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André 3000’s Woodwind Return Meets a Different Music Market

3 Stacks dropped his first album in 17 years this week. The flute-forward sounds of ‘New Blue Sun’ aren’t the only difference since his last project; the industry’s changed, too. Boardroom’s Gabe Oshin breaks it down.

André 3000’s first full-length musical release in 17 years comes with an important note for listeners.

“Warning: No bars.”

3 Stacks forsakes raps for the rhythmic flow of his flutes on New Blue Sun, which dropped on Nov. 17. For the last several years, the Outkast rapper has been a viral internet feature, spotted walking the streets of Philadelphia, New York, and Venice beach, always toting his beloved woodwind.

In a recent GQ video cover story, André 3000 told writer Zach Baron that his inspiration for the flute-forward album came from where he finds himself as a 48-year-old man.

“People think, ‘Oh man, he’s just sitting on raps or he’s holding these raps hostage. I ain’t got no raps like that,” he said. “It actually feels … 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.”

However, his favored genre isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Outkast’s final drop, the soundtrack for their film Idlewild, came out in 2006. Though they have occasionally hit some festival stages, André and Big Boi have not put out a collective effort since. Boardroom’s Gabe Oshin breaks down how the music industry itself has changed in the last 17 years.

@boardroom André 3000 & Big Boi’s “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” album remains the best-selling hip-hop album of all time, having sold 13 million copies. #andre3000 #hiphop #rap #rapper #musicindustry #outkast #newbluesun #applemusic #itunes #spotify ♬ original sound – Boardroom

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