Big Boi

By David Tse

On tour to generate buzz for his upcoming solo album Sir Luscious Left Foot and an upcoming Outkast album, Big Boi, with his Southern swagger, caught up with SoulMatters for a quick interview. The Grammy-award-winning artist was backstage after his performance last month at Rock the Bells in Toronto when it all went down.

SoulMatters: You know how a high-school coach might tell his players that once you make it to the end zone, you have to act like you’ve been there before?
Big Boi: Right.

SMM: It’s a pleasure.
BB: [Laughs] Thank you. Thank you.

SMM: So, everyone asks about Big Boi, the artist. I want to know about Big Boi, the human being.
BB: Actually, you know I’m just a really humble guy who has been blessed enough and gifted. I’ve been given the gift from the man upstairs to do music and that's what makes me tick. Outside of music, I'm a father. I’m also a bowler. I breed dogs—it’s been pit bull terriers for about 15 years now. I'm really just trying to stay on a positive vibe and live life.

SMM: Which celebrity gives you the most competition in bowling?
BB: I'd have to say that damn Evander Holyfield. We have the Ryan Cameron Celebrity bowling tournament in Atlanta like, every year. And it’s usually me and Holyfield [in the finals]. I mean I've won it like 3 out of the last 5 years. I’m the reigning champion. I’m in a league too. When I'm not on the road or doing shows, I’m in the league. It’s a cool league with a bunch of college kids and things like that. We bowl on Wednesdays for about 13 weeks and we just have fun.

SMM: Now, about your musical self: what song made you fall in love with hip-hop?
BB: One of the songs that made me fall in love with hip-hop I would have to say was "Fat Boys are Back". I just love the Fat Boys, man. Back before that, I would have to say "Rock Box". My father was actually in the military and he used to have the old Rock Camaro and I remember him letting me drive in his lap, just busting down the street! Run-D.M.C. on Martin Luther King Blvd. in Savannah, Georgia.

SMM: What should people expect from your upcoming album?
BB: The vibe is basically just all me. It's a follow up to Speakerboxxx. If you have Speakerboxxx, all of you know what ya'll are doing. It's straight emceeing. The beats are stupid. The song concepts are great. I got a couple features here and there and I’m sprinkling a few extra ingredients in the stew. But the album is crazy and I can’t wait to give it to people. I know people have been waiting patiently.

SMM: So after the party, it’s the after party.
BB: Right.

SMM: And after the after party, it’s the hotel lobby. What’s after that? I’ve never been invited.
BB: [Laughs] After the hotel lobby is usually some dome, some gold old Georgia dome—back in the day! Now I might be playing backgammon or checkers or something. Fa sho! [laughs]

SMM: So, last question: do you smoke?
BB: Do I smoke? What do you mean? No, I might smoke some chicken or smoke tilapia on the grill. [laughs] I have children. I can't do that. Are you the feds?! I’m just fucking with you, cooling man. Ya'll be good.

SMM: Believe it or not, that’s not the first time I’ve been asked that. Thank you.
BB: Thank you, guys.