Big Boi is back in a big way indeed, and not just for his string of Outkast reunion tour dates this summer: the Atlanta-raised rapper has announced a new deal with Epic Records for his next solo record.
"I'm back with [Antonio] L.A. Reid and Sylvia Rhone. Got a brand new situation," he tells Huffington Post of the deal, which he signed the day after Outkast's first Coachella date on April 12. A release date has not yet been set for Big Boi's forthcoming solo effort, which follows 2012's "Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors," but he said new material would likely drop this summer.
"The album I'm not gonna rush," said Big Boi (born Antwan Andre Patton). "I wanted to put something out before the end of the year. It depends, because me and Dre got a lot of work to do from now until the end of October. [But] you're definitely going to get some brand new Big Boi material. Two or three singles before the fall."
Of Reid, who signed Big Boi to his LaFace Records in 1992 and then to Island Def Jam when Outkast went on hiatus in the mid-'00s, Patton says, "That's my mentor. He understands my music. And one thing about L.A. Reid, there are no creative restraints. He trusts my ear and let's me make the music I want to make. We love being in business together. That's my big brother."
This news follows Big Boi's new deal with Jordan Feldstein's Career Artist Management, announced in March. "Jordan is a go-getter, mover and shaker, and my kind of guy," Big Boi said in a statement. "I love his energy. We have a lot of new material and content coming this year, and can't wait to get things started."