‘American Crime’s’ Andre Benjamin Talks Modern Definition of Manhood, Being Rich

TCA 2016: “The world is opening up a little bit more,” Outkast rapper says

“American Crime’s” Andre Benjamin tackled a couple of controversial topics when given the opportunity on Saturday.

First, the rapper-actor spoke about the changing concept of manhood — something Season 2 of the ABC anthology series tackles head-on.

“The world is opening up a little bit more,” Benjamin said of modern masculinity. “It’s more than just … ‘Play baseball and football.'”

This season surrounds the alleged rape of a male high school student. The accused are other males from his basketball team, a hazing incident of sorts that many of the show’s more traditional characters cannot wrap their heads around.

Benjamin portrays the father of one apparent suspect, played by Trevor Jackson; Regina King plays the young man’s mother. Race comes into play on-screen as well, with a white alleged victim — played by Connor Jessup — and the family on the other side of the issue being black.

The man known as Andre 3000 in his music career also discussed his own experience of being an African-American family engaged with an affluent private school. That part of the plot hit close to home for Benjamin, who has an 18-year-old son.

“I actually have a kid right now in private school,” the Outkast co-founder stated, “and I think as a black family — a family that’s well-to-do — you have double-challenges, because you’re black and privileged.

“They put you in a place to where you’re a target, because some people may feel like you may not deserve it,” he continued, “like you haven’t earned it.”