André 3000 to release long-awaited solo album on Friday

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André 3000 to release long-awaited solo album on Friday

André 3000 has announced his long-awaited solo album, and it’s out later this week.

The elusive OutKast legend made a surprise return to social media on Tuesday (November 14) to reveal that his new project, New Blue Sun, drops on Friday (November 17).

It serves as 3 Stacks’ first official solo album, although he did release a disc of solo material on OutKast’s Grammy-winning 2003 double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

New Blue Sun also marks the Atlanta native’s first full-length offering since his and Big Boi‘s 2006 LP Idlewild.

Check out the cover art below:

André 3000 shed light on New Blue Sun in an interview with NPR, with the outlet revealing the album is not a rap record. In fact, it doesn’t even feature any vocals from 3 Stacks.

Instead, it’s “a stunning 87-minute mind-bender, minimalist and experimental, tribal and transcendent” that finds the reclusive rap icon showcasing his talents on a range of flutes — the instrument he’s often seen playing during rare public appearances.

There are no guest appearances from fellow Hip Hop heavyweights, either, but instrumental contributions from jazz musicians such as Carlos Niño, Surya Botofasina and Nate Mercereau.

While it doesn’t feature any lyrics, the eight-song album includes “provocative” song titles such as “I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time.”

Speaking to NPR, André 3000 explained that he has found it “harder” to write lyrics in recent years and wasn’t “satisfied” with the music that he was creating, so he decided to take a different approach with New Blue Sun.

“That’s why New Blue Sun was something that I realized, whoa, I really want people to hear it. I really want to share it,” he said. “That’s my only gauge. I have to like it as a person, as an artist myself, because if I don’t like it I can’t expect nobody else to like it.”

As for the album title, André explains: “New Blue Sun, for me, was like, I guess in a sci-fi way, the next world or the next beings will be under a bluer, cooler burning sun. It will burn cooler, but it will be larger.

“So when you look up at the sky in these times, there’ll be this larger globe of bluish, still bright but bluish because it’s cooler. It’s kind of like this whole album and this whole direction is a new world for me. New Blue Sun is like a new direction.”

He adds of the song titles: “They were long on purpose because I knew if this album has no lyrics that I would try to give as much thought or information in the titles.

“I guess the rapper in me, like, I’m trying to humanize it or punkatize or like make it less precious. It is precious, but at the same time we’re human. So we laugh. I was trying to really inject some type of humanness because I’m a full-rounded person.”