André 3000 has shed light on why he doesn’t rap on his new album, saying that he wishes he could be “out here with everybody rapping” but hasn’t found anything “inspiring enough”.
The OutKast member – real name André Lauren Benjamin – released his debut solo album, ‘New Blue Sun’, on November 17. He announced details of the LP that same week, and it clocked in at 87 minutes of minimalist and experimental flute music.
Arriving 17 years after OutKast’s sixth and final studio effort, 2006’s ‘Idlewild’, the musician told fans in advance that the release 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’.
Now, André 3000 has opened up about the decision not to rap in the album and said ideally he would be writing bars, but recently hasn’t found anything “inspiring enough” to get him on board.
“I write down ideas and lyrics all the time. And maybe I haven’t found the music that’s inspiring enough for me to want to write raps to, or maybe I got to find a new way to rap,” he said during an interview with CBS Mornings (via Music News). “If I don’t feel like I’m doing something, It don’t matter to me.”
“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 added. “So even actually on the packaging, it says, ‘Warning: no bars.’ It’s letting you know what it is off the top.
“But also, I love rap music because it was a part of my youth. So I would love to be out here with everybody rapping, because it’s almost like fun and being on the playground.”
The comments also come following an interview the musician held with GQ, where he claimed that part of the reason why he pivoted away from rap was due to his age.
“Sometimes it feels inauthentic for me to rap because I don’t have anything to talk about in that way… 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….”
In response to his comments, Lil Wayne added that it was “so depressing” to hear that he wanted nothing to do with rap now he has hit his 40s.
His thoughts on André 3000’s comments came when he appeared on Tyga’s show on Apple Music.. “I have everything to talk about,” he said. “I thought that may be a downfall of me staying in it because at our age you may hear what’s going on and feel I’m so out of that. I ain’t about to drop nothing. So that’s why I say I don’t listen. I just go in my little hole, I love what I do, put it out, and hopefully, we swing for the fences, man.”
André 3000 previously disclosed that he had sought advice from Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean for the new 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.
Shortly after its release, André broke a new record by scoring the longest-ever song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The song ‘I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a ‘Rap’ Album but This is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time’, which runs to 12 minutes and 20 seconds, charted at Number 90.