*Less than a year after losing his mother, Andre 3000 of the rap group Outkast is mourning the passing of his father.
A spokesperson for the duo confirmed that the rapper’s father, Lawrence Walker, died Thursday morning from a heart attack. According to reports, he was chopping wood for his fireplace outside of his Atlanta home when he was stricken.
Andre 3000’s mother, Sharon Benjamin-Hodo, died in May 2013 at her home in Clayton County.
Andre Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix in “Jimi: All is By My Side”
*Documentaries on A$AP Rocky, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and the soul music of Memphis, will make their world premieres at the SXSW Film Festival while the Jimi Hendrix movie starring OutKast’s Andre Benjamin will make its U.S. premiere.
Fourteen films that chronicle music and musicians are among the 76 world premieres at the festival running March 7 to 15.
Adam Kahan’s film on the blind jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, “The Case of the Three Sided Dream”; Dennis Scholl and Marlon Johnson’s “Deep City” about the early days of soul music in South Florida; Greg Olliver’s “Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty” and “SVDDXNLY,” director David Laven’s look at the life of A$AP Rocky and the A$AP Mob.
*Sources tell Billboard that Andre 3000 and Big Boi are in talks to end their hiatus next year and reunite for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Outkast has long been the subject of reunion rumors ever since Andre “Andre 3000″ Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton put their Grammy-winning duo on hiatus in 2007.
Multiple sources tell Billboard that under the current plan, Coachella, which kicks off on Apr. 11, 2014 in Indio, Calif., would be the start of their reunion run and would be followed by additional festival dates in 2014.
One source tells Billboard that there have definitely been “some conversations” about Outkast reuniting, while another says it is “all systems go” for Big Boi and Andre 3000 to end their hiatus next year.
Andre Benjamin portrays Jimi Hendrix on the first day of filming ‘All Is by My Side’ Dublin, Ireland (May 28, 2012)
*Open Road and XLrator have closed an acquisition deal for U.S. rights to “All Is By My Side,” the Jimi Hendrix film that John Ridley wrote and directed with OutKast’s Andre Benjamin playing the legendary artist in his formative years.
According to Deadline.com, the deal went down following its first screening Saturday night at the Toronto International Film Festival. Open Road’s Tom Ortenberg and XLrator’s Barry Gordon made the deal. While many other attempts to film the Hendrix story got halted because the Hendrix estate refused to grant permission — there was one at Legendary with Paul Greengrass directing Anthony Mackie —, Ridley made the movie anyhow, according to Deadline.
The film covers Hendrix’s early years as he failed to find footing in the U.S., found his mojo in England and then returned to America with guitar chops so ferocious that he reportedly made guys like The Who’s Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton contemplate other careers when they first saw his act onstage.
Described by Ridley as one of the most rarely told stories in rock history, “All Is By My Side” charts just over a year in the man’s life, during which he tried to make it on the streets and in the clubs of London. It also chronicles the lovers, friends, and musical collaborators who helped him become a star. Hayley Atwell, Imogen Poots, and Ruth Negga co-star.
Open Road and XLrator have yet to announce a U.S. release date.
*Andre “3000″ Benjamin is mourning the loss of his mom Sharon Benjamin-Hodo, who reportedly died at her Atlanta home on Monday — Andre’s 38th birthday.
The cause and time of death are both unconfirmed, however Billboard reported it received confirmation of Benjamin-Hodo’s passing from a representative for the rapper, actor and music producer.
Benjamin-Hodo founded the Starlight Camp for underprivileged children, an organization that she ran out of the New Morning Light Missionary Baptist Church in Conley, Georgia. The Benjamin family respectfully asks that well-wishers support the Starlight Camp instead of sending flowers.
A number of hip-hop figures tweeted their condolences to Andre 300 and the Benjamin-Hodo family.
“My condolences go out to Dre, and the entire Benjamin-Hodo family,” Jermaine Dupri wrote Tuesday morning.
“Pray for the good brother Andre 3000 and his family…,” added producer 9th Wonder.