Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Big Boi’s big year of ‘spreading the funk’

After a lot of legal wrangling in 2009, Big Boi was able to leave the Jive record label and finally put out the album that they didn’t think was commercial enough to release.

After a lot of legal wrangling in 2009, Big Boi was able to leave the Jive record label and finally put out the album that they didn’t think was commercial enough to release. Now as 2010 closes, the OutKast co-founder has found his sprawling epic funk collection, “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty” —finally released in July by Def Jam — atop many year-end, best-of lists, including the one this paper will release on Monday.

But Big Boi says the critical acclaim is nothing compared to the appreciation from his fans.

“As long as they dig the music,” he says, “it doesn’t matter if mainstream wants to play it on the radio or even embrace it. The fans are always gonna be the last stop. And if the fans love it, man, they’re gonna go out and they’re gonna buy tickets to your shows, and you’re gonna rock crowds. And that’s what it’s all about, really spreading the funk.”

But having Vibe, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Spin and even NPR and Time magazine cite the album as one of the year’s best must make it tempting to say “told ya so”?to Jive.

“It’s a pleasant surprise,” he admits. “I can say that. People still want to hear some real music.”
“Real music” is what makes “Sir Lucious” stand out, along with the melodic hooks that are becoming more prevalent in hip-hop.

“Our music has been melodic for the past 15 years, and people are just starting to wake up to it,” Big says about the work he and OutKast collaborator André 3000 started in the ’90s. “It’s really about making complete songs and not just about having a dope verse.”

It is with this informed approach that he invited a diverse roster of guests to contribute to the album. Standouts include Janelle Monáe, who also had quite a year, and the band Vonnegutt, who provide the main hook for the single “Follow Us” and will be the first rock act on Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon label.

“I go to clubs and stuff and check out the underground bands and the indie rock scene and the underground rap scene, and I just so happened to come across them,” he says.

Big Boi’s own best-ofs

When we ask Big Boi his favorites of 2010, his list reads a lot like ours, as he rattles off artists like Kanye West, The Roots and Janelle Monáe. And when we reveal some of the other artists on our best-of list, he lights up as we get to Girl Talk, the mash-up artist who, amongst hundreds of other samples, liberates the rap from the “Sir Lucious” song “Shutter-bugg” and puts it against a new background.

“Oh yeah,” he says ramping up with excitement. “Oh hell yeah! That s—’s jamming! With Portishead? That one and the one with the Black Keys and ‘Shutterbugg.’”

The latter track he mentions is the mash-up by Wick-it the Instigator, a DJ who he hints may soon be releasing more pairings between these two acts.

“I’ve got a surprise coming in a few days that will be real dope,” he says.

 
 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles