Cee Lo Green Is 'In' For Dungeon Family Tour

CeeLo Green
Patrick Hoelck

CeeLo Green 

Rap supergroup's 'Even in Darkness' celebrates 15th anniversary with a special vinyl album reissue on Friday.

One of the most seminal moments in Southern hip-hop occurred on Nov. 20, 2001. That's when rap supergroup Dungeon Family released Even in Darkness. The album featured such memorable tracks as "Trans DF Express" and "6 Minutes (Dungeon Family It's On)."

And what a power-packed collective it was. The group's members ranged from OutKast's Big Boi and Andre 3000 to Goodie Mob's Big Gipp, Khujo, T-Mo and Cee Lo Green, Killer Mike, Backbone and Slimm Calhoun. At the nucleus: Rico Wade, Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown aka the slamming production team Organized Noize.

Earlier this year, the trio's versatile skill set and impact were spotlighted in the Netflix documentary The Art of Organized Noize, executive produced by Queen Latifah and directed by Quincy Jones III.

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Dungeon Family's sole project, Sony Music's Legacy Recordings is reissuing a special vinyl pressing of the two-album set Friday. Then, on Saturday, the Dungeon Family and Organized Noize will reunite at ONE Musicfest 2016 at Atlanta's Lakewood Amphitheatre. Even in Darkness can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Taking time out between various DJ gigs and developing projects under his Mothership Entertainment Group banner, "lifelong Dungeon Family member" Cee Lo Green reminisced with Billboard.

Fondest Dungeon Family memory: Back then, we were doing these large collective recording sessions where we'd all be recording in the same booth -- as opposed to people sitting out in the couch area or listening in the sound room. We'd all be sleeping on the floor in the booth, doing verses and adding various nuances to the backgrounds. You would have to see a visual but those were funny moments. Everyone was a bunch of jokesters. There was camaraderie among everyone. It's a missed aspect that was essential to what we were able to create while producing in that environment.

Favorite track: I think my favorite might be "Crooked Booty" because it was dope and an unearthly production. It was definitely catchy. We were open to each other's ideas and suggestions -- throw it at the wall to see what sticks. The crooked booty was a dance. As I would usually do, I would psycho-babble, taking a kind of abstract eccentric approach to give it some sensibility, some theory if you will. My part was to make sure people understood where we were coming from. I also liked "Trans DF Express." It was groovy. A lot of the time, tracks were being built as we were sitting around. We didn't go through a series of readymade ideas or tracks. We built tracks from the ground up. We were part of the process.

The Dungeon Family legacy: We have an opportunity to remind, refurbish and rebrand the Dungeon Family with this performance on the 10th. There's a bit of nervous energy around it because we haven't done this in a while. Some of us haven't even seen each other in years. There are a lot of working parts that need to function properly. If we nail it, the possibilities are endless as to what we can do creatively. The rest of the book is still being written.

Potential of doing shows in other cities: It's too early to say if we'll do this again. There could be a lot of wishful thinking that could possibly result in a tour of some sort. We'll see. That being said, I'm a loyal and devout soldier here to play my part. As a lifelong Dungeon Family member, I'm in.




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