Goodie Mob previewed several selections from its forthcoming Age Against The Machine album at an exclusive listening event in Los Angeles yesterday (June 5). Cee Lo, Big Gipp, T-Mo and Khujo all answered questions about their first album in 14 years during a 90-minute Q&A session.
As has been the case throughout Goodie Mob's career, the Atlanta-based quartet raps extensively about socital issues, racial dynamics and male-female relationships on its new album, which is due August 27. The up-tempo song "White Power" features Cee Lo reimagining the concept, something he said was "a black perspective on white power." During the Q&A session, Cee Lo said that Eminem almost appeared on track, but changed his mind. "I could've sworn Eminem would've done this song with me," said Cee Lo, who added that Eminem's "newly found Christianity" may have been the reason why he didn't appear on the song. "I thought he would eat the controversy up, but it was kind of hard for me to address it as a white rapper, me being black. But my black perspective on white power was my relationship with him."
Goodie Mob Details T.I. Collaboration On Age Against The Machine
On of the few artists who appears on Age Against The Machine is T.I. He's featured on "Pinstripes" and references the Goodie Mob's breakthrough single, 1995's "Cell Therapy," in his verse. Given that T.I. is also from Atlanta, Goodie Mob said it was particularly special to collaborate with him. "We love him," Cee Lo said regarding T.I. "He's our son. He's also our peer and he's one of our kings as well."
"I'm Set" and "Kolors" explore the impact gang culture have had on American society. "Gipp, you wanna talk about your gang affiliations?" Cee Lo asked Big Gipp once the discussion turned to "Kolors." Gipp, who grew up in Georgia, said he knew about the Los Angeles-based Bloods and Crips gangs through music, but became more familiar with them once he toured in the mid-1990s with Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound, whose members are Crips and typically wear blue. Bloods typically wear red, as Gipp has done throughout his career. "Now, in 2013, gang culture has taken over America," he said. "The gang culture, we never knew it would be that strong and manifest itself in the South. "
Gipp, who said that his distinctive fashion sense was inspired by watching professional wrestling while growing up, also said that he and the rest of the Goodie Mob follow old school principles. "We live by the G-Code," Big Gipp. "We from the G-Code era. The Holy War is between those who will follow and those who will lead."
The group campaigns for individuality on "Special Education," which features Janelle Monae and was produced by Young Fyre. "I'd rather die than not be distinguished," Cee Lo said last night, repeating a portion of his lyrics from the song.
"Amy" recounts Cee Lo's first relationship with a white woman. "It shouldn't even be a taboo," Cee Lo said. "So if you're mad, you're probably a racist." He added that the track "Radio Killa" is like "a trailer to an action movie" and that "Understanding" explains how "a mistress wants to be a wife without all of the responsibility."
Goodie Mob appeared in 1994 on the OutKast cuts "Call Of Da Wild" and "Git Up, Git Out." The quartet released Soul Food, its debut album, the following year. The LP contained a groundbreaking mix of social commentary, humor and lyricism. Goodie Mob also coined the term "Dirty South" with the song of the same name and helped introduce New World Order discussion in rap on its hit single "Cell Therapy."
The group's second album, 1998's Still Standing, featured extensive edutainment on the singles "They Don't Dance No Mo'," "Black Ice" and "Beautiful Skin." Goodie Mob took an extended hiatus after the 1999 release of its third album, World Party.
On Age Against The Machine, the Goodie Mob addresses its musical legacy and the impact of its extended Dungeon Family group of artists, which includes OutKast, on the song "Father." "The significance of 'Father' is for the youngsters to realize, without us, there is no them," Big Gipp says. "When you see Kendrick Lamar, you hear Andre 3000. When you see Drake, that's Cee Lo. When you see me, you see Trinidad [James]."