Andre “3000” Benjamin is debuting his first solo project, “New Blue Sun.” The project arrives 17 years after Outkast released their last album.
Andre’s new body of work is entirely made up of instrumental woodwind music. “I’ve been interested in winds for a long time, so it was just a natural progression for me to go into flutes,” André, 48, said in a statement. According to an announcement, the woodwind theme is a “celebratory piece of work in the form of a living, breathing, aural organism.”
The multi-instrumentalist previously showed off his woodwind skills on Outkast’s 2003 track “She Lives in My Lap” as well as 2019’s “Where’s the Catch?” with James Blake.
The album, coming on Sony Music’s Epic Records, is co-produced by Andre 3000 and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Niño, and featuring the playing of Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Deantoni Parks, Diego Gaeta, Matthewdavid, V.C.R, Diego Gaeta, Jesse Peterson, and Mia Doi Todd.
He’ll make a rap album one day
In the announcement, Andre describes the work as “therapeutic,” and says of releasing an album in his more-familiar rap musical genre, “There’s this misconception that I just won’t do it. I think people feel like I’m sitting around on rap albums, or sitting around and I’m just not putting them out in that way. And no it’s not like that.”
“In my mind, I really would like to make a rap album,” the “Hey Ya!” rapper added. “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.”
In an interview with NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast upon the album’s announcement, André spoke further about not wanting to catch fans off-guard with the genre departure of his upcoming album.
“I don’t want to troll people. 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,'” he told the outlet.