Mothers Day is special for an infinite number of reasons, but 2018’s got something extra and unexpected: Two new songs from Outkast’s Andre “3000” Benjamin, who has essentially limited his musical work to guest appearances since the group’s last recording in 2006. He announced the songs by joining Instagram in the wee hours of Sunday with a new verified account, sharing photos and memories of his parents along with handwritten lyrics and credits. Hear them both below.
The songs, uploaded to SoundCloud, are called “Me&My (To Bury Your Parents)” and a 17-minute-long instrumental called “Look Ma No Hands,” a collaboration with British avant-pop singer-songwriter James Blake, who plays piano on the track; the title is comical, given the fact that Andre plays bass clarinet on it. “Me&My” is a gently sung track.
The songs are dedicated to his parents: Andre’s mother, Sharon Benjamin-Hodo, passed away one day after his birthday in 2013. “Me&My” was written before his parents died, but was recorded three years ago (after both parents passed), his rep confirmed to Pitchfork. “Look Ma No Hands” was recorded late last year.
In his post, Benjamin’s shared two text messages from the day before she died on Instagram. “Happy Mother’s Day,” he wrote in one caption on Instagram. “I’m sure all the cards, dinners, flowers and last minute gifts are appreciated but I’ve learned the best gift a parent could get is to simply know their child is ok.”
Benjamin’s son with Erykah Badu, Seven Sirius, turned 20 in November and resembles his father to an astonishing degree.
Andre made several guest appearances in 2016, notably with Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Solange and A Tribe Called Quest; his most recent was on N.E.R.D’s “Rollinem 7’s” late last year. Outkast undertook a long reunion tour in 2014 but Andre was notably unenthusiastic at many shows.