Pitchfork profile: Big Boi

A&E got invited into the hip-hop mogul’s Pitchfork trailer to discuss his relation to Indie music, his evolution as a rap star and his knack for getting fans to “show their racks.”

by Mark Brenden

When the Pitchfork 2010 lineup was unleashed, one name surged above the storms of hype surrounding Pavement’s reunion and LCD Soundsystem’s potentially career-ending victory lap. That name was Sir Lucious Left Foot, known in your living rooms as Big Boi.

The easygoing grapnel of early-oughts megaduo Oukast has been an unlikely Golden Boy in the Pitchfork circle of late. The pitbull-breeding party rhymer who used to make clubs rattle in Hotlanta is now making skinny white boys teem with unbridled admiration in their brazenly not-crunk bedrooms.

His newest, most deliciously titled LP “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty” is enjoying flattering reviews and is taking the Robin to Andre 3000’s Batman behind the wheel of the Batmobile. A&E was invited into the ATLien’s personal trailer for a chat.

In person, Big Boi is just as you’d expect him to be: a textbook rock star. He responds to questions with routine eloquence. His eyes are sharp with fame-made confidence. He is always moving. He is the center of everyone’s vantage point.

He smokes his Black-and-Mild anywhere he pleases and nobody fans the smoke. You can see why the man comes to expect a “lotta rack showin'” on his call.

What’s it like to doing hip-hop at a primarily Indie Rock festival?

It’s good, man; it’s always a wild show. We’ve done it before throughout the years, whether it be like out in Ireland at the Cornfield Festivals, things like that. There’s a lot crowd surfin’ goin’ on, ya know, it’s all about a good time. I don’t really like the relaxed shows, so these types of shows âÄî the outdoors, lotta people havin’ fun, spillin’ they beer, people fallin’ on the ground and shit, showin’ their tits. You can say, “Show ya rack; and they gonna show them mother [expletives].”

You gonna try that tonight?

We gonna do it. Lotta rack showin’ goin’ on.

What about your brand of hip-hop do you think appeals to the “Indie” contingent?

I think the brand of hip-hop, the kind of music we make as a squad transcends hip-hop. It’s hip-hop, but it’s also funk-bass, rock, blues, jazz, everything all rolled into one. People gon’ respect music. It’s all about feelin’ and how music makes ya feel. It hits ya in a certain place or it makes ya move or it just makes ya feel a certain way. So I think they gon’ dig it.

How has it been different being a rock star in 2010 as compared to, say, 2002?

I guess in this day and age vs. when we started … the music has come such a long way, ya know? It’s global and it’s strong, like one of the strongest forces in music, so to be able to get out here and still rock âÄî ’cause there’s different artists out now. But the thing about it is, a lot of artists sound exactly the same or rap exactly the same or sing exactly the same on their records. One thing we pride ourselves on is sounding different on every song. No two records on our album sound alike. No two verses on a record sound alike. And we take pride in that.