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André 3000’s Experiments With Flutes and Fame


This month, André 300 — half of Outkast, and one of the most innovative rappers of all time — made a tentative return to music with the release of his first solo album, “New Blue Sun.” It is … not a hip-hop album. Instead, André, who has regularly been spotted out and about playing one of several flutes, has released an LP of contemplative experimental music, in which he is a supporting character, not the star.

What does it mean when one of the most famous musicians of his generation decides to take such a radical creative turn? In what ways is this unconventional musical choice as revealing as the ones for which he’s long been known?

On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about André’s reluctant relationship to stardom, the musical scene providing the setting for his public return, and the ways in which one can be in the spotlight but still very much in hiding.


  • Zach Baron, GQ senior special projects editor

  • Sadie Sartini Garner, a critic for Pitchfork and others

Connect With Popcast. Become a part of the Popcast community: Join the show’s Facebook group and Discord channel. We want to hear from you! Tune in, and tell us what you think at Follow our host, Jon Caramanica, on Twitter: @joncaramanica.

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