André 3000 shocks fans with solo flute album 17 years after Outkast hiatus

André 3000 shocks fans with solo flute album 17 years after Outkast hiatus

André 3000 has announced his forthcoming solo album, which will land 17 years after Outkast went on an indefinite hiatus.

The rapper and singer-songwriter, real name André Lauren Benjamin, is best known for making up one-half of the “Hey Ya!” duo, which he formed in 1992 with fellow rapper Big Boi.

The new album, named New Blue Sun, is André 3000’s debut solo record; though, he has featured on various projects since Outkast announced their hiatus in 2006.

Teasing the album during an interview on NPR, the record producer said it will be “an entirely instrumental album centered around woodwinds; a celebratory piece of work in the form of a living, breathing, aural organism”.

“I don’t want to troll people. I don’t want people to think, Oh, this André 3000 album is coming! And you play it and like, ‘Oh man, no verses,’” he said. “So even actually on the packaging, you’ll see it says ‘Warning: No bars.’ It’s letting you know what it is off the top.”

In a following announcement, it was clarified that the album will centre on “André’s flute playing”.

“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, via Variety. “I just like messing with instruments and I gravitated mostly toward wind.”

André 3000 (Getty Images)
André 3000 (Getty Images)

The news comes as a shock to fans, who shared humorous responses on Twitter/X.

Andre 3000 bout to go crazy on that flute album,” one fan wrote alongside Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy playing the flute in Anchorman (2004).

“Me when Andre 3000 drops that flute album on Friday,” wrote another alongside a clip of Megan Thee Stallion twerking as singer Lizzo plays the flute.

Find more reactions below:

The eight-track album includes unconventionally titled songs such as, “I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time”, “The Slang Word P(*)ssy Rolls Off The Tongue With Far Better Ease Than The Proper Word Vagina . Do You Agree?” and “Dreams Once Buried Beneath The Dungeon Floor Slowly Sprout Into Undying Gardens”.

Co-produced by André 3000 and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Niño, New Blue Sun will be released on 17 November. It will feature musicians Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Deantoni Parks, Diego Gaeta, Matthewdavid, VCR, Diego Gaeta, Jesse Peterson and Mia Doi Todd.