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Andre 3000 might be spending his summer dressing up as Jimi Hendrix, but his Outkast pal Big Boi has been busy putting together a new album. Titled Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors, the project will be released on November 13; yesterday, Big Boi holed up in a Manhattan recording studio to host a listening session. Here are seven nuggets SOTC gleaned from the playback—one of which is a startling revelation about Big Boi’s cheese habit.
1. Big Boi Hearts The ’80s!
“Apple Of My Eye,” produced by Mr. DJ, is a super-uptempo, potentially chart-topping pop number, while “Mama Told Me,” which features Little Dragon, starts out doing a good impression of a melancholy version of Janet Jackson’s “Escapade.” The chorus to “Lies” also brings to mind the hook of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.”
2. The Album Has A Computer Theme
Well, sort of. Explaining the concept behind the project, Big Boi said that it was to do with “the search for the truth” in an era controlled by social media networks. The song “C.P.U.” backs up his claim; Phantogram’s Sarah Barthel sings a chorus that includes the possibly stalker-ish sentiment, “It’s you that’s on my computer screen/ ‘Cause it’s you that’s on my mind.” For his part, Big Boi reveals that he likes to schmooze a lady by putting on some Coldplay. Although his home-cooked candle-lit dinner might be a bit of a disaster, as he also raps about “cracking like an egg yolk.” Which, you know, isn’t really possible.
3. A$AP Rocky, Big K.R.I.T. And Bun B Guest Star
“Gossip,” the street single for the album, contains guest verses from Big K.R.I.T. (who talks about cooking chicken in a skillet) and Bun B (who politely tells an imaginary foe to stick his middle finger up their bum). Big Boi’s hook-up with A$AP Rocky, the Organized Noize-produced “Lies,” has the young Harlem rap chap in cocky spirits. (On the sort-of-rapper tip, Kid Cudi also guests on “She Hates Me.”)
4. Big Boi Loves Kate Bush
Answering a few quick questions after the music had stopped, Big Boi revealed that his two favorite artists of all time are Bob Marley and Kate Bush (in that order). He added that the collaboration with Little Dragon came about after hearing Andre 3000 bumping their last album at his house, while his hook-up with Sarah Barthel happened after he Shazammed one of the band’s songs while it was playing in a commercial. Futuristic friends!
Big Boi feat. UGK and Big K.R.I.T., “Gossip”
5. Big Boi Might Be The New Baby Jesus
During his verse on the song “Lies” Big Boi declares that he’s “like the baby in the manger/ I gave myself to Jesus.” (It sort of rhymes as he pronounces Jesus the Spanish way.) His 2012 Christmas card could spark a right ol’ controversy.
6. Big Boi Can Still Rap Darn Well
Big Boi’s high-octane tirade on “Gossip” might be the standout verse on the album, at least in terms of bewildering rap skills, but the snazziest line comes on the opener, where he boasts that he’s “beaucoup out of my noodle with this pen.” No disagreement here.
7. Big Boi Has Suspect Taste In Cheese
To compliment the listening session, Big Boi’s people had laid out a platter of fruit and a cheese plate. There were six different types of cheese on offer, but none really excelled: there was a watery brie, a bland monterey jack with pepper, and some strange, suspiciously white cubes that were definitely not mozzarella. They all tasted like someone had picked up a variety pack of Cabot from the local Key Food. It’s as if Big Boi has never heard of five-year cave-aged gruyere!