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André 3000 announces new album <i>New Blue Sun</i>

Kai Regan

André 3000 will release a new solo album this Friday. The album is titled New Blue Sun and features eight tracks of him playing the flute. NPR, who spoke to the OutKast member ahead of the release, reveal that the album clocks in at 87 minutes and features a track titled “I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time.”

In recent years André 3000 has been spotted playing the flute in public settings, something that has confused onlookers and making him regularly go viral. New Blue Sun started to take shape, NPR reports, after he bumped into jazz musician Carlos Niño at a branch of Erewhon in Los Angeles and the pair agreed to record together. Other musicians on the album include keyboardist Surya Botofasina and guitarist Nate Mercereau.

“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 told NPR. “So even actually on the packaging, you’ll see it says, “Warning: no bars.”

He went on to say that he played the album for Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean. “It’s us three sitting there listening to these three songs and I just kind of wanted to get an opinion. And it was just good for me to hear with somebody else. Because sometimes you can be in your own thing and think it’s a certain thing and you just want to have some outside… not that it really matters, because once you believe in it enough — I mean, I take criticism all the time, but it’s not like, ‘Hey, do you like it or not?’ It’s ‘How can we help it?’ So at that point, I felt like we had something because we had a nice day just enjoying it in a way.”

The album marks the first time André 3000 has released a solo album and his first body of work since OutKast’s 2006 project, Idlewild.