Long headline, sorry. But I can’t think of any other way to put it. Instead of getting a new Outkast album (unlikely, despite the reunion tour, I know) we have to watch a supremely talented musician pretend to be another supremely talented musician. It’s like having Albert Einstein play Leonardo DiVinci in a movie at the expense of the theory of relativity.
Listen, it’s been eight years since Andre 3000 made an album and there’s no knowing what we lost during that time. Instead, what we got was Semi-Pro, which at 90 minutes or so, is nowhere near as exhilarating, inventive, funny or creative as “B.O.B.” manages to be in five. I’d be curious to hear from the man himself why he’s taken this turn. Does he see his acting work on the same level as his ability to create music? Is this a new challenge for a guy who feels he already conquered one universe, now looking for a second?
At any rate, the damage is already done with this biopic, titled All Is By My Side. It’s written and directed by newly-minted Oscar winner John Ridley and set to screen at South by Southwest on March 12th. Rolling Stone explains that even the Hendrix brood recognize this as a bad idea:
Ironically, due to the reluctance of Hendrix’s estate, All Is By My Sidewon’t feature any of the guitarist’s compositions, but it will feature tunes written by Muddy Waters, the Beatles, the Troggs, and a handful of related artists.
So he won’t be miming any performances, which is maybe the one saving grace here. I expect the clip (below) to be indicative of the majority of the film: Hendrix alluding to his own eventual legacy while referencing other famous people and theirs. Mr. Benjamin is not terrible in this clip, it should be said, but it also doesn’t explain why I’m not listening to another song as good as “So Fresh, So Clean” right now.