André 3000 announces solo album debut, return to music

By greatbritton

André 3000 fans, rejoice! The beloved rapper and singer has announced his first solo album, “New Blue Sun,” which is set to showcase a brand new side of the OutKast performer’s musicality.

According to Pitchfork, the upcoming album, set to drop this Friday, sees the rapper trading in his bars and voice for another instrument entirely: the flute. That’s right, the brand new album will showcase the rapper playing “contrabass flute, Mayan flutes, bamboo flutes, and digital wind instruments.”

André Benjamin of the anthology series “Dispatches from Elsewhere” speaks onstage during the AMC Networks portion of the Winter 2020 TCA Press Tour on Jan. 16, 2020, in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

In a meta-approach, the tracklist hints at this radical shift, with one song titled, “I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a ‘Rap’ Album but This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time.” The project comes as fans have waited over a decade for a full-length release from the music act. His last full-length project, OutKast’s “Idlewild,” dropped in 2006.

Since then, André has appeared as a feature on numerous tracks but has yet to release a full-length project. NPR, who interviewed André at the time of the album announcement, describes the upcoming LP as “a stunning 87-minute mind-bender, minimalist and experimental, tribal and transcendent.”

“It’s not like I don’t try or it’s not like I have a lot of these songs just sitting — I have songs but it’s not like rap things that I really feel happy about sharing,” he told NPR. “And really, that’s the most important part. I have to feel happy about sharing it. That’s why ‘New Blue Sun’ was something that I realized, whoa, I really want people to hear it.”

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In the interview, he cites various inspirations for the project like Laraaji, Brian Eno, Alice Coltrane while also revealing other music acts who helped guide him throughout his journey making the album, including Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator.

“[Tyler] was listening to one of the songs and he was like, ‘It sounds like you’re chasing a butterfly through a garden and I figured it out. It helped me to figure out how to do this,’” he told the outlet. “And I think Frank pointed out one of his favorite tracks out of the three.”

“New Blue Sun” will drop on Friday, Nov. 17.

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