André 3000 has explained why he has stopped rapping, saying that it can now feel “inauthentic” to do so.
The OutKast member – real name André Lauren Benjamin – released his debut solo album, ‘New Blue Sun’, today (November 17) after announcing the project earlier this week. Clocking in at 87 minutes, the project consists of minimalist and experimental flute music.
Fans were told ahead of the record’s arrival that it would contain “no bars”, beats or vocals. The LP even opens with 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’.
‘New Blue Sun’ comes 17 years after OutKast’s sixth and final studio effort, 2006’s ‘Idlewild’. Since then, Benjamin had distanced himself from making music.
During a new interview with GQ, the musician explained how ageing is a factor in his pivot away from the rap genre.
“Sometimes it feels inauthentic for me to rap because I don’t have anything to talk about in that way,” he 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’. You can find cool ways to say it, but….”
However, 3000 told the outlet that he did attempt to create more rap material as a soloist. “I’ve worked with some of the newest, freshest, youngest, and old-school producers. I get beats all the time. I try to write all the time,” he added.
“Even now people think, oh, man, he’s just sitting on raps, or he’s just holding these raps hostage. I ain’t got no raps like that.”
‘New Blue Sun’ features Carlos Niño (percussion), Nate Mercereau (guitar), and Surya Botofasina (keyboards).
The artist previously recalled that he had sought advice from Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean on the project. Additionally, although he’d been playing flute for several years, the recording process of the album took him to “other realms” in his music.
Speculation about ‘New Blue Sun’ arose over the summer when Killer Mike revealed in an interview that André 3000 was working on a new LP.