While out on the road in support of his newest album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, OutKast’s own Big Boi made a stop at the New Era flagship store in Los Angeles this past Saturday for a listening party of the album and to present a collaborative project between himself and the renowned hat company. With Killer Mike, his mother, and a number of PR people, photographers and entourage surrounding us, we were able to sit down for a few moments with the legendary ATLien before he stepped out for a meet and greet with the fans, who had been lined up outside the store since early in the day. Read on below to find out what Daddy Fat Sacks has to say about raps, caps and all the information we have to deal with on the daily.
One of the things that stands out is the influence the indie scene has on the album. You’ve said that this comes from playing alongside these groups recently in festivals. Was there a moment that you realized, ‘Man, I want to try this sound out for myself’?
Not really. I mean I experiment with all kinds of sounds. It’s just some of my favorite groups and I just want to jam with them, you know what I’m saying? When I make music everything is on the table. There’s nothing off-limits.
Definitely, yeah. Phantogram, Little Dragon.
A lot of times album titles don’t get the attention they deserve, considering they can set the tone of the project before even pressing play. In this aspect, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is a pretty heavy title. Is this a theme you had in mind from the beginning or was it something that just progressed as the album came together?
I think it kind of progressed as the album came together. This album to me is the search for the truth. There’s a lot of fantasy going on out here and you really can’t believe everything you hear. Even the mainstream media news. To kind of get the real news and get the real gist of what’s going on in the world, you got to get out there and find it because they’re not about to tell you. So I’m somewhat bucking the system and just trying to get people to be independent thinkers. Don’t rely on CNN, Fox and all those people to give them news.
So the title isn’t just referring to things going on in your personal life? It’s more of a general thing?
In general, life, with it being the age of information, there’s so much information out there that you can find out anything from pet grooming to fitness to gardening – you just gotta go find it yourself. You can’t just rely on the government or the mainstream media, which is controlled by three corporations, to give you what’s going on cause they’re really just programming you to think a certain type of way.
Do you see those three corporations trying to influence your own music when working on a project?
No they can’t influence me. The only thing they can do is not play it because they don’t want people to get the truth, you know what I’m saying? That’s why they play the same 3-4 songs on the radio all day. Talking about what?
It’s kind of hard finding a picture of you without a hat so it seems pretty natural that you would do a collaboration with New Era. How did that all come about?
Actually through Ryan and Eddie. They were kind of watching me and what I’ve been doing. I’ve been a fan of New Era for a minute. It just made sense you know? They put the creative together and voila! We got the Braves hat, the Vicious Braves. Dope man, these guys make things happen.
When it comes to hip-hop style, hats are pretty much on par with sneakers. Do you treat them about the same? Wear them maybe once or twice? Keep them fresh?
It depends, cause I sweat a lot. If I wear one at a show, you can’t wear a dark colored one because you sweat it out and the next day it look like someone sprinkled salt all over your hat. You gotta wear like a gray one or something like that. I need to get one of those machines they got at New Era so I can kind of press it back out.
Do you even know how many hats you own?
It’s a lot! It’s a whole lot. I’m talking about the hundreds. They scattered. They scattered everywhere man. They’re in my suitcases, my radio bag. I got the New Era zip up case. I got hats stuffed everywhere. I need that machine though, the press machine, to press them out.
So this album just came out a few months ago but any other projects in the works?
Right now just touring, spreading the word on the record. Still recording, we got the mobile studio out here on the road, I just did a song with Killer Mike and El-P called “Banana Clip.” Me and Killer Mike got a project we’re working on right now as well. Just really staying in the zone and we’re probably going to tour until the end of the year. Just really campaigning as if we were running for president. We’re playing packed houses every night and just rocking from coast to coast. To the fans, don’t get worried if we didn’t come to your city this time, there’s going to be a second leg of the tour before we head to Europe to hit all the cities we missed. I think we’re on 28 or something like that. We’re doing about 47 on the first leg, so we’re about halfway there.
Any last words for the fans?
HYPETRAK we know about ya! Fo sho! I wanna give a special shout out to my mom who’s here with me just hanging out, believe that. It’s a family affair. One time for Eddie and Ryan at New Era. See y’all in Atlanta. We out man.