The name Outkast has been synonymous with Hip-Hop for so long that most of us probably forget the correct spelling is with a “c.” But it just goes to show how the genre has produced some of the finest musicians the culture has ever witnessed.
While the multi-(insert accolade/achievement) winning duo may be traveling on separate paths of rhythm for the time being, the goal to create some of the funkiest compositions to add to their storied brand of eclectic Hip-Hop has not changed. Big Boi, the group’s baritone-voice of corporeal coherence, is set to keep the Stankonia flag at full staff as he preps for his first solo-released album Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty and irons out the details about his record label’s status, the Killer Mike aftermath, and his take on the infamous ATLiens Vs. Aquemini debate with TSS Crew’s TC.
Do you really wanna know about some gangsta sh*t?
TSS: What’s good Big, Sir Luscious Left Foot, Big Daddy Fat Sacks, Billy Ocean…what I forget?
Big Boi: Ahhh shit! (Laughs) Francis the Savannah Chitlin’ Pimp…Hot Tub Tony! You know we out here doing it.
TSS: (Laughs) No doubt. So you still working on the album right now?
Big Boi: Yeah, I’m just putting sprinkles on it right now. Just a lil’ tweaking. I’ll be done with it in about a week. You know that’s when the best material comes towards the end, so I’m just mashing with it.
TSS: Give me a little insight on the Son of Chico Dusty album. Is it like a concept album or is it a like a compilation?
Big Boi: It’s basically just Big Boi to the extreme. I’ve been using the moniker Sir Luscious Left Foot for some years now and this is the nickname I’m going to use this time to convey all the different moods and personalities for me right now. It’s been what, 15 years now? Started out young at age 15 and 16 but Sir Luscious is the more global of the personalities. But it’s still all me. But sometimes you just want a change of pace.
TSS: Who’s on the production tip this time around?
Big Boi: Organized Noize, most definitely. I co-produced thirteen out of the sixteen songs with them. And my team of producers over at Stankonia, Boom Boom Room Productions. I got a couple of new guys on the record. A song from Lil’ Jon that’s tailor-made for me as well as a track from Scott Storch that he’s been holding for me for years.
Big Boi: Yeah man! That one’s crazy. I’m bout to put the finishing touches on it tonight. I got like ten more bars for the second verse and that one should done.
TSS: Who else is on the album? I know there’s Mary, Dré and Raekwon so far…
Big Boi: Me and T.I. got a BANGER! Sleepy Brown of course. Backbone, and Koncrete. It’s not all about “the features and who’s on this track”. The guest appearances are sprinkled all along the way, just like ingredients to the song. As you know with any Outkast album, that’s how we been doing since the first one. To me, it’s all about the WHOLE album and not just about one song. So you can just play and ride that bitch all the way out!
TSS: Oh for sure! And I heard you got a joint with George Clinton and Too $hort too.
Big Boi: Exactamundo! And that one’s is estupid as well! I work with artists who I admire and who’s material I listen to. So I get in here and rock with ’em and ya know I’ma bring the best out of ’em when they get in here with me!
But the album as a whole is definitely action packed, it’s high-powered, it’s funky. I put my hands on everything from rapping to singing, to producing and arranging all the records. So it’s Big Boi all the way and I’m definitely proud of the product.
TSS: And there’s the first single “Sumthin’s Gotta Give.” Real conscious, socio-political record. I saw the video. Are you trying to raise the awareness of the upcoming presidential election in the neighborhood communities?
Big Boi: Yeah, I got so many records on the album covering different topics like relationships and club bangers. But that particular song right there was important for me to release right now because it seems like we have the biggest election of our lifetime. I just wanted to bring an awareness to the young kids not registered or people who think their vote don’t count, to get out here and be a part of the process. The record is doing great for me right now, building real heavy at radio. The spins just went up 118% last week so it’s kicking off on the good foot. It’s a record that builds, and once people hear it, it’s infectious, they wanna hear it more and more. And that’s what I like. Rather than putting out a song that’s gonna be like “O.K. cool, straight for the club, burn it out, go to the next.” Know what I’m sayin’?
TSS: Yeah, it’s reality rap. Something people can easily relate to.
