With the release of John Ridley’s Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, it seems like everybody has something to say about the guitar god and Andre 3000, the rapper and actor who portrays him on the silver screen. WRITING FOR GRANTLAND, Alex Pappademus juxtaposes the two artist’s careers and, particularly, the way they stand up to audience perception. He also digs into Hendrix’s many afterlives, noting how the musician’s bio has been transmuted by appropriation and the fog of collective memory:
When you strip them of historical context, trim their legacies to three or four hit songs in a Jack-FM playlist, and slap their images on T-shirts to be sold to generations of collegiate stoners, is there really that much of a difference between Marley and Hendrix anymore? Between Hendrix and Jim Morrison? Between Morrison and Tupac? The more tragic the public figure, the more easily they lend themselves to souvenir-ification and commercialized mourning.
Meanwhile, Andre 3000 has outlived his rap group, Outkast. He is living the kind of adulthood that Hendrix might even have experienced himself: High expectations, and the possibility that he has already produced his greatest work.
Last week the editorial staff of The New Yorker announced a "Summer Free-For-All" — they’re granting online access to all of their articles going back to 2007. (At least until September, when they unleash their subscription model.) Many, many roundups were done to mark this occasion — so many that THE AWL EVEN DID A ROUNDUP OF ROUNDUPS.