Andre 3000 is finally dropping his long-awaited solo album on Friday — but in true 3000 fashion, it isn't exactly what you'd expect.
The project, which marks the first time he's released new music in 17 years, is an "entirely instrumental album centered around woodwinds; a celebratory piece of work in the form of a living, breathing, aural organism,” per NPR. The album, New Blue Sun, will arrive via Sony Music’s Epic Records and is co-produced by Andre and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Niño. It'll feature the playing of Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Deantoni Parks, Diego Gaeta, Matthewdavid, V.C.R, Diego Gaeta, Jesse Peterson, and Mia Doi Todd. And of course, Andre will be playing the flute – "contrabass flute, Mayan flutes, bamboo flutes — along with other digital wind instruments."
In the announcement, Andre says the album is "therapeutic" as revealed on NPR. He also clears up the notion that he's sitting on a rap album that he just won't put out.
"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,” he says. “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 the interview with NPR, he also talks about being a "slow writer," contrary to people's expectations.
"Even in our height of what people know of what I've done before, I was always like a slow writer. I'm not a freestyler. I don't be freestyling. I just wasn't blessed with that," he says. "I'm a writer, and not necessarily a pen and pad writer, but I construct and architect verses in a way. That's what I've been doing all my life. So I look at it in that way, and if I'm not satisfied with what it is I just don't put it out. Even during the earlier times, Big Boi, he just kind of got down, like, he's so fast and efficient with what he does. And it'll take me a minute to throw them down. So I've always kind of been analyzing it or figuring out how I wanted to approach it."
Andre also talked about those viral videos of him walking around playing the flute.
"Like, 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. I might be at Starbucks getting a coffee," he says. "I might just start playing. And people would just film it and post it. That started to happen a lot. One person actually came up to me on the street and he was like, "Man, it's a thing, it's a game almost like we're trying to find you and trying to film you play a flute." And that kind of was sucky because it was like a Where's Waldo kind of thing. And I didn't like that because they just kept getting little nicks of me, just kind of messing around, you know. So I just felt like I'd really like to play but it was really for me. 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? And 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."
New Blue Sun is due on Nov. 17. See the tracklisting below.
1. I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A “Rap” Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time
2. The Slang Word P(*)ssy Rolls Off The Tongue With Far Better Ease Than The Proper Word Vagina . Do You Agree?
3. 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
4. BuyPoloDisorder’s Daughter Wears A 3000™ Button Down Embroidered
5. Ninety Three ‘Til Infinity And Beyoncé
6. Ghandi, Dalai Lama, Your Lord & Savior J.C. / Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, And John Wayne Gacy
7. Ants To You, Gods To Who ?
8. Dreams Once Buried Beneath The Dungeon Floor Slowly Sprout Into Undying Gardens