What Happened to Andre 3000?

March 26, 2024

Andre 3000 isn't just one of the most beloved rappers of his generation; he's also one of Atlanta's most iconic cultural exports. The rapper — real name Andre Lauren Benjamin — is famous for being the other half of legendary rap duo OutKast, which released six critically-acclaimed studio albums between 1996 and 2006. But then the pair split up, and Andre 3000 disappeared from the music world. He's been a frequent presence on the back of other artists' albums, but his own solo material has been scarce.

But last week, Andre finally returned with a new album. Called New Blue Sun, the record is entirely instrumental, and it features guests like Frank Ocean, Tyler, The Creator, and Eryn Allen Kane. Regardless of its lack of rapping, New Blue Sun is a delicate and whimsical record that seems completely in line with Andre's brand of music.

In a GQ profile published this month, Andre opened up about his return to the spotlight. In the profile, he discussed the pressure that comes with the world of fame and how it contributed to his decision to retreat from it for so long. He also discussed his mental health struggles, revealing that he has been diagnosed with a "social thing."

The album's release marks the first time Andre 3000 has released a full-length album since OutKast's final record, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, in 2003. While the rapper has released an EP and a few guest verses in recent years, New Blue Sun represents his first full-length solo project since then.

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