Cover art for A Life in the Day of Benjamin André (Incomplete) by OutKast

A Life in the Day of Benjamin André (Incomplete)

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A Life in the Day of Benjamin André (Incomplete) Lyrics

I met you in a club in Atlanta, Georgia
Said me and my homeboy were coming out with an album
You looked at me like, "Yeah, nigga, right"
But you gave me your number anyway, you were on the talcum
how's about them oranges?
Moved away from home to school with big plans
By day, studied the history of music
By night, just to pay for that shit, you'd dance
To get your pants was a Mission Impo–ssible
We were both the same age, but I
Suppose, wasn't on the same page, but in
The same book of life,
so I'd page you when
I felt you that were getting off of work
Or either when you're on your way to school
We started hanging like Ernie and Bert
And in my idle head, I'm thinking, "Cool"

Just when I think I'm going down your shirt
You're hiking up your skirt now
The events that followed had me volley
If your hometown would be Heaven or Hell
The angelic nastiness you possessed made you by far the best
Therefore, hard to tell

You'd drop me off by the Dungeon
Never came in, but I knew that you were wondering
"Now, are these niggas in this house up to something?
Selling crack, sack by sack, so they could function?"
W-W-Well, yes and no
Yes, we were selling it, but no, it wasn't blow
Cook it in the basement, then move it at a show
Then grab the microphone, and everybody yelled, "Ho!"

Meanwhile, the video starts playing
BET, college radio, and a van
Packed full of niggas with a blunt in their hand
And one in they ear—you know what I'm saying, but

I kept your number in my old phone
Got a new chip-flip with the roam-roam
So it took me a minute to retrieve seven digits
But I promised I would call you when I got home, but
When I got home, I never did
By the time I did, heard that you'd had a kid
By some nigga in Decatur who replied, "See you later"
When he got the good news—that's life, shit
Now, I'm nineteen with a Cadillac
My nigga had a Lex with the gold pack
Got a plaque, but I'm living with my Pop-Pop
So I got a Glock and a LoJack
Yeah, kinda fast for that fella in class who used to draw
And never said much, 'cause half of what he saw
Was so far from that place you wanna be
That words only fucked it up more; follow me

Are you starting to gather what I'm getting at?
Now if I'm losing you, tell me, then I'll double back
But keep in mind: At the time, "Keep it real" was the phrase
Silly when said now, but those were the days

When Spring Break and Daytona
And Freakniks made you wanna
Drop out of college and never go back

Move to the South, but that ain't a Kodak
on went myself and Big Bo—
Well, you knew hm as "'Twan"
That's right—you were around before this shit begun

Well 'Twan had a daughter and
Sorta was made to mature before the first tour

We hit the road like Jack
Laughed and cried and drive it back with some 'gnac
Girls used to say, "Y'all talk funny. Y'all from the islands?"
And I'd laugh, and they'd just keep smiling

"No, I'm from Atlanta, baby; he from Savannah—maybe
We should hook up and get tore up and then lay down; hey, we
Gotta go because the bus is pulling out in thirty minutes"

She's playing tennis, disturbing the tenants
Fifteen-love, fit like glove
Description is like fifteen doves
In a jacuzzi catching the Holy Ghost
Making one woozy in the head and comatose—agree?
Enough about me—how's about you? How's the lil' kid?
She was about two the last time we spoke

I hadn't smoked or took a shot of drink
'Cause I'd start the second album off on another note; now—
That note threw some niggas in the hood off

But see, I'd balled out, and 'fore I'd fall out
I'd slow my Lac down to a nice speed
The brain was that fried egg, I might need
New direction was apparent
I was a child looking at the floor, staring

So changing my style was like relief for the primitive beast
Yes, I was on the rise, yeast was the street
To make bread, never primary concern

Just to hop on these beats and wait my turn
I'd meet Muslims, gangstas, bitches, rastas
And macaroni niggas: "impastas"
So, on a trip to New York on some beeswax
I get invited to a club where emcees at
And on stage is a singer with some thing on her head
Similar to the turban that I covered up my dreads with
Which I was rocking at the time

When I was going through them phases trying to find
Anything that seemed real in the world
Still searching, but I started liking this girl
Now, you know her as Erykah "On & On" Badu

Call Tyrone on the phone, "Why you—
Do that girl like that, boy? You ought to be ashamed"

The song wasn't about me, and that ain't my name
Were young, in love; in short, we had fun
No regrets, no abortion, had a son

By the name of "Seven"
And he's five; by the time I do this mix, he'll probably be six

You do the 'rithmetic, me do the language arts
Y'all stand against the wall blindfolded; we throw the darts
To poke you in the heart and take you from the start
To when "luxury transportation" meant a MARTA card
Or either when your girlfriend that went to Mays' mama
Or her daddy let her borrow the Benz, because she smart

Or maybe if your neighbor does you a huge favor
And he sells you that Rabbit that's been sitting in his yard
You fix it up, you trick it out
You give it rims, you give it bump
You give it all your time because that's all you can think about
And that's as far as I got
(*music fades*)

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Genius Annotation

This song acts as the closure for both The Love Below and the entire double disk project.

“A Life In the Day of Benjamin André (Incomplete)” is a rambling mixed prose/verse poetic masterpiece that summarizes André’s life to a point, from making OutKast’s debut album with Big Boi and blowing up, to the stylistic change that was ATLiens, to meeting Erykah Badu.

The subtitle of “Incomplete” is significant as André ends his extended verse before his story is complete.

In contrast to the rest of The Love Below, this song is entirely rapped with no sung contribution from any artist.


Find answers to frequently asked questions about the song and explore its deeper meaning

Produced By
Written By
Mastering Engineer
Recorded At
Stankonia Recording (Atlanta)
Release Date
September 23, 2003
Songs That Interpolate A Life in the Day of Benjamin André (Incomplete)