André 3000 has announced his long-awaited solo album, and it’s out later this week.
The elusive OutKast legend made a surprise return to social media on Tuesday (November 14) to reveal that his new project, New Blue Sun, drops on Friday (November 17).
It serves as 3 Stacks’ first official solo album, although he did release a disc of solo material on OutKast’s Grammy-winning 2003 double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
André 3000 shed light on New Blue Sun in an interview with NPR, who revealed the album is not a rap record. It doesn’t even feature any vocals from 3 Stacks.
Instead, it’s “a stunning 87-minute mind-bender, minimalist and experimental, tribal and transcendent” that finds the reclusive rap icon showcasing his talents on a range of flutes — the instrument he’s seen playing in random corners of the globe.
There are no guest appearances from fellow Hip Hop heavyweights, either, but instrumental contributions from jazz musicians such as Carlos Niño, Surya Botofasina and Nate Mercereau.
While it doesn’t feature any lyrics, the eight-song album includes “provocative” song titles such as “I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time.”
Speaking to NPR, Andre 3000 explained that he has found it “harder” to write lyrics in recent years and wasn’t “satisfied” with what he was creating, so he decided to take a different approach with New Blue Sun.
“That’s why New Blue Sun was something that I realized, whoa, I really want people to hear it. I really want to share it,” he said. “That’s my only gauge. I have to like it as a person, as an artist myself, because if I don’t like it I can’t expect nobody else to like it.”
After recording the first three songs, Andre says he met up with Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean at Tyler’s house and played them the tracks.
“Tyler was staring at this thing that he has in his house. Like, he’s a fan of travel suitcases and so he has a wall of like travel suitcases. And he was like, ‘Man, I’ve been trying to figure out how to configure these like Louis suitcases,’” he recalled.
“And he 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.’ And I think Frank pointed out one of his favorite tracks out of the three.”