Two weeks ago (August 10), Big Boi hosted a listening session for his solo sophomore studio album, "Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors," in Atlanta. It was one of the most anticipated events during the MixShow Live weekend as Sir Luscious opened OutKast's personal space to every DJ in town. "Welcome to the house OutKast built," he greeted newcomers as they spilled in, "Me and my brother 'Dre [ Andre 3000] built this studio over ten years ago and it's our home. You're welcome to it."
Big Boi's warm welcome to OutKast's second home came a month after he took to Twitter to say that he was to appear on two Andre 3000-assisted songs -- Frank Ocean's "Pink Matter" and an upcoming song on T.I.'s "Trouble Man" album -- but ultimately didn't because "Dre didnt want an Outkast Record Coming out on anybody else LP."
Fans of the duo worried if the perceived block would end up being the nail in the duo's coffin.
"To give away a full OutKast feature on a project that's not mine or his, is not what we wanted to do right now. Can't have an OutKast reunion on someone else's album," Big Boi told The Juice of his brother in rhyme, yesterday (Aug. 23)."There's never been a beef. Never... We good."
For now -- while both finish their own solo albums -- Big Boi's mind is on his upcoming album and he sounds refreshingly upbeat as the funky "Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors" release date of Nov. 13 draws near.
The Juice: Did you have a plan going into recording "Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors " or did you just dive?
Big Boi: You walk into it like a mad scientist. It's almost like you're making a pot of stew, until it tastes right. You add a little pinch of this [and] a little pinch of that [until] everything comes together and the picture starts to develop. That's when you really start carving it out and when you get a certain block of songs that cohesively tie together and sound like a movement, then you know what the album sounds like. I mean, it's been the same way, from "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" up until now. The formula has always been [to] just get in, have fun, and make the dopest music you can possibly make.
You have your mainstay production team, Organized Noize, alongside you. You've also brought Sleepy Brown back into the studio as well. How important is loyalty to you when collaborating?
I was just talking to T.I. about this last night as we were recording this jam. He was talking about working with [DJ] Toomp and me working with Organized Noize. When you have certain roots in the ground already, there's a certain chemistry that you have. There are certain songs that we recorded as OutKast and solo where we always went to Organized Noize first for the kick-off. It's just a certain vibe that they bring that for me, in my comfort zone. It's like in football, you know your for sure players that you want to have out there on the field. I know when we collaborate, like on "Gossip" and they produced the song "Lions" with A$AP Rocky on it, that they're coming with the meat and potatoes on the plate.
You have A$AP Rocky, Kid Cudi, Little Dragon, Sleepy Brown and Theophilus London on "Vicious Lies." You're in talks with Kate Bush. Is there anyone else that we don't know about?
Phantogram. Recording with them was one of the best studio sessions we've had. It was really good. We have a little side project that we're thinking about working on right now too, called Big Grams. [It's] a collaboration with me and Phantogram. I think we'll put out a little EP or something after they drop the next record. Me and T.I. just did a song as well. I have a couple tricks up my sleeve but that's enough for now.
How close to complete is "Vicious Lies"?
It's like 90% done. I'm almost finished and I don't have to turn it in until the end of next month. But I'm shooting to be done in the next couple weeks.
Has the vibe of it changed towards the end of recording?
Right now, it's electro-funk. Before, I thought I'd be going traditional funk but now I think it's that soulful, soothing, sultry grooveshark. We just really had fun with it and making sure that the production is top notch and the lyrical content is there. I'm touching on everything I want to touch on. My albums are like time capsules, from the time you heard my last album to this record, it's almost like a diary. I'm talking about what's going on in my life and what's going on in the world. At the same time, just having fun and making sure that the listener gets everything they need from that one sitting.
A few weeks ago, you sent out a series of Tweets to sort of explain why your verse didn't end up on Frank Ocean's "Pink Matter" but Dre's did. It was the same issue with your verse for T.I.'s joint, right? What was the situation?
Well, what happened was that Frank Ocean called me one day and was like, 'My dream collaboration is to have OutKast on a song. I just want y'all both on one record.' He already had 'Dre's verse, so he's like, 'I'mma send you the song and I want you to get on it.' Me being a gentleman, I call 'Dre like, 'Yo. Frank wants me to get on the jam.' 'Dre was basically like, 'I don't think we should give away an OutKast song on someone else's album' -- which I fully respect.
To give away a full OutKast feature on a project that's not mine or his, is not what we wanted to do right now. Can't have an OutKast reunion on someone else's album.
With the public and unfortunate breakup of Mobb Deep, some respect that you and 'Dre keep things behind closed doors. It seems like you guys are just brothers who have your own interests.
Exactly. That's all it is. There's never been a beef. Never. That's another leaf on the branch of 'Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors.' Never been a beef, at all. We're grown men who started out hip-to-hip since we were 16 years old. We've sold more records than anybody, you feel me? So if we want to branch out after a while...
Next year will be our 20-year anniversary. 20 years. It doesn't seem like that because you've got rappers nowadays blowing up when they're 35 and 36. We've already done it all by the time we were 21 and 22-years old. Our peers are our peers [but] we're younger than some of these ni**as. We might seem like we're older because their parents listened to us. We were teenagers when we started. We got love for everybody but there's a perception of being older because you've been on top for so long. But there's never been any beef. I'm just waiting on him to finish his solo album and we'll see what happens after that. We good. We Gucci.
I loved that you welcomed us to "the house Big Boi and Dre built."
I just love making music. I love people but some people get a certain perception from the outside. You know, again, there are 'Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors': 'It must be a problem. They can't do songs together,' or 'What's going on? They must be mad at each other.' It's none of that, we're just two grown men. We have kids now. We're just raising our kids and doing our thing.
My focus has been primarily music. 'Dre has been focused on film. He just started doing music again, just a couple years ago with guest appearances. So it's nothing but perception. [Perception] is a motherfucker and people that don't know shit are always the ones to talk the most and the bullshit flies a lot of times. One thing I like about Twitter is that you can hear it from the horse's mouth. See somebody lying, you can be like, 'You a lie ni**a. That's some bullshit.'