Even at 42 years old, Big Boi is still rapping with the passion he had back in his Outkast days. The rapper/producer/mogul wants it to be known he has been taking the same approach to making music since the beginning. After just releasing his new album, Boomiverse, Big Boi sat down with MTV News to discuss it, along with his relationship with the recently deceased Prodigy and the upcoming 15-year anniversary of Outkast’s double album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
“I’m all about positive energy, you know what I’m saying? And from the first album [Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik], our goal has always been to be on the outskirts of what’s going on,” Big Boi recently told MTV News correspondent Meredith Graves. “Our records tend to flourish and grow and touch the people organically. There is no fluff. Nobody has to push a button for it to go, you know what I mean? The people discover it, they show up at the concerts by the thousands, and we rock them.”
The absolute banger “Kill Jill,” featuring Killer Mike and Jeezy, is one of the album’s standout tracks — from the haunting opening sample courtesy of Hatsune Miku and Aura Qualic to the quintessential Jeezy hook. Big Boi also talked about how teaming up and making music is all about evolution.
“One night at the studio, Killer Mike showed up, beating on the door, and he was like, ‘I got this song, I’m gonna play it, but you gotta let me get on it with you.’ I’m like, sure, and he played it, and it was just a wrap from there,” Big Boi said. “The beat, once the track dropped and hit, the contrast of her voice and the 808, just made for something horrifically beautiful that made us just want to attack the track.”
The record’s biggest surprises are its features. Listeners get a taste of everything with tracks featuring Snoop Dogg, Gucci Mane, and even the late, legendary Pimp C. “Just the marriage of the two voices together, mine and [Pimp C’s], creates something sonically that is real down south,” Big Boi said.
As the album allows a younger generation of fans to be introduced to the works of older artists, Big Boi talked about the death of Prodigy and the special connection he and Andre 3000 had with Mobb Deep.
Big Boi helped lay the groundwork down for southern rap, and it’s exciting to see him pushing forward and evolving, not stopping or staying stagnant. You can listen to Boomiverse in full below.
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