André 3000 on Previewing His New Album for Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean: 'I Respect Them as Musicians'

André 3000 announced a new album on Tuesday titled 'New Blue Sun,' out this Friday.

andre 3000 at an event
Image via Getty/Tommaso Boddi
andre 3000 at an event

Tuesday morning, fans and news writers alike were suspended in a state of welcome disbelief. Indeed, it’s hard to believe any of us have the gift of writing such a sentence, but here goes: André 3000 is releasing an album this Friday.

The album, titled New Blue Sun, is described in an NPR piece as containing “no bars, no beats, no sub-bass.” Additionally, there is no singing from André 3000 on the project, with the Outkast co-founder instead focusing on his often-in-headlines prowess of the flute variety.

In an interview with Rodney Carmichael, 3 Stacks reflected on his process as a “slow writer,” even dating back to the Outkast chapter of his artistic journey. Pointing to how he knew what became New Blue Sun was something he wanted to share with the public, André recalled having “maybe four songs” that he initially wanted to share with “a younger audience,” which inspired him to reach out to Tyler, the Creator.

Once he was at Tyler’s house, André added, Frank Ocean showed up.

“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.”

According to André, Tyler ultimately credited the tracks in question with helping him figure out how best to “configure” a wall of Louis Vuitton suitcases at his house.

i talked to Andre 3000 about why he gets so many requests to play flute at funerals, a wild ayahuasca trip that had him purring like a panther and the release of his debut solo album New Blue Sun coming this Friday.

— Rodney Carmichael (@rodneyology) November 14, 2023

“[H]e was listening to one of the songs and he was like, ‘It sounds like you're chasing a butterfly through a garden and I figured it out. It helped me to figure out how to do this,’” André said. “And I think Frank pointed out one of his favorite tracks out of the three.”

Adding that he was “just happy to hear” these initial reactions, particularly because “I respect them as musicians,” he elaborated further: “Like new energy; they're going for it, man,” he said. “So I really respect their opinions.”

Read more here. New Blue Sun is out this Friday.

Fans will note that Killer Mike, who recently enlisted André 3000 for his Michael album, stoked excitement back in June after saying on Sway in the Morning that he was going to “fly out in a couple weeks” to listen to a new project. However, Killer Mike later walked back these remarks, at least somewhat, by saying he was “stoned out of my mind” when he said them.

Last week, Killer Mike and André 3000 earned Grammy nominations alongside Future and Eryn Allen Kane for the Michael track "Scientists & Engineers." The song is up for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, while Michael itself is up for Best Rap Album.

It’s been 17 years since the release of Idlewild, widely considered Outkast’s final album. André 3000 has made a number of memorable guest appearances on other artist’s projects in the years since, including on Ye’s 2021 Donda (Deluxe) track “Life of the Party.” In 2018, he released the Look Ma No Hands EP.

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