OutKast principal Big Boi is ramping up for the launch of his Purple Ribbon imprint via Virgin. The first release will be a compilation from the Purple Ribbon All-Stars on Oct. 4, led by the single “Kryptonite” featuring Big Boi, Killer Mike, C-Bone and Rock D. It will be followed later in the fall by new albums from Killer Mike and former Interscope rapper Bubba Sparxxx (“Space Mountain”).
Beyond those acts, Janelle Monet, Scar and Koncrete, Big Boi tells Billboard.com Purple Ribbon has also signed Sleepy Brown and is in the process of securing the services of veteran Southern rap act Goodie Mob. The artist is expected to hold a press conference to discuss the label Friday (Aug. 12) in Atlanta along with Killer Mike, Sparxxx, Brown, Monet, Scar and Koncrete.
“I’m going to try to bring the whole family back together like Voltron,” he says with a laugh.
At Virgin, Big Boi will be working directly with producer/Virgin president of urban music Jermaine Dupri. “It’s cool to have somebody you know in a power position that can make things happen for you in a timely fashion,” Big Boi says of Dupri. “He can push the button real fast. That’s what I’ve been waiting for.”
Indeed, Big Boi has been recording material with the Purple Ribbon stable for the past few years in anticipation of linking with a bigger label. As such, he and his artists have a ton of material either finished or nearly ready to hit the marketplace.
“If I’m not producing with Boom Boom Room Productions, I’m rhyming on a whole bunch of stuff,” he says. “I’m probably on at least two or three songs on each record. Not because I felt obligated to do it, but certain songs I just loved and wanted to be a part of. What better way to promote yourself than promote yourself? On Purple Ribbon, you have a lot of artists, but you have myself, which adds a valuable asset. I’m not charging $100,000 for a verse; my artists get it for free.”
As previously reported, OutKast is planning to reactivate this fall with the Jive release of a soundtrack album to accompany its first film, tentatively titled “My Life in Idlewild.”