Fluteboxxx/The Flute Below
André 3000 takes Hip Hop into the New Age with the fearless New Blue Sun
[This article was written under the influence of three New Blue Suns - in a sunset traffic jam while riding a scooter, on a hike around a lake, and falling asleep after a night of mood enhancing.]
Eye massager music. Uber driver music. Elevator music. Studying music. Tax office music. Painting music. Meditation music. Music to microdose to. Wild hot spring music. Trying to get a hold of a human at Instagram music.
On a random Tuesday night while doomscrolling dinner, I came across something non-doomsday-ish: André 3000 was back and putting out an album. “Oh shit!” I thought. That’s one of my favorite MCs [and one of the three MCs with Ice Cube and Black Thought who I’ve always thought of as my philosopher-uncles spitting game to me in their lyrics] and I can’t wait to hear what he’s going to be rapping about.
André warned in his NPR interview, “No Bars!” The album would be instrumental and not have one lyric of singing or rapping on it. “Oh shit!” I thought again but felt intrigued by the endless possibilities.
Yoga pants music. Vegan music. Muzak music. Music to bake donuts to. Kenny G would never do this music. Experimental flute stylings.
In the interview, it was great to hear that André 3000 was in on the joke about him wearing overalls everywhere and always playing the flute. He said, “Instead of a phone in my hand, I just carry a flute.” Made sense to me.
He explained that this is where music has taken him and it’s what he wants to do. Instead of rapping with the younger kids, he prefers to “be present” by being on the flute. I love this. It’s really good to hear André 3000 give his points of view since he’s been largely absent on the scene for nearly two decades.
A dinosaur hatching from an egg. The last drop of sunset before the darkness kicks in. Waking up in the morning without an alarm. Circadian rhythm nation. Underwater groovebox. Soul-bearing. The etherealist. Wind chime funk. Forest bathing funk. Better horizons.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from New Blue Sun. Instrumental music that I once loved has proven to go in directions I don’t [Hello DJ Shadow]. Putting New Blue Sun on in the headphones and doing things makes these things a lot better to do. Driving through traffic is a bit easier. Yoga is a little more interesting. Meditation gets a bit smoother. Even falling asleep to New Blue Sun makes dreams a little more colorized.
Southernplayalisticcaddilacflutmusic. Flutonia. FLTliens. SpottieOttieFlutalicious. I love the Way You Flute. Flutes over Baghdad. Two Flute Boyz in a Cadillac. Flutez of Steel. Chonkyflute. Flute it on the Bar-B. Flutes for Plants.
If you think about words, we’ve got a lot of them coming at us in every direction. It’s good sometimes to just slow down and listen to something different. There are rumors that New Blue Sun was recorded at 432 Hz to be at the the natural frequency of the universe. That’s some New Age sh*t, right there, but it’s also what we need.
Three Stacks has proven over the years that he’s a master at pushing the limits of music and making people think. The most Hip Hop thing André 3000 could do was to release an all-instrumental album playing flutes and other woodwind instruments, some for the first time, and help us all find our New Blue Sun.
Check out Andé 3000’s New Blue Sun below.