You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict if André 3000 is going to randomly show up while holding a flute.
Last week, Philadelphia residents reported seeing the legendary rapper, born André Lauren Benjamin, out in public, serenading strangers with his musical accouterment. Dayna Allen tweeted that she was at the Los Angeles International Airport on July 7 when someone who looked suspiciously like Benjamin “came up to me playing the flute.” It wasn’t until later when they were on the same flight to Philadelphia that Allen confirmed it was the OutKast artist.
“I looked at [Benjamin] and he looked at me and I was in total shock,” Allen later told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I immediately regretted not saying anything [at the restaurant], because it was like he wanted to be recognized.”
Last Tuesday, just two days after Allen’s spotting, another Philadelphia resident said he saw Benjamin playing the instrument while sitting on the steps of a church.
“Wasn’t tripping. It’s him. 3 Stacks in the flesh. And his flute game is A-1,” Russ Jackson tweeted.
“He really is like an urban legend, traveling the world playing a flute. He’s super nice too,” he noted in a follow-up post.
Jackson said that Benjamin told him he picked up playing the flute a couple of years ago and that he was in town for two weeks filming for TV, which is likely the AMC anthology series Dispatches from Elsewhere. The 10-episode series, which also stars Sally Field and Jason Segel, is set to film through November and premiere in 2020.
The Inquirer reported that “there have been at least a dozen André 3000 sightings” in the City of Brotherly Love, including at Whole Foods (maybe he was looking for fish and grits?) and the Liberty Bell.
Benjamin has also been spotted playing his flute several times around Los Angeles and New York City this summer. Back in June, radio producer Antonia Cereijido was the first to report seeing the rapper.
“I saw a man walking around my terminal playing a flute for 40 min and was losing my mind because I thought it was André 3000. And then it WAS André 3000!!!” she wrote.
Cereijido confirmed that he was “amazing at the” instrument, which upon further digging she discovered was a Mayan double flute. Social media, of course, chimed in with amusement and an utter lack of surprise at the enigmatic rapper’s antics.
The Atlanta-born artist generally keeps a low profile in public and on social media. However, in May he was pictured with OutKast partner Big Boi, whose son graduated high school.