If you are a Hip-Hop loyalist or Outkast fan, you might feel betrayed by the release of Andre 3000‘s New Blue Sun solo album. It has become apparent that Mr. 3000 has diverged away from what fans know of him (i.e. “Return of the G”, “Xplosion”), and into a conduit role for change in the music industry.
A sophisticated sound system is necessary to comprehend the instrumental intentions of NBS. It boasts a level of complexity that average speakers will not grasp. While the album is classified as new-age, jazz, and spiritual genres, Native American influence echoes throughout the eclectic compilation and deserves mention.
Unlike the energetic conversations of traditional Hip-Hop in its myriad of generational tones, NBS dares to compel you to consider a new approach to listening to music. It is as though the album wants you to consider how you feel when you’re finished listening to it. And in doing so, you might compare that conclusion to your disposition after hearing other music forms. What mood are you in when you turn off your stereo? Are you grounded, angry, sad, passionate, excited? Music engages and inspires whether we like it or not.
Mr. 3000 shared that among his motivations for putting the pen down and picking up the flute, was not wanting to lyrically disclose some of the less glamorous experiences he has at his age. There are countless musicians who’ve continued to write and perform new material as they’ve aged – so it can be deduced that Mr. 3000 wants to try his hand at something different.
While his solo album is not technically Hip-Hop, Mr. 3000 has managed to outsell Nas, Logic, Lil Tjay, EST Gee, Ice Spice, Lil Wayne, Kodak Black, Macklemore, Rae Sremmurd, Westside Gunn, French Montana, Real Boston Richey, Yo Gotti x DJ Drama.
In the words of Germany Kent, “Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.”