André 3000 Announces Debut Solo Album (With No Rapping)
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.”
The artist, born André Benjamin, last released an album with Outkast in 2006: “Idlewild,” the soundtrack to the duo’s movie musical. “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” the group’s Grammy-winning double album, arrived three years earlier.