André 3000's Message to Younger Artists: 'Keep Pushing'

Out of nowhere on Tuesday, 3 Stacks announced a new instrumental album co-produced by Carlos Niño.

andre 3000 on the red carpet
Image via Getty/Andrew Toth
andre 3000 on the red carpet

What a year it’s been for long-awaited happenings of the musical variety. This week, for example, we received official word that André 3000—whose last full-length release arrived 17 years ago in the form of his and Big Boi’s final Outkast album, Idlewild—had a new album ready to share with the world. Even more surprisingly, the album is not only finished, it’s coming soon; “soon” as in, we’ll all be able to hear a new André 3000 album in a matter of days.

In an interview with Rodney Carmichael for NPR, it was revealed that the album, titled New Blue Sun, is an entirely instrumental project co-produced by 3 Stacks and Carlos Niño. It's a fitting turn from André following a slew of headlines over the years related to his affinity for the flute, though there's no denying the art-forward approach he's taken to get here.

Asked in the interview what he might hope for “this hip-hop generation” to glean from New Blue Sun and where it sits within the larger story of his creative journey, the Outkast co-founder pointed to the importance of exploration as an artist.

“Explore, man, explore. That's what it's about. Like, keep pushing,” he said. “That's really what it is. I mean, the same way you explore words, you don't have to let it stick to words. Explore. Whatever you pay attention to, pay attention to what you're paying attention to and go for it. That's really what it is. Like, I couldn't have planned this. I just started paying attention to a thing and just went for it. So you don't have to stay in a certain way. And they know it now; like, they got it, man.”

Elaborating further on how he views the current generation, 3 Stacks said he’s noticed a “no categories kind of thing” among a number of artists. Still, André hasn't “changed my formula at all” from how he was creating earlier in his career.

"When me and Big Boi got together, we didn't really know where we were going," he told NPR. "We had human intentions. We knew we wanted to rap. And I never knew that rapping would even take me to producing and producing would take me to playing instruments and instruments would get me here. So I've just been on the ride and people have been on a ride with us and with me. I see this as just [being] further down the road."

Read and/or listen to the full interview here.

New Blue Sun is out Nov. 17 and sees André 3000 centering on woodwinds with contributions from Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Deantoni Parks, Diego Gaeta, Matthewdavid, V.C.R, Diego Gaeta, Jesse Peterson, and Mia Doi Todd.

Below, see the album's official cover art.

andre 3000 cover art

Latest in Music