Tony Yayo, the former G-Unit rapper, has expressed his disappointment with André 3000's latest musical project, New Blue Sun, which features the OutKast legend playing the flute. In an interview with Vlad TV, Yayo said that he and other fans of André 3000 were expecting to hear some rap verses from him, not some experimental flute sounds.
Yayo asserts that there is little interest in listening to André 3000 play the flute.
Yayo, who is known for his outspoken opinions, praised André 3000 as one of the best rappers from Atlanta and one of the artists who crossed over to different genres and audiences. However, he also said that he was not impressed by New Blue Sun, which was released in January 2024 and received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike.
"It is brilliant, when you think about it, because everybody who promoted it wants to hear him rap," Yayo said of André. "When it comes to Atlanta rap, he's one of the artists to really cross over. [...] He was just different."
But Yayo also added that he felt let down by the album, which consists of 12 tracks of André 3000 playing various flutes, from bamboo to metal, over ambient sounds and minimal vocals. Yayo said that he wanted to hear André 3000 spit some bars, not blow some pipes.
"Nobody wants to hear André 3000 play the flute. But it's art. And like you said, people are going to respect it, and people are going to have an opinion. But we want to hear him spit, Yayo said."
You can watch the full interview clip below.
André 3000: 'The Flute is the closest thing to singing'
André 3000, on the other hand, has defended his flute album as a personal and artistic expression. In a rare appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, André 3000 explained how he discovered the flute and why he decided to share it with the world.
"I discovered flute and I started playing it over and over again for years, and I felt like it would be great to share it so it kinda came in a natural way," he told Colbert. "It's the closest thing to singing. Like, vibrato is basically a human kinda thing. You're actually hearing a human's wind."
André 3000 also revealed that he has around 40 flutes in his collection and that he often plays them in public places, such as airports and parks. He said that he enjoys the reactions of people who recognize him and wonder what he is doing.
Following, André 3000 delivered a rendition of his track titled "That Night in Hawaii When I Turned into a Panther and Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn't Control ... Sh¥t Was Wild." The ten-minute showcase featured his collaboration with a live band and the addition of a traffic cone on stage.
What do you think of André 3000's Flute Album?
New Blue Sun is André 3000's first solo album and his first musical release since 2016, when he collaborated with Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, and Kid Cudi. The album has been praised by some critics and fans as a daring and innovative work of art, while others have criticized it as a boring and self-indulgent experiment.
What do you think of André 3000's flute album? Do you agree with Tony Yayo that nobody wants to hear him play the flute, or do you respect his artistic vision and enjoy his flute sounds? Let us know in the comments below.