Update: André 3000 is back with his first new body of work since OutKast’s 2006 album Idlewild. The album titled New Blue Sun and is filled with eight tracks of experimental flute music.
Legendary rapper and producer André 3000 is set to release his new album, “New Blue Sun,” this Friday. The album will be his first solo release in over 17 years, and it is eagerly anticipated by fans.
The album is described as a captivating 87-minute exploration of minimalist, experimental, tribal, and transcendent sounds. Unlike his previous work, this album features no rapping, beats, or sub-bass from André 3000. Instead, André showcases his musical versatility by playing the flute and other digital wind instruments.
In an interview with NPR, the elusive artist explained the reasoning behind the album’s departure from his signature rapping style. The album’s first song title, “I Swear, I Really Wanted To Make A ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time,” sets the tone for the album’s unconventional direction.
3000 emphasizes that he doesn’t want to mislead fans into expecting a traditional rap album. “I don’t want to troll people,” he explained. “I don’t want people to think, ‘Oh, this André 3000 album is coming!’ And you play it and like, ‘Oh man, no verses.’ So even actually on the packaging, you’ll see it says, ‘Warning: no bars.'”
Despite his current focus on non-rap genres, André 3000 maintains a deep appreciation for rap music. He acknowledges its significant role in his youth and the playful enjoyment it brings. However, he feels compelled to follow the creative direction that resonates with him at the moment.
“I would love to be out here with everybody rapping, because it’s almost like fun and being on the playground,” he shared. “I would love to be out here playing with everybody, but it’s just not happening for me. This is the realest thing that’s coming right now. Not to say that I would never do it again, but those are not the things that are coming right now. And I have to present what’s given to me at the time.”
The album’s title, “New Blue Sun,” holds multiple layers of meaning for André 3000. It symbolizes the impending change from our current sun, which has existed for millennia, to a new, cooler-burning blue sun. This transition parallels André’s own artistic evolution and the new direction he is exploring with this album.
“New Blue Sun, for me, it means…. Right now, if you look up in the sky, the sun that we’ve been living under for ages, even the Egyptian times, it’s the same sun. And it’s this kind of whitish, light, brightish kind of yellow. When people draw it or paint it, it’s usually this whitish or yellowish kind of sun. And unfortunately, that sun is gonna burn out. At some point that sun will die just like all stars.
And New Blue Sun, for me, was like, I guess in a sci-fi way, the next world or the next beings will be under a bluer, cooler burning sun. It will burn cooler, but it will be larger. So when you look up at the sky in these times, there’ll be this larger globe of bluish, still bright but bluish because it’s cooler. It’s kind of like this whole album and this whole direction is a new world for me. New Blue Sun is like a new direction.”
The album features contributions from Carlos Niño, Nate Mercereau, and Surya Botofasina. Their collaboration played a crucial role in shaping the album’s unique sound.
“We nailed it down and we experimented and we found a sound and it ended up being the core four of us — me on different woodwind instruments and digital flutes; Carlos Niño on percussion; Nate Mercereau on guitar, and he hardly ever sounds like he’s playing guitar, but he’s an awesome guitarist, he’s kind of like a magician in a way; and then Surya Botofasina, he’s a keyboardist. And that was the core four. But I would have never met the people that were really important to what I’m doing now if I wouldn’t have moved to Venice and it was happenstance how I moved to Venice.”
Read the full interview here.