Since Outkast’s last album in 2006, Andre “3000” Benjamin, a Grammy-winning member of the group, has teased fans with sporadic releases and notable guest appearances on tracks by artists such as Beyonce, Drake, and Frank Ocean. However, his debut solo album, much anticipated by fans, is finally set to be released this Friday.
The announcement, coming unexpectedly on a Tuesday morning, reveals that the album, titled “New Blue Sun,” will take a unique direction, diverging from the expected rap genre to present an entirely instrumental work centered around woodwinds. Described as a “celebratory piece of work in the form of a living, breathing, aural organism,” the album is set to be released under Sony Music’s Epic Records.
Co-produced by Andre 3000 and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Niño, the album features the musical talents of Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Deantoni Parks, Diego Gaeta, Matthewdavid, V.C.R, Diego Gaeta, Jesse Peterson, and Mia Doi Todd. In his announcement, Andre characterizes the album as “therapeutic” and addresses the prevailing misconception that he is unwilling to produce rap albums. He clarifies, “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.”
The 48-year-old artist expresses his desire to create a rap album but emphasizes the need to find a unique and appealing way to convey his thoughts at this stage in his life. The complete announcement, along with the intriguing tracklist, is available below. Additionally, Andre Benjamin delves into the album and various other topics in a 77-minute special edition of NPR’s “All Songs Considered” podcast, offering fans a deeper insight into the creative process behind “New Blue Sun.”