André 3000 has admitted that he “doesn’t like” fans being disappointed by New Blue Sun.
The OutKast legend released his long-awaited debut solo album last month, which saw him ditch rapping and showcase his talents as a flutist.
Despite being given plenty of notice that it isn’t a rap album, some fans were still disappointed by the ambient instrumental tunes — especially given the 17-year wait since his last full-length release, OutKast’s 2006 LP Idlewild.
During an interview with CBS Mornings, André 3000 shared his thoughts on the reactions to New Blue Sun, while sympathizing with people’s expectations.
“Even on the artwork it says, ‘No bars,’ so if you’re disappointed, man, I don’t know what else I could do,” he said. “I don’t like that people are upset a little bit about it.
“If I were waiting for a thing for 17 years, a certain thing that I’m looking for and, something else shows up, I’d probably be upset too. To be a rapper, you gotta be rapping. I haven’t been rapping, like I don’t hang around the studio.”
He added: “I don’t sit and try to rap every day like when I was younger, and that’s all I did. I miss those times a lot, but life changes, life moves on.”
Watch his comments at the 1:40 mark below.
Joe Budden was one of the most vocal critics of André 3000’s new album. While going back-and-forth with Lupe Fiasco over the Chicago native’s remix, he called New Blue Sun “worse than ass” and told fans to stop praising what he deemed lackluster work.
“Lupe is him,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “That flute shit was worse than ass… 2 things can be true… stop lying to your favorite artists for 2024, you might get better product.”
André 3000 has never hid the fact that New Blue Sun is not a rap album, with the opening song literally being titled “I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time.”
“I don’t want to troll people,” he told NPR before the album dropped. “I don’t want people to think, ‘Oh, this André 3000 album is coming!’ And you play it and like, ‘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. 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.”
He continued: “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. Not to say that I would never do it again, but those are not the things that are coming right now. And I have to present what’s given to me at the time.
“So the title, ‘I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time’ [is] because this album is about wind and breathing. In that way, it is true. It is literally blowing me this way and I’m blowing flutes and I’m blowing digital instruments.”
With a runtime of 12 minutes and 20 seconds, “I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time” recently became the longest track to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 in the chart’s almost 70-year history.