Big Boi Interview
|Next Project:||Atlanta Ballet Production of Big, Sir Luscious Left Foot (July '08)|
|Twitter:||Big Boi on Twitter|
|Website:||Big Boi's Website|
On April 26, it will be exactly fourteen years since Antwan “Big Boi” Patton and Andre “3000” Benjamin released their collaborative debut, “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,” and Outkast became a household name. During that time span, the duo released six albums, but of late each member has ventured in a different direction.
While each has experimented in Hollywood, Big Boi will make his stage show debut later this week, joining the Atlanta Ballet production for the world premiere of “big.” Joined by over fifty ballet dancers, a full band and fellow Purple Ribbon All-Stars, Sleepy Brown, Janelle Monae, Scar and Konkrete, the show will run for four nights at Atlanta’s Fox Theater.
In an exclusive interview with DJBooth‘s DJ “Z,” Big Boi steps inside the booth to talk about his role in the production of “big,” why he will always remain a child at heart, what we can expect from his forthcoming solo album, and when the next Outkast project will be started.
Listen to the Interview
Big Boi Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on y’all? It’s your boy, ‘Z’, doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is one half of the greatest rap duo of all time, period. On the phone to discuss his part in the new Atlanta Ballet production of big, please welcome my man Big Boi – how you doin’?
Big Boi: What’s happenin’, Z? What’s goin’ on with you, bro?
DJ Booth: Well, as we both know, I am not a part of a ballet production, but you are, so talk about it. It’s called big, April 10th through the 13th, live in Atlanta.
Big Boi: I got affiliated with the ballet through a fundraiser I had for my Big Kidz Foundation. I do a yearly fundraiser, and our director, the head of the ballet that came out, kinda was lovin’ the music and was a fan of our music. When we got to talking he threw out an idea, and the chemistry was there, they got real creative minds, and it just went on from there. The energy was right, so we just set it off.
DJ Booth: During the planning process, how did you decide how you wanted to go about incorporating your sound, that classic Outkast, ATL sound, within a ballet production?
Big Boi: Music is a form of expression, dance is a form of expression, and I actually hooked up with the choreographer from the ballet, a real talented girl by the name of Laurie, and she came to the studio and I just started flippin’ through some music, and the thing is that she gravitated towards the songs that she wanted to interpret into her form of dance, and it worked out good. She was picking some good songs and man, it’s real dreamy, real dreamy.
DJ Booth: Well, I will not be able to be in Atlanta to see the show, so give me a visual here over the phone, what should people expect if they should be so lucky to attend?
Big Boi: It’s gonna be maybe fifty ballerinas, and the actual ballet is like a play put to the music. It’s about a little boy, it’s about innocence. Little Big – he’s the young boy version of me – and just him in different situations, and how he reacts to certain things that are goin’ on. There’s twenty-five by forty foot screens with all type of mind-blowing material gonna be up there the whole time, and I have the entire band out there – the drummer, the conga player, I got my horn section, I got actually my DJ, I have two percussionists, a lead guitar player, bass player, I got my other acoustic guitar player out there with me. And my entire band has been playin’ all our records for all the years, and we just gonna get up there and jam, and really just set the emotion.
DJ Booth: If this is a success, like I think you and I both know it will be, is there any possibility you will take this nationwide, allow everybody across America to see what you guys have to offer?
Big Boi: Oh, yeah. The Atlanta Ballet, they’ve been talkin’ about it, takin’ it around the country and then overseas. ‘Cause it’s definitely a powerful piece and a lot of people come through and kinda experience something new.
DJ Booth: When you were comin’ up in the music game, did you ever think you’d be able to branch off like you have within movies, now doing this ballet, maybe possibly more Broadway work like you guys did in the movie Idlewild last year?
Big Boi: You never know where it’s gonna take you, man. You just really try to get in and channel the vibes in right. And it’s all about ideas and content, and the more ideas you have, the better to express and experiment with different things. Every avenue that I really take is just like, put your best foot forward, and if I feel I feel it and I’m gonna go through with it, you know what I’m saying? It’s all about wanting to create something new.
