André 3000’s 2023 project, New Blue Sun, was a surprise release for many, and its contents were even more shocking. The former Outkast member, known for his forward-thinking raps, delivered a solely instrumental album with a range of flute compositions.
The lack of lyrics aggravated many hip-hop fans, and they were very disappointed that 3000 (real name André Benjamin) had abandoned his roots as an emcee. However, one prominent 1990s producer-emcee has recently revealed he has Benjamin’s LP “on repeat.”
In an interview with hip-hop media outlet TMZ, Wu-Tang Clan member RZA revealed, “That album is on repeat in my house. Me and my wife, we just sit down and it keeps us very zen in the crib. It had me washing dishes! It’s a good vibe.”
He continued, “André, congratulations. I’m actually gonna do another instrumental album myself. Hip Hop is going to show you that there’s no limits to what we do.” The interviewer asked RZA (real name Robert Diggs) whether or not New Blue Sun could save hip-hop, to which Diggs responded, “Hip-Hop don’t need saving, Hip-Hop is just growing. Hip-Hop is like New York City — another skyscraper, baby!”
As a producer, Diggs has a special appreciation for music without vocals and released an instrumental album in 2007 titled The RZA: Instrumental Experience. He has also scored films including Ghost Dog, Kill Bill and The Man with the Iron Fists, the latter of which he also directed.
Inspired by Benjamin’s creativity, on a quest to explore the different directions hip-hop can go in, following the release of New Blue Sun, Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco released an unofficial freestyle over one of the flute compositions.
However, he received a scathing response from Joe Budden. On his podcast, Budden trashed the Chicago rapper’s remix, saying, “Hey Lupe, man, stop. Stop it. He rapping over them damn flutes. I cut that shit right off.”
You can watch RZA’s TMZ interview below.