André 3000 Will Release His Debut Solo Album ‘New Blue Sun’ This Friday
The OutKast co-founder’s all-instrumental album is his first full-length release in 17 years.
Outkast co-founder André 3000 will release his debut solo album, New Blue Sun, through Epic Records this Friday, November 17. The all-instrumental release, his first full-length in 17 years, is the result of André “3000” Benjamin’s 20-year interest in wind instruments.
As a member of OutKast alongside Big Boi, André 3000 established himself as one of the top rappers in hip-hop. Inspired by John Coltrane to start playing clarinet, Benjamin isolates “She Lives In My Lap” from 2003’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below as his entry point to wind instruments, which grew into his focus on the flute.
Influenced by new age, ambient and jazz musicians like Laraaji, Brian Eno, Alice Coltrane, Steve Reich and Pharoah Sanders, the record arriving in three days is a dramatic departure from Benjamin’s previous work and consists of eight elongated tracks with equally lengthy titles to match. An example is the 12-minute opening track, “I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a Rap Album But This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time.”
“I’ve been interested in winds for a long time, so it was just a natural progression for me to go into flutes,” André stated. “I just like messing with instruments and I gravitated mostly toward wind. What people will call New Age-y or spiritual-ish, people consider it heavy. 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.”
New Blue Sun was co-produced by Benjamin and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Niño, who played bells, chimes, cymbals, drums, gongs, plants and percussion. Others contributing to the album were Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Deantoni Parks, Diego Gaeta, Matthewdavid, V.C.R, Diego Gaeta, Jesse Peterson and Mia Doi Todd. Benjamin played several wind instruments, including the Maya flute, a digital wind instrument, as well as others built of wood and bamboo.
As part of the album announcement, André 3000 addressed the prospects of recording another rap album, stating:
“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. 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.”
André 3000 spoke about New Blue Sun with NPR’s Rodney Carmichael for All Songs Considered. Listen to the interview below:
New Blue Sun Tracklist
- I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A “Rap” Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time
- The Slang Word P(*)ssy Rolls Off The Tongue With Far Better Ease Than The Proper Word Vagina . Do You Agree?
- 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
- BuyPoloDisorder’s Daughter Wears A 3000™ Button Down Embroidered
- Ninety Three ‘Til Infinity And Beyoncé
- Ghandi, Dalai Lama, Your Lord & Savior J.C. / Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, And John Wayne Gacy
- Ants To You, Gods To Who ?
- Dreams Once Buried Beneath The Dungeon Floor Slowly Sprout Into Undying Gardens
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