000: Thanks man. I’m humbled.
Me: You don’t understand…
Me: Bro…I was a part of the OutKast fan club when I was 10 years old. On the back of ATLiens you guys had an address. I wrote to it. Y’all wrote me back. The letter said “Hootie Hoo” at the top.
Andre3000: Yeah! yeah! We DID have a fan club…and we DID put that at the top of our letters. Thanks man…I really appreciate genuine fans…I’m humbled.
Me: You don’t understand…
Me: (starts rapping Andre’s 2nd verse from “Aquemini” verbatim)
"My mind warps and bendsfloats the wind count to ten/ Meet the twin Andre Ben, welcome to the lion’s den/ Original skin many men comprehend/I extend myself so you go out and tell a friend/Sin all depends on what you believing in/ Faith is what you make it that’s the hardest shit since MC Ren/ Alien can blend right on in with your kin/ Look again cause I swear I spot one every now and then/ It’s happenin’ again wish I could tell you when/ Andre this is Andre y’all just gon’ have to make amends!”
Andre3000: YEEEEEEAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!! HELL YEAH!! WOW! Man I don’t even remember that verse!
Andre3000: Thanks man…like for real, I really appreciate genuine fans…I’m humbled. I can’t say that enough.
Me: it’s all love.
Andre3000: Well man we just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. We gotta get back to work now… you have a nice day.
Me: Can you do me a favor right quick?
Andre3000: What’s up?
Me: Can you call me back and leave “happy birthday” on my voicemail and I’m going to use it as a drop on my mixtape.
Andre3000: Nah… we can’t really do that because then we get into different legal boundaries and everything…
Me: Oh okay that’s cool, i understand.
Andre3000: Well I’ll tell you what…the next time that you come to Atlanta, get in touch with my cousin and we can hang out.
Me: Alright then, bet!
Andre3000: Alright then man, you enjoy your birthday.
Me: Alright Peace.
After I got off of the phone I gave my Queen a big hug and thanked her. Later on I would find out that she bought a vinyl of the OutKast “ATLiens” album last month and had Portia mail the vinyl to Lo to see if he could get Big Boi and Andre3000 to autograph it. He told Portia that not only would they sign it, but he’d get Andre to call me for my birthday too. It turned out that he kept his word! After the phone call Lo, called Portia and told her that “…Andre doesn’t just invite folks to his house, and he is a man of his word so tell Brandon he should take him up on his offer.”
Sooooo…you think after Andre3000 PERSONALLY invited me to Atlanta, that I wasn’t going to catch a flight down there and meet up with him??????
SHHHIIIIIIIDDD…..stay tuned for my next article:
”How I Ended Up Hanging Out at Andre3000’s Home”
Peace & Blessings,
Brandon “Real T@lk” Williams