Hip-hop fans have been hungry for an André 3000 solo album since OutKast broke up in 2006. But while his former partner Big Boi has released three records since then, fans are still waiting for Dre’s solo debut. They may be waiting quite a while longer, because as André 3000 indicated in a new interview, he’s having trouble with his “focus” and “confidence.”
The interview took place on Rick Rubin’s Broken Record podcast. The conversation is wide-ranging, but when it came down to new songs, 3 Stacks stated bluntly, “I haven’t been making much music.” He compared writing to a muscle that needs to be exercised. Figuratively, Dre suggested he’s out of shape.
“My focus is not there, my confidence is not there. I tinker. I tinker a lot. Like I would just go to my piano and just sit my iPhone down and record what I’m doing. Move my fingers around and whatever happens. I haven’t been motivated to make 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. Maybe I’m nothing. Maybe my history is kind of handicapping in a way. So I’m just trying to find out what makes me feel the best right now. What makes me feel the best is when I do these random kind of instrumental things. They make me feel the most rebellious.”
The whole interview is interesting, including 3000’s thoughts on musical discovery, how The Dungeon aided the creation of new slang, and the “blessing” of getting booed at the Source Awards. Listen to the full podcast below.
Even if a solo record isn’t forthcoming, André 3000 has been finding other outlets for his musical expression. Earlier this year he contributed verses to albums by James Blake (“Where’s the Catch?”) “and Anderson .Paak (“Come Home”). 3000 has given a couple of live performances this year, but they weren’t the kind that offered tickets. He’s been killing time in select airports by playing the flute, and has serenaded locals in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.