After 17 years of silence on the solo front, André 3000, the revered Atlanta rapper and one-half of the legendary OutKast duo, has sent shockwaves through the music world with the surprise announcement of his long-awaited solo debut, “New Blue Sun.” In an exclusive interview on NPR’s “All Songs Considered,” André unveiled his forthcoming album, signaling a groundbreaking departure from his previous works.
Scheduled for release this Friday, “New Blue Sun” marks André’s return to the music scene with an unconventional and avant-garde offering. Contrary to expectations, the album is a departure from the hip-hop landscape that cemented his legacy. Instead, it boasts 87 minutes of experimental instrumental music, showcasing André’s prowess on an array of wind instruments, including the Contrabass flute, Mayan flutes, bamboo flutes, digital wind instruments, and more.
The acclaimed rapper expressed his fascination with wind instruments, describing the transition to flutes as a natural progression. “I’ve been interested in winds for a long time, so it was just a natural progression for me to go into flutes,” André revealed in a statement shared by People magazine, offering insight into the creative direction of his highly anticipated solo debut.
While André 3000 has remained relatively low-key in the music scene since OutKast disbanded in 2006, sporadically contributing features and one-off releases, “New Blue Sun” emerges as a groundbreaking venture showcasing his evolution as an artist. Fans have caught glimpses of his woodwind skills on tracks like the 2003 OutKast hit “She Lives in My Lap” and the 2019 collaboration with James Blake on “Where’s the Catch?”
Despite the departure from traditional hip-hop, “New Blue Sun” pays homage to André’s roots with an eight-track dedication to the flute, including a song provocatively titled “I Swear, I Really Wanted To Make a ‘Rap’ Album but This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time.”
Addressing his artistic evolution, André expressed his desire to create a rap album but emphasized the need to explore new creative avenues that resonate with him at this stage of his life. “In my mind, I really would like to make a rap album,” he explained. “So maybe that happens one day, but I got to find a way to say what I want to say in an interesting way that’s appealing to me at this age.”
The eagerly anticipated “New Blue Sun” promises a captivating exploration of André 3000’s musical evolution and artistic experimentation. As fans eagerly await the album’s release this Friday, anticipation runs high to experience the innovative soundscape crafted by one of hip-hop’s most enigmatic and influential figures.