André 3000 has new music heading our way. Sharing that his new album, New Blue Sun, is set to arrive on November 17, during a recent chat on the NPR All Songs Considered podcast.
From the jump, the 2000s titan let it be known that his newest project isn’t what you’d expect it to be — meaning, this will not be a Rap album. And just to make sure and buffer out any confusion André’s album cover art comes with label warning that the album contains “no bars.”
Diving into what New Blue Sun will in fact offer, André revealed the album is an 87-minute collection of minimalist and experimental music of him playing a variety of flutes and other wind instruments. So just to reiterate —there are no bars, no beats, and no vocals.
Aware of what people might expect, André noted, “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.’ It’s letting you know what it is off the top.”
Explaining his departure from rap music, André said, “I love Rap music because it was a part of my youth. So I would love to be out here with everybody rapping, because it’s almost like fun and being on the playground. I would love to be out here playing with everybody, but it’s just not happening for me,” he continued. “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.”
New Blue Sun is technically André’s first solo album; since The Love Below from OutKast’s 2003 Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, was technically a double LP. And since the duo’s final studio album, 2006’s Idlewild, André musical output has been limited to sporadic guest verses, choosing to focus mostly on acting and other endeavors, which bringing us full circle, includes playing the flute.
“I’ve been playing flute for years. It got to a point where it’s kind of Instagram worthy, where people were kind of sneaking and filming me play — in space, in the public,” André expressed to NPR. “I would just walk for hours and I’m a walker. I love to walk. So I would just walk and play for hours. I did that for years and it got to a point where, okay, I want to share.”
“And so going into New Blue Sun, it was kind of like trying to figure out, well, how do I share it?" André explained about how his hobby turned into this passion project. “I had all these ideas and all these influences of how I wanted it to sound. And I think moving to Venice definitely helped introduce me to people I would be playing with.”
Giving us some insight into his creative thought process, André explained, “as there are no lyrics or verses on the album,” he opted to rely on the track titles to “give as much thought or information.” For example, the opening track is titled, “I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time.” While another track is called, “That Night In Hawaii When I Turned Into A Panther And Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn’t Control … S*** Was Wild.”
“I been going through a phase where I love these really long titles,” André admitted, going on to add, “I guess the rapper in me, like, I'm trying to humanize it or punkatize or like make it less precious.”
For all that and more, listen to he entire podcast episode above.