Since OutKast released their last album in 2006, Grammy-winning artist Andre “3000” Benjamin has released some songs,
collaborating with artists from Beyoncé to Drake and Frank Ocean, leaving memorable impressions on tracks. However, fans eagerly await his first solo film. A solo album.
Ultimately, the week concludes with its culmination on Friday. The artist suddenly announced on Tuesday morning under a clear blue sky, but “New Blue Sun” might not be what he was hoping for:
“A completely instrumental album centered, As per the declaration, encircling woodwinds, a jubilant tribute unfolds, taking the shape of a vibrant, sentient, and attentive entity.
This upcoming album on Sony Music’s Epic Records is co-produced by Andre 3000 and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Nino, featuring contributions from artists like Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Dentoni Park, Diego Geta, Matthewdavid, V.C.R., Diego Geta, J.C. Peterson, and Mia Doi Todd.
In the announcement, Andre described the work as “medicinal” and talked about releasing an album in his more familiar rap music style, dispelling misconceptions, saying, “It’s a wrong notion that I won’t do that.
People think I’m sitting on rap albums, or I’m sitting here and not presenting them in that way. Certainly, the 48-year-old creative expressed, “Contrary to misconceptions, I genuinely aspire to create a rap album.”
“While it might materialize eventually, I need to discover a compelling and captivating way to convey my thoughts, especially at this stage in life.”
The extraordinary announcement, followed by the tracklist of songs with the intriguing title of the album, is as follows; Benjamin discussed the album in a 77-minute special version on NPR – and “countless other topics.”
For the past decade, Andre 3000 has been navigating the air without a parachute, slowly floating in the air. Blink, and you can remember him: he’s in Japan, giving a bright smile and a sign of peace, holding a custom wooden flute in his other hand.
There he is again, this time in an airport terminal, playing some additional notes to pass the time. Wait, is Andre in Soho with a lute? Nonchalantly strolling as if he isn’t who he is? That’s why you’ve seen him in recent years in scattered social media clips: so much praise for him that any glimpse of him needs protection.
But here’s a lie: Andre is not Bigfoot. He’s not a mythical creature living in the mountains. He’s an award-winning actor, a Grammy-winning rap duo OutKast’s half, and a master of the stop-and-shop date poetry.
Despite his fame, he is still a student of nature and creativity – exploring, navigating, listening to the air.
The wind is the most essential element of his new solo album, “New Blue Sun,” a wind instrument created by Carlos Nino that centers around Andre’s flute playing. Andre developed an interest in wind instruments at least 20 years ago. Exploring both guitar and bass, he found a preference for the enchanting tones of the flute and saxophone during his musical experimentation.
A jazz fan, he read that John Coltrane played the shenai before playing the saxophone, so he bought a shenai and started playing it. In the closing of the 2003 “She Lives in My Lap,” he hinted at his entry into wind instruments.
At the end of the song, he mourns harshly. In 2019, Andre was seen playing bass shenai with James Blake in the track “Where Is The Catch?”
There, he starts playing the bass shenai with Blake on the piano. In the end, he lets out some intense wailing. In 2019, Andre was seen playing bass shenai with James Blake in the track “Where Is The Catch?” There, he starts playing the bass shenai with Blake on the piano. The engineer takes over the session and brings it out.
André expresses, “The allure of the winds has captivated me for an extended period, making the transition to the flute a seamlessly organic evolution for my musical journey. I enjoy playing with instruments, and my inclination leans more towards the wind instruments.”
The album features a prominent ensemble of today’s best treatment music instrumentalists:
Neeno on bells, percussion, drums, crotales, plants, and rhythm; Markero on guitar, synth guitar, and live sampling; and Botofasina on keyboards and synthesizers. André plays various wind instruments in this album, including a digital flute, a Maya flute, and other wooden and bamboo instruments.
Before you ask, no, there are no lyrics in this LP. It’s a completely instrumental record with long-running tracks and similarly extended titles. The opening track is a whopping 12 minutes long titled “I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a Rap Album, but This Time, the Air Truly Lifted Me Up.”
Discussing the prospect of launching a rap record, André asserts, “There’s a misconception that I won’t pursue it, which is far from the truth.” I think people imagine me sitting on rap albums, or lounging around and not presenting them in that way.
No, it’s not as simple as that. In my perspective, I truly aspire to create a rap album. So, there’s a possibility it could unfold someday, but I must discover a captivating way to express my thoughts at this stage that resonates with my current sensibilities.
The second track of the album is an intriguing one with a divine arrangement titled “The Slang Word P(*)ssy Rolls off the Tongue with Far Better Ease than the Proper Word Vagina. Do you agree?” He created this to bridge the gap between hip-hop and the new age.
André explains, “Many times I feel that people, especially in the hood, perceive it differently. They see it like, ‘Oh, those guys are there.‘ It’s a kind of alienation. So, with the song titles, we kept it entertaining.
Or we got a bit cheeky because I still wanted it to feel light at times. Or to give it some kind of balance, make it appealing for people to come in.”
Actually, when some listeners think about ambient music, they might find it weird or too sleepy to enjoy. But there’s a lot going on in this music that shouldn’t be overlooked. Not everything needs the necessity of 808 drums and trunk-rattling bass. André says,
“People call it new age or spiritual-ish, and people take it seriously. And I think because I’m coming from rap, and I know there’s a different audience, different eyes will be watching me, and they’re seeing it. So, I wanted to make sure that the contribution I give to this world brings a certain lightness or humanity.”
Intentionally, André wants you to slow down, reset, and sit quietly. Let the music manifest. See where the winds take you. Reflecting on artists like Laraaji, Brian Eno, Alice Coltrane, Steve Reich, and Pharoah Sanders, New Blue Sun envisions a vast world of exploration. André further states, “In this world,”
he continues, “the sun will be blue, so it’s really a different world, like the sun we’re seeing now, where we live, that sun will end somewhere on a point.” Humanity will still need warmth.