Cee Lo's 'Lady Killer' Inspiration: James Bond and Austin Powers
As he rolls out his third solo album, "The Lady Killer," Cee Lo Green is already eyeballing the future of his other musical concerts.
Green tells Billboard.com that there will "absolutely" be a third Gnarls Barkley album, though before that he plans to rejoin his hip-hop troupe Goodie Mob for its first new album since 2004's "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show." "Now that I've got 'The Lady Killer' out of my system, I'm ready to throw on my big jewelry again and do some hip-hop," Green says. "That's what my instincts are telling me, so that's where I'll go, as long as I'm allowed. So Goodie Mob, and then Gnarls Barkley, but I'll probably kind of be recording them concurrent."
"The Lady Killer," however, will also be keeping Green busy for the near future. He says the old school soul-flavored set, preceded by the viral sensation "F*** You," is a deliberate attempt to return to "a lighter side" of his musical makeup after the more serious tones of Gnarls Barkley, with a cinematic model in mind.
"I sent some signals out to some producers I worked with and basically started by saying I wanted to sound like a big, black James Bond," Green recalls. "I thought 'The Lady Killer' sounded edgy and elegant at the same time. So I wanted something like James Bond, but like Barry White would do it." French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg was also an influence on the set, Green notes -- but so was Mike Myers' Austin Powers character.
"I felt like, high up on the list that almost every woman has for things she wants in a man, a sense of humor is one of the first things,"" he explains. "I kind of referenced Austin Powers, too, a bit of sense of humor to it. Hence the song, 'F*** You.' It's kind of all meant to be tongue-in-cheek and funny and charming."
Green says he's "pleasantly surprised" by the ride "F*** You" has had since its online release, and he was particularly flattered by William Shatner's rendition of it on TBS' "Lopez Tonight" earlier this month. "That was awesome," says Green, who also made a clean version of the song called "Forget You." "I mean, they won't even let me say 'f*** you' on TV; now I get the chance to go back with a lot more bargaining power with these next performances I have to do. I would rather say 'f*** you' each and every time.
"But to have someone as legendary and iconic as William Shatner do the song...I'm like, come on, man. I was a child when 'Star Trek' came out, so that is so awesome. And for another one of my idols, Billy Idol, to do a cover of 'Crazy'...What can I truly say? I'm totally amazed. What a strange, wonderful life I have."
Green has a full slate of appearances slated to promote "The Lady Killer," including "Good Morning America," the 2010 Soul Train Awards, "The Ellen Degeneres Show," BET's "106th and Park, "Chelsea Lately, and Fuse's "The Record" and "A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus." Meanwhile, actress Gwyneth Paltrow will perform "Forget You" on the Nov. 16 episode of "Glee."
As for tour plans, Green only promises that "if things keep going the way that they are, I'm probably gonna be in a city near you some time very soon."