DJ Booth: Definitely. Well, you’re certainly also a philanthropist; this is all behind the Big Kidz Foundation, which is yours. Talk about what the motivation is for starting it, and what your goals are for the future for your foundation.
Big Boi: The Big Kidz Foundation is my nonprofit organization, and it’s about really enlightening and preparing the youth for the future. The more that they’re exposed to, and the more that they experience – kinda like an “each one teach one” type of thing – the sharper they’re going to be. When I was a little boy, there were certain things that certain people said to me that kind of mentored me, that stuck with me. We’re really trying to give them that same wisdom, at the same time gettin’ them computer-literate all the way, and kinda preparing them for what’s in store in life. It’s all about givin’ them information, and they can analyze it and digest, and hopefully they can take something from it.
DJ Booth: Do you consider yourself a big kid, Big Boi?
Big Boi: Most definitely, most definitely, I am a big kid, for sure. I like to have fun, and it’s all about positive energy. I’m also a parent, and by me havin’ my kids, it’s so lovely that I get to be a kid again with him. We really be cuttin’ up when we get together, for real.
DJ Booth: With all the work that you have to do, and obviously all the responsibilities you have as a parent, what do you do to make sure you always remain young?
Big Boi: You’re only as old as your mind really thinks. We started out in this business really, really young, and matured really quickly. And you really just gotta put God first, and just have faith, and take care of yourself.
DJ Booth: Well, everyone wants to know, if they haven’t already gone out and picked up, Who’s Your Caddy? on DVD, or are going to see the ballet in Atlanta, when we’re going to hear your upcoming solo album. Give everybody the details about the name of the project and when we can expect it.
Big Boi: Right. The name of the album is “Sir Luscious Left Foot (The Son of Chico Dusty).” It’s basically just like my journal, about my experiences and what I’ve been kinda goin’ through, and gives people insight into how my mind thinks, and just givin’ them something to really think about. The music is definitely as funky as ever, production by Organized Noize. I have a song that’s out right now called “Royal Flush,” with me, Andre 3000 and Raekwon, that’s really givin’ the hip hop heads what they really want right now. And they’re givin’ us great feedback on the song.
DJ Booth: Oh, it’s a hot record – just say, “It’s a hot record.” It’s a hot record, no doubt about it.
Big Boi: Okay, [laughter] I dig it, I dig it. Also [I have] this really crazy song with Mary J., called “The World Is Too Big,” and then just like my social commentary, man. The album will be like thirteen cuts, it’s comin’ in July. I’m gonna have daily to weekly journals on Big What TV on YouTube – you can check me out right there.
DJ Booth: Let’s also put an end to any of the rumors goin’ around. You obviously wanted to do this solo project for quite some time, but once that’s done, I know Andre’s gonna do his solo project, and then you guys are gonna get back together for another Outkast album, correct?
Big Boi: We already got together for the new Outkast; we got songs already in the process right now. We just gotta funkle, man. There’s definitely gonna be a new Outkast record!
DJ Booth: Good, I’m glad to hear that. Big Boi, give everybody more information where they can find out about the Big Kidz Foundation as well as the Atlanta Ballet, Big.
Big Boi: Right. The Big Kidz Foundation, you can actually get to that through my MySpace, which is myspace.com/therealbigboi1. That’s the real page right there, man, and you just get the contact number. And we got different events – every year we hold a fundraiser, and right now what we’re tryin’ to do is design these state-of-the-art parks, with computer stations and things like that for kids to get out there and get some fresh air, and see what’s happening.
DJ Booth: Definitely. Well, I appreciate you taking the time to join me inside the DJ Booth. Nothing but the best of luck with the upcoming ballet performance as well as what I’m anticipating, and that’s your solo debut, “Sir Luscious Left Foot.”
Big Boi: I appreciate it. Thank you, bro.