Big Boi On Working With Phantogram and Why He Muted You On Twitter

Big Boi photo courtesy of Def Jam.

When Big Boi steps inside Stankonia Studios, he surrounds himself with reminders of what OutKast accomplished: the gold, platinum and diamond-certified records, plus official Idlewild portraits. So even on November 27, before the Atlanta rap veteran previewed his second solo album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, his peers couldn’t help but to draw comparisons to his past. “It’s like Stankonia without ’Dre,” said Go Dreamer, one half of production duo the Flush. Big Boi’s lawyer nodded in agreement. But as the album’s tracklist indicates, Big Boi felt inspired to look beyond Stankonia and his past with Andre 3000 for new possibilities — to people he stumbled across at festivals, radio station headquarters and even via a pop-up ad. Immediately before he previewed Vicious Lies, Big Boi spoke with Hive about his major-label relations, Twitter and how such connections helped create his second solo album.

“My Twitter timeline — it’s like when motherfuckers be putting flyers on your car when you’re at the club, in the parking lot. It’s just ridiculous. I have to mute so many people, because they keep sending me their song.”

Do you remember the first song that you wrote for this record?

The first song I wrote for this record was “Mama Told Me.” Actually, it was on the night that the tsunami hit Japan. That’s why it starts: “As the world shakes/ Unharmed, ’Twan calm in the middle of the storm, flow tsunami, ring the alarm …” We were just over here, safe and watching it happen in Japan, and it was like, “Damn.” It’s just about being grateful, to be somewhere where you’re not in that much destruction. It’s a reminder that you’re just a small part of this planet, and anytime your ass could be out of here.

It’s funny, because now Hurricane Sandy also comes to mind.

Exactly. You just gotta be thankful for your family and the fact that you are still able to move and maneuver through life, without being interrupted in a major way like that.

What’s your relationship like between you and your mom?

That’s my buddy. That’s my girl. I’m the oldest out of five kids, and my mom’s an Aquarius just like me. So she’s cool. She’s here, actually. She’s supportive, and she’s worked hard to sustain us and instill values in us, to be productive citizens and to love one another. To put family and God first, that’s my motto.

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