Last Thursday afternoon, we saw Cee-Lo Green looking normal for once. The man who has dressed up as characters from "Star Wars" to a Trojan soldier to an airplane pilot — and that's just for his run with Gnarls Barkley — had on a T-shirt and jeans. He was chillin'.
That night, however, he was wearing all black down to his false, witch-like fingernails. And don't forget the huge cognac goblet he walked around with — so huge it looked like a baby boy could lay in it as comfortably as he would in his mother's womb. After all, Cee-Lo needed to wear something spectacular just to blend in with the yellow-brick roads, goons dressed as Beetlejuice and an assortment of fly hip-hop personalities, pop stars and actors.
Atlanta probably hadn't seen a party as eye-grabbing as this one in a minute.
"I am a special feature," Lo said with a smile about the party. The bash was called "Le Cirque de Fantastique," and as the singing half of Gnarls Barkley revealed, it was "for the real, the rich, the ravishing and the risqué."
"It's a beautiful process," he said about the function. "You have to go through a ceremonial march to be introduced in and invited in. Sight, sound, spectacle, sincerity, sexuality — all that good stuff."
Even Cee-Lo himself, the guest of honor for the night, had to make the pledge "I do promise to have fun" before being allowed to enter.
Jazze Pha, Jagged Edge, Gwen Stefani, Yung Joc, Big Boi, Sleepy Brown and actress Terri J. Vaughn ("The Steve Harvey Show") all came out to help Cee-Lo celebrate the birth of his new label, Radiculture Records (see "Gnarls Barkley Gear Up For An Even Crazier '07: Peppers Tour, New LP"). There was a main party held at Lambert's Place then an afterparty at Lotus Lounge.
"There's nothing less than spectacular when it comes to these two," the always-decked-out Pha said about himself and Cee-Lo as the friends came across each other outside of Lambert's. "You should expect no less from this man. The accolades are immeasurable."
"He's hubba-bubbalicious," Cee-Lo shot back about Jazze. "This is joyous."
Earlier in the night, Cee-Lo said that he definitely wants his label to be known for artistry. "We are looking forward to encouraging and endorsing the same individualism we revel in," he said about what he wants to accomplish. "Our slogan is 'We don't compete, we coexist.' We want to create options and alternatives as far as urban music is concerned — as far as music is concerned in general. We would like to be that vehicle. That is our mission. Balance — that's what we need."
The Green soul machine and his business partner, KC Morton, secured a deal to distribute their label through Atlantic Records, and the duo already have an eclectic mix of upstarts. There's a female MC by the name of Shakur (no relation to Tupac); another rapper named AK; two pop acts, Jewla and Honeymoon; R&B singer Ed Lewis; and a world-music group called the Good Time Guys, or GTG for short.
Besides working on all the projects under his umbrella, the Grammy winner said he's simultaneously recording his next solo LP and the follow-up to Gnarls Barkley's platinum debut, St. Elsewhere. No dates are concrete yet, but it looks as if Gnarls will be coming first. Lo's camp said the singer and Danger Mouse are eyeing a September release date.
"It's going very well," Cee-Lo said of the Barkley album. "We are well into it, and it's turning out to be pretty damn good. What else can I say?"
Well, you can tell us what's up with that long-talked-about Goodie Mob reunion. We've been hearing about it for years.
He didn't have too many details about the project, but he did promise that the album is still in the works and all the members are onboard. He also said to look forward to him rapping again on that project.