Big Boi: Exactly! People may say it’s political because it’s speaking about politics, but in no way, shape, or form am I trying to preach to nobody. I’m just trying to let you know, what’s going on in ya LIFE! Just in case you haven’t noticed what’s going on from foreclosures on homes — I know everybody know about the gas prices. So if you want change, I’m not gonna tell you who to vote for, research the candidates and make the best decision for you.
TSS: And I seen you dressing up like Chico Dusty too…
Big Boi: Yeah man!
TSS: (Laughs) Is that for the album artwork or a video?
Big Boi: Yeah for my album photoshoot, it was basically just having fun know what I’m sayin’? Just to be able to create a character that was patented after my father was something that the photographer thought was really super dope. I showed him some old school pictures of me, and my uncles and my family. I was like “I’ll go all the way with it!” So with the moustache and wigs and stuff was really nothing but fun; just keeping my self stimulated, that’s all that is.
TSS: Yeah I was lookin’ know what I mean, you was acting silly but I understood how you was trying portray the Chico character. Like you actually reminded me of an old head, like my uncles and what not.
Big Boi: Right, I just try to have fun with the shit. Can’t take it everything so serious.
TSS: Growing up were you big fan of the Braves as well?
Big Boi: Oh most definitely. Used to go out to the games with my mom and auntie and them. And actually Dré worked at the stadium at one point and time so we got to attend the games quite a bit.
TSS: Did you have a favorite player?
Big Boi: I have to say Hank Aaron. He’s like an all-time great. Coming behind him, you could give Dale Murphy some plug. Ya know back in the them 80’s, he was on fire. The nigga’s stick was on fire! (Laughs)
TSS: (Laughs) No doubt. So when can we expect Chico Dusty to drop?
Big Boi: October 28th. Yeah man!
TSS: It’s going to be a bloated 3rd quarter this year. I know there’s Luda and T.I., Jeezy, whoever else. Do you feel a certain pressure to sell records right now?
Big Boi: Of course not. It’s really all about the music and the music tells the story. You really can’t bank on who’s going to go out get it or whatever. All you can do is make the best music possible and let as many people hear it as possible. And if the shit is straight, they gonna dig it and you keep on going.
TSS: What label is this dropping on?
Big Boi: Purple Ribbon/Jive.
TSS: What’s the status on Purple Ribbon right now? Anything going on besides your project?
Big Boi: Oh yeah, definitely. We did a joint venture with Bad Boy/Universal for the Janelle Monáe project and that’s doing great for us right now. I got a 4 man group, like a rock band but they bustin’ on some real lyrical shit, they’re called Vonnegutt. I’m bout to ink their deal up next week. And of course there’s Konkrete and Backbone. So we just been working and making music.
TSS: Obviously you’re in the position where you don’t have to do music for money. What’s the your goal with Chico Dusty?
Big Boi: Ya know, we put out Speakerboxxx/Love Below and that let everyone know what solo records from us would sound like, and we had them packaged and sold together. So this is my next solo record after Speakerboxxx. So you get it stand alone, by itself. It’s all me, my thoughts and creative process is all manned up by me. I just can’t wait to get it in the fan’s hands because they’ve been waiting.
TSS: So how relieving was it to put that riff between you and Killer Mike to rest?
Big Boi: That was really nothing man, absolutely nothing. There’s no beef, Big Boi don’t have no beef. If it was something, it wouldn’t have even been chopped down that quick, know what I’m sayin’? The whole WWF realm of rap, I don’t even play those type of games. I’m a real nigga all day and before it got outta hand, we went ahead and killed that.
TSS: It was Cross [his son] that intervened right?
Big Boi: Yeah, he did! I went to the radio station and I guess Killer Mike had hit my homeboy to get a truce going and my son was in the car and he was like “Daddy, I’m mad!” And I’m a like “Why?” And he said “You and Killer Mike ain’t friends no more.” So I told him it was all good. But I told Bear Loc to get Mike on the phone. My son been around Killer Mike since he was a baby. O.G. Bear Loc orchestrated the whole thing but my son definitely put the icing on the cake. You know it was nothing that was really burning on my mind or none of that, but just to smash all the negative energy, it did feel good to get rid of that bullshit.
