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André 3000 will finally drop new album this Friday

Artist promises fans a whole new direction with new LP
André 3000 (Photo credit: / Jamie Lamor Thompson)

One of the greatest artists in hip-hop history is finally going to release a new album after a nearly 20-year musical moratorium.

André 3000, who made up one-half of the legendary rap group OutKast with Big Boi, has put pop culture on notice when he announced that his debut solo album New Blue Sun will drop on Friday, Nov. 17.

This will be André’s first new album since the groundbreaking Speakerboxxx/The Love Below became the first rap project to win Album of the Year at the Grammys in 2005. The album went on to become the bestselling hip hop album of all time, according to Billboard magazine, the same year that Rolling Stone named OutKast the best rap group in history.

The Atlanta-born artist, 48, whose real name is André Lauren Benjamin, forewarns fans that his new LP will be different from what fans have come to expect from what he produced with tag-team partner Big Boi.

“I love rap music because it was a part of my youth,” Dre told NPR. “So I would love to be out here with everybody rapping, because it’s almost like fun and being on the playground. I would love to be out here playing with everybody, but it’s just not happening for me. This is the realest thing that’s coming right now.”

Instead, Dre said New Blue Sun is going to take fans in a new direction.

“I don’t want to troll people,” he said. “I don’t want people to think, ‘Oh, this André 3000 album is coming!’ And you play it and [say], ‘Oh man, no verses.’ So even actually on the packaging, you’ll see it says, ‘Warning: no bars.’ It’s letting you know what it is off the top.”

Much like back in the day when Dre picked up the guitar that helped inform his groundbreaking songs such as “Ms. Jackson” and “Hey Ya!,” Dre is coming at this with his new instrument, the flute, which may take fans by surprise. 

“I didn’t know I’d be rapping,” he told NPR. “I didn’t know I’d start producing. I didn’t know I’d start singing. I didn’t know my style would go a certain way. I didn’t know I’d put a wig on. Like, I didn’t know none of this. So, I’m on the ride with y’all.”

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