Nov 15, 2023 - News

André 3000 announces solo album "New Blue Sun"

A man wearing dark clothes and large wraparound sunglasses raps on stage

André 3000 performing at Lakewood Amphitheater in 2016. Photo: Paul R. Giunta/FilmMagic

André 3000, one half of iconic Atlanta (and Axios award-winning) rap group Outkast, will release his new album — a flute-driven instrumental journey led by an ever-evolving artist — Friday.

Why it matters: Titled "New Blue Sun," the eight-track album is the Atlanta native's first album in 17 years.

Catch up quick: The news was released in André's exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Rodney Carmichael, NPR's Atlanta-based national hip-hop writer, who described the project as a "mind-bender, minimalist and experimental, tribal and transcendent."

  • The hourlong conversation covers the rapper's fascination with the flute (he owns 30 or 40, he said), growth as an artist, experiences with ayahuasca and perspective on growing older.

Of note: The album is not a rap album, Carmichael writes, and contains "[n]o bars, no beats, no sub-bass. André doesn't sing on this joint, either."

  • Non-Smart-Brevity-friendly tracks include "I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a 'Rap' Album but This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time."

What they're saying: "I would love to be out here with everybody rapping, because it's almost like fun and being on the playground," André said. "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."

In the weeds: Outkast fans' ears perked up when Killer Mike said this summer that André 3000 (whose real name is André Benjamin) was recording a new solo project. (Killer Mike, whose real name is Michael Render, walked back his comments the following day.)

  • André featured on Killer Mike's "Scientists & Engineers," which scored 2024 Grammy nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.

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