André 3000 may not have given us the album we wanted, but he gave us the album we needed

OPINION: “New Blue Sun” isn’t hip-hop, but it’s a wavelength that everyone, including lovers of hip-hop, needs to be on right now. 

André Benjamin of 'Dispatches from Elsewhere' speaks onstage during the AMC Networks portion of the Winter 2020 TCA Press Tour on January 16, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

I have been falling asleep to André 3000’s new album, “New Blue Sun,” every single night since the day it dropped. 

I’m usually asleep before the first song ends, and that’s not a diss to 3 Stacks; it’s a testament to the power of the meditational wavelength he puts me on every single night. 

My brain on a normal day is a labyrinth of uncontrolled thoughts racing at the speed of ADHD. The amount of effort I have to put into focusing on just one thing so I can get just that one thing done is a lot, and never mind trying to shut my brain off at night.

On most nights, I found myself listening to some sort of ambient soundscape music so I could try and fall asleep within a reasonable amount of time after getting in bed. 

Then 3 Stacks dropped “New Blue Sun.”

Everyone had jokes in the lead-up to its release. Finding out we were getting flute melodies instead of the hot bars we are used to was an adjustment for everyone I’m sure, but I was still determined to give the album a shot.

André is an artist after all, and his art is reflective of his evolution, personal growth, and change. 

Dré’s album is recorded at 432 Hz, and according to the Meditative Mind website, music tuned to that frequency will fill you with a sense of peace. It helps to release stress and tension from the body naturally; it helps the body release serotonin and endorphins, and it helps with the release of negative energy. 

I can personally attest to the focusing powers of listening to music at 432 Hz while writing. 

As a writer, I cannot listen to music with lyrics when I write because my brain will automatically start trying to sing along, and that breaks my concentration entirely.

During the same time I’ve been listening to the album to fall asleep, I’ve been listening to it during the day while I do other things, and let me just say that “New Blue Sun,” a joint of some fire sativa, and coffee got me all the way through cleaning my apartment this weekend without taking any breaks. 

I stan. 

André 3000 may not have given us the album we wanted, but he definitely gave us the album we needed.

We need “New Blue Sun” because the world is falling apart all around us, and 87 minutes of peaceful music that uplifts our personal energy while helping us clear our heads and our hearts is a welcome respite from everything else that is happening. 

I respect what 3 Stacks has done here. 

Dropping an album of this type when everyone was expecting something different is a level of bravery and authenticity we don’t get to see often in hip-hop. It shows a grown-ass man doing grown-ass things despite what everyone else has to say about it. 

Love it or hate it, the album is here, and I have the feeling that as more people catch on to the necessity of this wave, the more success he’s going to see with it. 

We aren’t likely to get a “New Blue Sun” tour, and that’s OK. 

He gave us what we needed. 

It’s up to us to use it correctly. 

Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at

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