André 3000 is back with a new sound 17 years after the release of his last record.
During an interview on NPR’s “All Songs Considered” on Tuesday, the acclaimed Atlanta rapper announced his long-awaited solo debut “New Blue Sun” is set for release on Friday.
Surprising many, André revealed the album is 87 minutes of experimental instrumental music, which features him playing the Contrabass flute, Mayan flutes, bamboo flutes, digital wind instruments and more.
“I’ve been interested in winds for a long time, so it was just a natural progression for me to go into flutes,” he said in a statement shared by People magazine.
André "3000" Benjamin, pictured in 2020, is releasing his first solo record on Friday. "New Blue Sun" is a collection of experimental instrumental tracks featuring a variety of flutes.
The “So Fresh, So Clean” artist hasn’t released an LP since OutKast split in 2006, but has had a few features and one-off releases in the years since.
He previously showcased his woodwind skills on the 2003 OutKast track “She Lives in My Lap” and on the 2019 James Blake collaboration “Where’s the Catch?”
While “New Blue Sun” isn’t a hip-hop record, the eight-track ode to the flute does feature a song titled “I Swear, I Really Wanted To Make a ‘Rap’ Album but This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time.”
“In my mind, I really would like to make a rap album,” André explained in another statement. “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.”
“New Blue Sun” comes out Friday.