André 3000 Leaves Fans Perplexed With Flute Performance At Jazz Festival

Andre 3000
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 16: André Benjamin of ‘Dispatches from Elsewhere’ attends the AMC Networks portion of the Winter 2020 TCA Press Tour on January 16, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

André 3000 closed out the 47th annual Atlanta Jazz Festival on his 49th birthday, delivering a performance that left fans divided. The excitement was palpable among fans, with one attendee saying, “Anytime you get a free André 3000 concert, you really just have to take advantage of that.” Another anticipated that the “city would turn up” once the Four Brothers actor hit the stage.

André 3000’s New Direction

Instead of diving into his OutKast hits, André 3000 performed instrumental pieces from his latest solo album, New Blue Sun. One fan, awestruck by the performance, tweeted, “I saw André 3000; I’m never going to fail.” However, a separate viral video revealed murmurs from the crowd as André immersed himself in his woodwind passion. He reportedly prefaced his performance by saying, “Everything we’re doing — the same way that New Blue Sun was made with me and my brothers. We’re completely making everything up as we go along. We never know what the night is gonna sound like.”

This improvisational approach seemed to confuse many attendees. Some vocalized their dislike, with one noting, “I feel like this should be done somewhere with better acoustics and not outside.” Another person tweeted, “The crowd so confused they don’t know how to take them vibes. They used to toxic music in Atlanta.”

Divided Reactions

There were varying reports on whether André 3000 was playing the flute or clarinet. Regardless, the crowd’s reaction was mixed. LL Cool J’s opinion echoed this sentiment: “Flutes? Man, come on, bro […] He’s so gifted. So it’s like, come on, B, not the flute. We not gonna lie. … Don’t gas … that man needs to know the truth. He needs to know the truth,” said the Queens native on The Shop.

Despite the mixed reactions, André 3000 remains committed to his new musical direction. He told Bitter Southerner, “The thing is, I can only give what I’m feeling. If there’s not any discovery, it doesn’t feel real to me.” He emphasized his fascination with improvisational music over returning to rap.

Regardless of public opinion, André 3000 is set to co-headline Robert Glasper’s Blue Note Jazz Fest: Black Radio Experience this August. As he continues to explore his musical journey, fans are left to decide how they feel about his evolution.