André 3000 isn’t dropping a solo album. In fact, André 3000 might never release another body of music. That’s fine. He shouldn’t. Because expecting a 44-year-old man that’s given the world six Outkast albums, a Dungeon Family compilation, a Cartoon Network TV show, the second best part of the 2008 Will Ferrell comedy Semi-Pro, not to mention the “Walk It Out” freestyle to do even more is selfish. What more do y’all expect of this man?
In an interview on the Broken Record podcast, Rick Rubin asks André what seemingly everyone asks André: for any new information regarding the recording process of new André 3000 music. That’s when the podcast interview swerves into a grim story of the crippling anxiety we’ve all forced one of the greatest rappers alive to face, thanks to our incessant prodding for him to release a solo album.
“I haven’t been making much music, man. My focus is not there. My confidence is not there,” he said. “I tinker a lot. I’ll just go to a piano and sit my iPhone down and just record what I’m doing. Move my fingers around and whatever happens, but I haven’t been motivated to do a serious project. I’d like to, but it’s just not coming. In my own self I’m trying to figure out where do I sit? I don’t even know what I am and maybe I’m nothing. Maybe I’m not supposed to be anything. Maybe my history is kind of handicapping in a way.”
Later, André shared that the constant dissection of his music and hyperbolic critical analysis of his every move is one of the reasons he’s abstained from releasing a larger body of work outside of his occasional features. “Any little thing I put out, it’s instantly attacked, not in a good or bad way,” he continued. “People nitpick it with a fine-tooth comb. ‘Oh, he said that word!’ And that’s not a great place to create from and it makes you draw back. Maybe I don’t have the confidence that I want, or the space to experiment like I used too.”
In conclusion, André 3000 is a kind, gentle, creative soul that’s been marred by our collective capitalist greed. Let this man play his bass clarinet across America in peace.