The city of Dallas might be abuzz with excitement over Super Bowl XLV, but Big Boi remains as chill as ever. Just minutes before his performance at Thursday night's (Feb. 3) EA Sports Madden Bowl, the rapper/producer spoke to Billboard.com about football, video games and new music from the comfort of his hotel room just outside the Texas capital.
"I'm a 'Madden [NFL]' fan," says Big Boi, who co-headlined the event, essentially a video game showdown between actual NFL football players, with Cee Lo Green. "I had a chance to participate in Madden Gras in New Orleans. They saw how I destroyed the House of Blues. Being on the tour bus...we jump on the 'Madden' just like that."
When he's not on the virtual gridiron -- where, he says, he enjoys playing either as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots or his hometown Atlanta Falcons -- Big Boi is keeping busy with new music. The 36-year-old says he's "five or six songs deep" into his next album, the follow-up to 2010's acclaimed "Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty."
"I'm in the studio working on some new material, producing a couple records for outside artists and on tour," he explains. "I'm booked up until September. While I'm not on the road I'm in the studio, rockin' shows and droppin' flow."
Big Boi's touring plans in 2011 still include a "Georgia Power" joint tour with Cee Lo, but he says the details of the trek are still coming together. "I think they're just trying to work out the kinks behind the scenes," he explains. "I know one thing -- we might have the change the name of it, because the actual Georgia Power company sent a cease-and-desist letter, so we can't use the name."
On plans for an OutKast reunion, however, Big Boi is still predictably mum. "Top secret," is all he'll say. "Stay tuned."
As for Sunday's Super Bowl championship game between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, Big Boi does have his own prediction, and it's one with which Lil Wayne will probably disagree. "I'm gonna go with the Steelers," he says. "Defense wins the game, and the Steelers got a stupid defense. That boy (Mike Tomlin) ain't no punk."