By Scott T. Sterling While Outkast is currently reunited for a globe-spanning festival tour, band member Andre 3000(AKA Andre Benjamin) is getting added exposure thanks to the release of the first trailer from upcoming feature film, Jimi: All is By My Side, a biopic starring the rapper in the titular role of Jimi Hendrix. Jimi: All is By My Side focuses on Hendrix’s initial breakout in England between the years of 1966 and ’67, where he became a sensation before reaching star status in America.
The clip reveals Benjamin portraying the late guitar hero faithfully, right down to Hendrix’s signature speaking voice. Plenty of drama is established throughout the trailer, with a girlfriend warning him that “you can’t leave it to other people to sort out your life,” while another friend bluntly assesses that “you’ll never be nothing to them but a curiosity.”
The movie’s focus on Hendrix’s early career was inspired in part by the rocker’s estate not signing off on the project, preventing producers from using any of the classic rock icon’s actual music. The movie was written and directed by John Ridley, who won an Oscar earlier this year for best adapted screenplay for 12 Years a Slave. According to Rolling Stone, the movie focuses on the artist’s famous cover versions, including takes on the Beatles‘ “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Wild Thing,” written by Chip Taylor and made famous by The Troggs in 1966.
Despite the movie’s limited focus and lack of Hendrix music, it’s still garnered critical accolades after being screened at the Toronto Film Festival last September and making its American debut at this year’s SXSW fest in Austin, Texas (the movie currently holds a 91 percent rating onRotten Tomatoes).
Jimi: All is By My Side is set to hit American theater screens on Sept. 26.