Big Boi of OutKast Talks His New Album and Why Andre 3000 Isn't on It

Speaking of acting, you did a good job in ATL. Any other acting gigs in the future?
Yeah definitely. I've just been turning roles down because of I just love music the most. But I have to go read for Colin Farrell when I get home.

Do you regret turning any of the acting jobs down?
Oh, man. Yeah. I had never heard of Sons Of Anarchy before, and they wanted me to play a recurring role for six months or so. I was supposed to be some big-time dude, I think his name is Pope or whatever. But I was in the middle of this album, and I was like, "I can't really do this right now." My brother was looking at me like, "You're crazy right now," but that's how strong my love is for the music.

So let's talk label bullshit. Last album Laface was fronting on clearing Andre 3000. Is that still the case?
No, that's all cleared up now. He could've been on any song he wanted to. I gave the motherfucker about five songs, but I guess he was just too busy. He said he had to do some Gillette shit [room erupts in laughter]. No for real. He said he had some contractual obligations.

OK. So what happened with Little Dragon's former label not clearing them for "Mama Said"?
Well, they left their original label and signed to Universal, so it was like bad blood between Universal and Peace Frog. So when it came time to negotiate clearance it didn't go so well. But they're still on the album, and Kelly Rowland is just singing the lyrics Yukimi wrote.

So last thing: "For Your Sorrow" was my shit on the last album.
Mine too, that was my favorite song, hands down. I still play that.

Me, too. At least a few times a week. My question, though, is how do you keep coming up with these formulas for such timeless music?
To me, the secret is that the shit is fun to me. Finding a new groove to make a new song, that shit is fun. When you get the beat right, and then the hooks and the bridges and the lyrics and it all comes together, it's like this feeling that you get like you hit the jackpot. I can only describe it as trying to unlock the combination to a safe. Once you get inside it, boom.

Yeah but that doesn't ever wane a bit and leave you stressed and overwhelmed trying to match and even outdo what you did the album prior?
Hell yeah, hell yeah. Last album I was like, "I don't now how I'm finna do this shit again," but it's been like that since Southernplayalistic . . . When in doubt, you just gotta go to work.

Village Voice