Big Boi ft. T.I. ~ Tangerine
As one half of Outkast, Big Boi (aka Sir Lucious Left Foot, Daddy Fat Sax, General Patton, etc.) has reveled in a career spanning over two decades in one of the most successful hip-hop groups of all time. Six Grammy Awards, five studio albums and a greatest hits release later, Big Boi and Andre 3000 are both doing their own thing. After a three year delay, Big Boi’s highly-anticipated debut solo record, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, finally arrived in stores this July and hit number 3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart immediately. His follow up, to be titled Daddy Fat Sax, is named after a generous dude at a New Jersey White Castle who used to hook the duo up with extra sliders in every 10-sack they bought. His unexpected passing prompted Big Boi to pay homage.
As a member of Outkast, you’ve experienced more success than most emcees out there. What do you think accounts for your longevity?
Big Boi: It comes to me every day. The beats, the rhymes and ideas – they’re always there. And I’m thankful for that. Also, believing in what you put out there and standing behind it and just making good music no matter what other people think.
There is so much debate about rap vs. hip-hop, old school vs. new school and mainstream vs. underground. What is your definition of true hip-hop?
I don’t think it’s that cut and dry of a definition. I mean, I don’t think my style is all hip-hop. I mix in funk and rock and all different styles to create a unique sound.
When Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was released in 2003, was that kind of a definitive statement about the enormous differences between you and Andre 3000?
It shows our different styles and how diverse Outkast can be. You can’t really mold us just into one genre or style, but we know how to compliment each other.
Will Outkast ever reconvene on another album? Tour?
Well, Dre will be coming out with his solo album and then we have some Outkast in the works, but it’s a super top secret project we’re working on so you will have to wait to find out.
Why were there so many delays with Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty?
My old label wasn’t down with me making a solo album so they wouldn’t put it out. This album has been done for the past three years, but they wouldn’t release it so we went over to Def Jam to put it out.
Out of the four elements of hip-hop, which one do you feel has been the most exploited over the years- graffiti, break dancing, emceeing or DJ-ing?
DJ-ing. Everyone seems to be doing it these days. There are so many good cats out there that are talented at it though but just too many.
What’s your songwriting process like?
I’ll be out and about and it hits me or it depends on my mood and what I am jiving on. That reflects in my music. Sometimes it’s a collaborative thing. I just get beats and rhymes in my head and put them down right away.
What have you been listening to lately and who are some of your biggest inspirations?
I can’t do without my George Clinton. I do call upon his expertise for a reason. I am totally digging on Cee Lo Green bringin’ it the way he does. It’s hot, man! I’m still feelin’ some of Phantogram’s tracks too.
Is it difficult to balance family life with everything you have going on career-wise?
My family is super supportive and we spend a lot of time together and love to joke around. My wife is especially amazing and has had my back the whole way.
Atliens and Aquemini are two of my favorite records. What kind of space were you in when you wrote such narrative lyrics as opposed to writing about the usual bitches, bling and Bentlys?
I have a bunch of different personas that reflect my mood. I incorporate these characters into my music and sound. Like my Daddy Fat Sax persona is a bit more funky. On Atliens, I am little bit in touch with my Southern roots and on Aquemini, my character is my zodiac sign, Aquarius.
~Interview by Kyle Eustice~