NY Times - André 3000, the unpredictable rapper, producer and songwriter best known as one-half of Outkast, is finally releasing a solo album. In a twist, it has no words.
Instead, “New Blue Sun,” due out Friday, “is an entirely instrumental album centered around woodwinds,” according to an announcement on Tuesday. Citing Laraaji, Brian Eno, Alice Coltrane, Steve Reich and Pharoah Sanders as influences, the musician has traded beats and raps for flutes and clarinets — a swerve he began some two decades ago as Outkast was winding down.
“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 the announcement. “I just like messing with instruments and I gravitated mostly toward wind.”
You wanna talk about a roller coaster of emotions?
I haven't slept thanks to a 12-hour delayed Jet Blue flight to Boston and an early doctor's appointment at MGH this morning. Aimlessly scrolling twitter looking for something to read while sitting in the waiting room I started to see chatter that Andre 3000 previewed his new album for Tyler The Creator.
ANDRE 3000 PREVIEWED HIS NEW ALBUM FOR TYLER THE CREATOR!?!?!?
Just this past June Killer Mike inadvertently let it slip that he heard Andre 3000's new album, and it was, quite in fact, fire flames.
This of course coming on the hells of Thee Mr. Andre Benjamin dropping an utterly insane verse on Mike's new album, on the track "Scientists & Engineers"
That, was following Drake (somehow) releasing an unreleased studio track of Kanye's "Life Of The Party" featuring Andre, which may have been even better.
Which brings us to the gigantic question, and one our guy Mario asked in the tweet preceding this blog- why the fuck is Andre 3000 so insistent on not putting out music anymore?
It's been 17 years since we got a (quasi) Outkast album. If you count the Idlewild soundtrack the Dungeon Family did… It's been 20 years since Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Since then the man has randomly stepped into the booth and dusted whoever has been lucky enough to get him to lend his voice. He's arguably one of the greatest rappers alive yet he's as recluse as they come.
(He reminds me of William Forrester from a very underrated Sean Connery flick, Finding Forrester.)
In an interview with NPR, Andre said the following-
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. 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…
I get beats from producers — even like current producers now — all the time. And I still produce myself, but I just haven’t found anything that’s pleasing enough to me to want to present.
I'd even venture as far as saying this is the biggest dick tease in the history of dick teases…
There is obviously an album of Andre 3000 raps that exists. He recorded it over these past 20 years. I refuse to believe otherwise. And Killer Mike, amongst many others most likely, have heard it.
And for some reason, Andre doesn't want us to. But he has no problem dropping 90 minutes of flute on our desperate asses?
(sidebar- for those that don't know, there have been handfuls of Andre 3000 sightings all around the world over the past 10 or so years. We're talking super super random where people just see him walking around, totally alone, in clothes that look like he stepped out of Legend of Zelda, where he's just chilling playing his flute.)
Whatever makes you happy I guess.
According to NPR, the album features André playing different kinds of flute, (get ready for this), “contrabass flute, Mayan flutes, bamboo flutes,” other digital wind instruments. With him doing no rapping whatsoever. The tracks have titles like: “I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time.” and "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”.
There's also - “The Slang Word P(*)ssy Rolls Off The Tongue With Far Better Ease Than The Proper Word Vagina . Do You Agree?
Again, dick teasing us.
New Blue Sun came out of André’s chance meeting with the jazz percussionist Carlos Niño at an LA health-food store, and it mostly consists of André and Niño playing with jazz musicians like Surya Botofasina and Nate Mercereau. According to a press release, the LP also features contributions from Deantoni Parks, Diego Gaeta, Matthewdavid, V.C.R, Diego Gaeta, Jesse Peterson, and Mia Doi Todd. André and these musicians would improvise together at Niño’s house, and the album sprang out of that. In an interview with NPR, André says that he played the album for Tyler, The Creator — Frank Ocean was there, too — and Tyler said, “It sounds like you’re chasing a butterfly through a garden.” Here’s how André describes the sessions:
We tried a few different configurations to figure out what works best for me and in producing the album. We nailed it down and we experimented and we found a sound and it ended up being the core four of us — me on different woodwind instruments and digital flutes; Carlos Niño on percussion; Nate Mercereau on guitar, and he hardly ever sounds like he’s playing guitar, but he’s an awesome guitarist, he’s kind of like a magician in a way; and then Surya Botofasina, he’s a keyboardist. And that was the core four…
We’re listening to each other, we’re responding to each other, we’re supporting each other at certain times. And that’s the sound, so it’s kind of mirroring real life. That’s why I say when I describe it, which is hard to really describe, it’s a full living, breathing album because it’s fully alive. We didn’t sketch it out.
p.s. - pray for Kenny G. This could be the end of him as we know it.
p.p.s. - one of my favorite comments about Andre from my Killer Mike blog. what a random dude. you gotta love it.