Last year, Outkast legend André 3000 released his debut solo album, New Blue Sun. However, he recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to talk about his project, influences and legacy.
New Blue Sun saw the former Outkast member, known for his forward-thinking raps, deliver a solely instrumental album with a range of flute compositions. Not only is he now going on tour, but explained what he meant when he recently called himself “a catalyst artist.”
Stephen Colbert highlighted an NPR interview André 3000 (real name André Benjamin) had last year, during which he stated, “I’ve noticed that I’m a catalyst kind of artist… I’m being used in ways to be watched, to be inspiring to people. And to me, that’s the best thing ever, man, to inspire someone else to do something else.”
When elaborating on his NPR comments, Benjamin told Colbert, “Every artist is a catalyst artist, but we [Outkast] started this when we were 17 – I’ve lived long enough to see it [his artistry] affect other artists. And it’s like, ‘Woah!’ You’re happy that you meant something.”
Colbert asked Benjamin which acts inspired him growing up and who drove him to record New Blue Sun, to which the Atlanta rapper cited innovators such as George Clinton, Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, as well as Southern hip-hop legends, including Underground Kingz, 8-ball & MJG, Odd Squad, and even paid homage to the electro group Kraftwerk.
On the show, Colbert asked about 3000 about his new love for flutes and why he’s so drawn to the woodwind instrument. Explaining why he loves woodwind instruments, Benjamin divulged, “[They’re] the closest thing to singing… you’re actually hearing a human’s wind.”
The Outkast member then performed his single ‘That Night in Hawaii When I Turned Into a Panther And Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn’t Control … Shit Was Wild’ on Colbert.