TSS: Yeah, and in even more positive news, you and UNN was showing off the Big Boi custom Air Forces. We ever gonna get those in stores?
Big Boi: I dunno man. When I did ’em and designed them, the lady was like “We might have to work something out.” I just really been concentrating on the music and that was just something I did for fun, cuz Nike been supporting Outkast for years. But you probably well. We never got to seize the opportunity to do it so it’s a strong possibility.
TSS: What happened with Mitchell & Ness? I remember you used to rep them hard.
Big Boi: Oh you know, brought that up, set the trend and then everybody started doing it. Had to move on to something else. I’m still into sports apparel but really it’s all about dressing how you feel that day. That’s what I’m into.
TSS: Alright, when people talk Outkast, you guys get mentioned as one of the best groups EVER — groups mind you. Do you ever feel slighted when people talk about Dré’s accomplishments like he’s a solo artist? You got hits like he got hits. You got movies like he got movies. I know that’s your brother but does any of that stuff irk you?
Big Boi: Nah, not at all. What people gotta understand is that Outkast is a team. One member will never be bigger than the team. So on some stand alone shit, we hold our own. People have their favorites but all that “who’s the best or whatever” that’s feminine to me, know what I’m sayin’? Just make some good music and stop that dick ridin’.
TSS: How many times a day do people ask you if y’all broke up on the regular?
Big Boi: It’s crazy, man they still asking the same questions even though we just put out “Royal Flush” out on Easter. We still making records together. Our last album did like 12 million records and we sold like 20 million records since they started the whole hype…
TSS: And y’all did the movie!
Big Boi: Right! So I guess that’s just something people do. But with us, it’s just all about the music.
TSS: And you guys been making music since you were kids. But it seems like the kids who come in the game nowadays don’t have the mindset to make a Southernplayalistic… or a “Benz Or Beamer.” Why would you say that is?
Big Boi: It just depends on the artist man. When we started out, you gotta think about it, we were young O.G.’s back then. We started out real young and most of the cats we aligned with back then were in their mid-twenties. So now that we up in the age bracket where they were, it’s like we advanced and really honed in on a craft and know what we wanna hear and know what we like. It’s kinda like Luke Skywalker becoming a Jedi almost (Laughs). So we keeping it young, fresh, innovative, and new. As long as I can do that, I’m going to keep bangin’!
TSS: So what advice would you give to those younger artists?
Big Boi: The best thing you can do is always strive to create something new. Don’t follow the trends of the day because trends die hard. If you can’t evolve or graduate to the next level, you’re kinda stuck following the trends. So the best advice I can give to a youngster is keep it new and keep it fresh. Don’t try to be anyone else.
TSS: Alright Big, in wrapping things up, we’ve covered everything EXCEPT the never ending argument between ATLiens Vs. Aquemini. Two incredible albums, but which one speaks to you the deepest. Dammit, which one is better?
Big Boi: (Laughs) It’s like all the records are like time capsules, capturing periods of time in my life. And from like Southernplayalistic… to ATLiens are some of my best years; my teenage years. And if you listen to the records from beginning to now, you can see me and Dré’s subject matter and posture evolving from Southernplayalistic… to Idlewild …so you need both of them. That’s like trying to get me to choose between my son and my daughter.
TSS: (Laughs) I knew you was gonna hit me with that. “Even though we got two albums/this one feel like the beginning/the Goodie we kinfolk…” Huh? What about that?
Big Boi: (Laughs) Ahhh. I can tell you this: from being around and traveling over the years, ATLiens is one of the diehard fan’s favorite albums. I can say that. (Laughs)
TSS: (Laughs) Most definitely. Alright Sir Luscious. Looking forward to see the album unfolding. The people will be waiting.
Big Boi: Yessir. Appreciate it homie.
Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty is in stores 10.28.08
Previously Posted – Aquarius + Gemini = Aquemini | “The Big Picture” – Behind The Scenes With Big Boi | Big Boi X Nike Air Force 1 | “Coming Together” – Video Of Big Boi & Killer Mike’s Reconciliation