André 3000 announced his triumphant return on Tuesday (November 14), telling NPR his debut solo album, New Blue Sun, will arrive this week. But it's not exactly what longtime Outkast fans were expecting. Instead of a proper Hip-Hop album, it's 87 minutes of experimental jazz primarily composed using his instrument of choice, the flute.
But the tracklist is even more mind-blowing. In a post making the rounds on Reddit, the titles of eight tracks are displayed in all their glory. The first one, however, is perhaps the most telling: "I Swear, I Really Wanted To Make A 'Rap' Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time."
If that sounds like a Lana Del Rey album title, that's just the beginning—it only gets more elaborate from there. Other titles include: "The Slang Word P (*)ssy Rolls Off The Tongue With Far Better Ease Than The Proper Word Vagina. Do You Agree?" and "Dreams Once Buried Beneath The Dungeon Floor Slowly Sprout Into Undying Gardens."
As for the intro to the album, André 3000 explained why he opted to release a bar-less album, saying, "There’s this misconception that I just won’t do it. I think people feel like I’m sitting around on rap albums, or sitting around and I’m just not putting them out in that way. And no it’s not like that… In my mind, I really would like to make a rap album. So maybe that happens one day, but I got to find a way to say what I want to say in an interesting way that’s appealing to me at this age.”
Longtime collaborator Killer Mike let the cat out of the bag in June during an interview with Sway Callaway.
Callaway said, "What I’m hearing is Dre got an album coming,” to which Killer Mike replied, “Yeah, I think we fly out in a couple weeks to go listen to it.” Calloway replied, “Wow, that’s amazing. André 3000 got an album coming.” When someone mentioned he thought they were joking, Calloway said, “Nah, he said he played him nine tracks of stuff he already he had. That mean Dre sitting on volumes of songs.”
As Outkast fans celebrated, Killer Mike soon clarified his comments, telling Atlanta's V-103, "I was stoned out of my mind playing, teasing with y’all. Y’all done took the joke too seriously. But you know, [Andre 3000’s] always making music. He’s never not making music. So I got a chance to hear a lot of cool stuff… If you want to hear Dre though, I know where you can. It’s this album called Michael that’s out right now. There is Dre, Future, and Killer Mike.”
Michael did deliver some André 3000 bars in the form of "Scientists & Engineers" featuring Future and Eryn Allen Kane. Killer Mike was recently nominated for three Grammy Awards: Best Rap Album for Michael, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for—yep!— “Scientists & Engineers."
(This article was originally written by Kyle Eustice for AllHipHop.com)