This week marks the release of André 3000’s eagerly awaited debut solo album, but it’s not the rap record that many had assumed.

The OutKast rapper and actor opened up on why his new full-length album New Blue Sun is entirely woodwind music rather than hip-hop in an interview with Zach Baron for GQ. “I Swear, I Really Wanted To Make A ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time,” the album’s opening track, is titled. He has stated that, despite his best efforts, he was unable to record a rap record.

“I’ve collaborated with some of the most recent, up-and-coming, youthful, and veteran producers. I am always being beaten. “I attempt to write consistently,” declared André, who has only sometimes provided admirers with guest poems in recent years. People still believe that he is simply sitting on raps or that he is holding the raps captive. I don’t have any songs like that. I really feel like sometimes when I rap, it feels like I don’t have anything meaningful to say in that regard.”

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He mentioned that his age is one of the main causes, which has long been a topic of discussion in hip-hop, which is still a relatively new genre. “My age is 48 years.” Not that age always determines what you rap about, but in some cases it does,” he went on. “And what are you talking about, like, things that happen in my life? “I have a colonoscopy to get done.” About what are you rapping? “My vision is getting worse.” Though there are some creative ways to put it.

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André went on to say that he could write a song about a lot of things in his life, like losing his parents, watching his son grow up, and experiencing celebrity. “Those topics are actual ones. I take notes on my life’s events. However, he added, “to turn that into a fun song where it’s not only self-serving or like there’s a component of entertaining someone else too. And what’s that saying about addicts who are on the mend? “My chances of staying out of it are better the longer I’m out of it,” they remark.

An aging hip-hop artist, he compared himself to boxers, saying the latter “do exhibition fights every now and then, but they’re not stepping in the ring.”

Rappers and age are a bigger topic to discuss—the charts, for example, suggest that it’s mostly a young man’s and woman’s game—but André has more than earned the freedom to pursue his interests. Furthermore, artists change over time, and he hasn’t exactly been idle. He starred in the highly regarded films White Noise and Showing Up in 2022.

He offered a question of his own in response to the issue of why he chose to release a woodwind album. “What’s the point?” he asked. “Why, earlier in my career, did we record these albums? It’s like that: Those are the things that materialized.

During a recent NPR interview, he called himself a “slow writer,” even when he was collaborating with Big Boi on OutKast. He described how one of the tracks was inspired by an ayahuasca trip in which he “actually turned into a panther” in the same interview.


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