André 3000 Says He 'Turned Into a Panther' While Tripping on Ayahuasca

He added the experience directly inspired one of the songs on his new solo album.

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Ahead of the release of his flute-only solo album New Blue Sun, André 3000 opened up about how an ayahuasca trip in Hawaii directly influenced one of his new songs.

In an interview with Rodney Carmichael for NPR, it was suggested to him that the song title "That Night in Hawaii When I Turned Into a Panther and Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That Couldn't Control ... Sh¥t Was Wild" sounded like it was a "straight-up ayahuasca trip or something like that." The OutKast rapper and actor said that's because it's "exactly what I was talking about."

"I was actually in Hawaii and it was my second night of the first time I'd ever taken ayahuasca. We did it like a three-night kind of phase," he shared. "The first night was inviting and beautiful and the most powerful love and connection with all things I've ever felt in my life. The second night was different and everybody knows that aya will do you that way. The second night my stomach was hurting, my mouth contorted like a panther and I actually turned into a panther. And I was doing like GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR—like, that kind of thing."

The experience informed the title of the song, which is just one of the many wild song titles featured on New Blue Sun. "I actually turned into a panther. It was doing this thing called toning. Toning is another way of purging. And toning is where you make these vibrational noises that you can't control. It started playing me like an instrument," he continued. "I started as a panther and then it would make me do these long kind of tones and started changing the notes."

On the album, which drops on Friday, November 17, he mimicked the toning. "The funny thing in the aya session, I was like, Damn, I wish I had my phone so I can record this 'cause, like, it'd be so dope," he said. "I'm witnessing it and I'm watching it and it holds you for so long. I'm like, where's this breath coming from? And then you end off and you go and do it again. And I'm like, whoa, what is happening right now? So that's what I'm talking about in that title."

Asked whether the experience was scary, he said it was "kind of intriguing" because he was "digging the sound." However, a shaman came over to him to fan him and suggested he was experiencing "like 20 years of therapy" at once. "I guess I had to get through that moment. But yeah, it was just interesting because my mouth actually shaped like a panther," he added. "I was a changed person when I left Hawaii."

In the interview, he also shared what interested him about tripping on ayahuasca and said he did a lot of research about it before indulging. He stressed, however, that he thinks first-time users shouldn't be forced into doing it. "The plants have been here way before we were human," he said. "So it's like you're having a conversation with your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmothers."

André, who has yet to release a solo rap album, said that he shared some of the music on the record with Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean. “So it's us three sitting there listening to these three songs and I just kind of wanted to get an opinion,” he said in the NPR interview. “And it was just good for me to hear with somebody else.”

Other notable track titles on André's new album include "Ninety Three 'Til Infinity and Beyoncé," "The Slang Word P(*)ssy Rolls Off the Tongue With Far Better Ease Than the Proper Word Vagina. Do You Agree?," and "I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a “Rap” Album but This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time."

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