André 3000’s debut solo album, New Blue Sun, is out now via Epic Records. Stream it on Apple Music or Spotify below.
The eight-song improvisational instrumental album is different from what fans might be expecting from the OutKast rapper: completely bar-free and no beats. Alongside the jazz musings of co-producer Carlos Niño, core sounds on the record include guitar, synth, and live sampling courtesy of Nate Mercereau, with Surya Botofasina on keyboards and synthesizers. André 3000 himself plays a variety of different wind instruments, including a digital wind instrument, a Maya flute, and others made of wood and bamboo.
“I’ve been interested in winds for a long time, so it was just a natural progression for me to go into flutes,” André said in a statement. “I just like messing with instruments and I gravitated mostly toward wind.”
With long-running tracks and equally long-winded song titles, (for example, the 12-minute opener “I swear, I Really Wanted to Make a Rap Album but This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time”) André’s new musical direction invites fans to slow down and reset. “What people will call New Age-y or spiritual-ish, people consider it heavy,” he continued. “And I think, because I’m coming from rap and I knew a different audience, different eyes would be following me and looking at it. So I wanted to make sure that what I contribute to this world brings a certain lightness or humanness.”
Stream New Blue Sun below.
André 3000 still finds time to lend a few bars to some friends. Last week, he received Grammy nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance thanks to his featured verse on Killer Mike’s “Scientists & Engineers.” See the full nomination list here.
New Blue Sun Artwork:
New Blue Sun Tracklist:
01. I swear, I Really Wanted to Make a “Rap” Album but This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time
02. The Slang Word P(*)ssy Rolls Off the Tongue with Far Better Ease Than the Proper Word Vagina. Do You Agree?
03. That Night in Hawaii When I Turned into a Panther and Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn’t Control … Sh¥t Was Wild
04. BuyPoloDisorder’s Daughter Wears A 3000™ Button Down Embroidered
05. Ninety Three ‘Til Infinity and Beyoncé
06. Ghandi, Dalai Lama, Your Lord & Savior J.C. / Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy
07. Ants to You, Gods to Who ?
08. Dreams Once Buried Beneath the Dungeon Floor Slowly Sprout into Undying Gardens