André 3000 Releasing His First Album In 17 Years, Will Include No Rapping
André 3000 is finally releasing his first album in 17 years. But there won't be any rapping this time around.
The flute-based album is tribal in nature and includes eight singles, with their first title seemingly serving as an apology to his fans. “I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time,” the intro song is called.
Created alongside a community of collaborators, like keyboardist and Alice Coltrane acolyte Surya Botofasina and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Nate Mercereau, the album offers a glimpse into 3000’s growth and evolution as a well-rounded musician and not just a rapper.
“I was always like a slow writer. I’m not a freestyler. I don’t be freestyling. I just wasn’t blessed with that,” 3000 says of his writing style. “I’m a writer, and not necessarily a pen and pad writer, but I construct and architect verses in a way.”
When it comes to why the “Hey Ya” singer hasn’t released an album in nearly two decades, it comes down to what André, 48, feels comfortable sharing.
“In these times, it just comes harder for me to do it and I don’t know why. I mean I try it all the time,” he says. “It’s not like I don’t try or it’s not like I have a lot of these songs just sitting — I have songs but it’s not like rap things that I really feel happy about sharing. And really, that’s the most important part. I have to feel happy about sharing it.”
The new album draws inspiration from Laraaji, Brian Eno, Alice Coltrane, Steve Reich, and Pharoah Sanders, as noted by The NY Times. It will focus on 3000’s love for flutes and clarinets instead of his usual bars and eccentric flow.
“I’ve been interested in winds for a long time, so it was just a natural progression for me to go into flutes,” said. “I just like messing with instruments and I gravitated mostly toward wind.”
Outkast’s last group album was released in 2006 as the soundtrack for their film “Idlewild.” Since then, 3000 has made guest features on songs with the likes of Kesha, Beyoncé, Future, Kanye West, and others.
His most recent feature on Killer Mike’s “Scientists & Engineers,” was nominated for two Grammy Awards last week (best rap performance and best rap song). For now, fans will be able to dig into his flute-focused album until the artist decides to make a return to his rap roots.