André 3000 Made an Instrumental Flute Album Because Rapping Feels "Inauthentic"

Unless he can interest you in rhymes about colonoscopies, the Outkast legend doesn't have "anything to talk about in that way"

Photo: Kai Regan

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Nov 16, 2023

When André 3000 announced that he's putting out his first solo album tomorrow (November 17), he didn't waste any time trying to troll anyone: he instantly clarified that it would not feature any rapping. Instead, New Blue Sun is an 87-minute instrumental record that sees the Outkast legend play a bunch of different flutes — which was notably just the way the wind blew him.

The musician opened up about his decision in a new interview with GQ, explaining to journalist Zach Baron that trying to make a rap album right now felt lacking in authenticity for him.

"Sometimes it feels inauthentic for me to rap because I don't have anything to talk about in that way," André 3000 said. "I'm 48 years old. And not to say that age is a thing that dictates what you rap about, but in a way it does."

He continued, "And things that happen in my life, like, what are you talking about? 'I got to go get a colonoscopy.' What are you rapping about? 'My eyesight is going bad.'" The artist amended his point by saying that, of course, "you can find cool ways to say it," but trailed off in knowing that the changes he's gone through in his life will naturally equate to changes in his musical direction.

"I've worked with some of the newest, freshest, youngest, and old-school producers," he told Baron elsewhere in the interview. "I get beats all the time. I try to write all the time."

These days, André 3000 just isn't feeling it. "Even now people think, 'Oh, man, he's just sitting on raps, or he's just holding these raps hostage,'" he said. "I ain't got no raps like that."

He told Rolling Stone pretty much the same thing nearly a decade ago: "I've always known that there comes a time when you're just not as hip," the hip-hop great said. "It happens to everybody, and it has nothing to do with talent. It has to do with intensity and time and the world growing around you." 

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