Big Boi’s 25 favourite albums of all time
(Credit: NRK P3)


Big Boi's 25 favourite albums of all time

Big Boi’s career has been a progressive and interesting one with many twists and turns. However, as one half of the iconic duo Outkast, the emcee (real name Antwan Patton) still raises intrigue in music circles, and as a solo artist, his material retains the quality it did in the 1990s.

Big Boi had a strange yet exciting rise to fame. With his origins firmly rooted in the early 1990s, he formed Outkast with André 3000 when Atlanta became a newly established hip-hop hub. With New York and Los Angeles-based acts running the charts, the ’90s saw the rise of the south, and OutKast assembled as a new wave of creatives began to emerge from the Georgia city.

From ATLiens to Aquemini, Stakonia and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, the growth and evolution of Outkast saw their experimental Southern soul-infused music soar up the charts until, eventually, the pair became unstoppable. Both André 3000 and Big Boi were producers, so their art was extremely representative of their own influences.

That said, in 2013, following the release of his sophomore solo project, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Patton sat down for an in-depth interview with Complex, during which he detailed his 25 favourite albums and their impact on him. You can see his favourite projects below and read why he loves them so much.

Big Boi’s 25 favourite albums of all time

25. Funkadelic – Cosmic Slop, (1973)

“All the Funkadelic albums were kind of scattered, and they were like abstract funk. Just to hear them build on the songs, from ‘Cosmic Slop’ on down. The instrumentation on the records were just crazy. And the music is just free-forming. And he has some of the dopest album covers ever!”

“I grew up on this. My grandmother listened to everything from Funkadelic to The Police to Bob Marley. She would send us to the store to go buy 45s every weekend, and we’d buy whatever the new record that was out for her. And she’d play that shit and wash clothes and clean the house and take care of us. I was exposed to a lot of music. That’s why I can use everything, because I hear everything for what it is. If it’s dope, it’s dope.”

24. Bootsy’s Rubber Band – Ahh… The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! (1977)

23. Marvin Gaye – Here My Dear, (1978)

22. Kate Bush – The Dreaming, (1982)

21. Michael Jackson – Thriller, (1982)

20. Slick Rick – The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, (1988)

“He was one of my favorite MCs coming up. I had that tape as well. I might’ve been in the 5th or 6th grade or something like that, and he was just the coolest rapper on the planet. Him and Big Daddy Kane were just the coolest guys ever. And not just for the roast. He spit game. He was one of the greatest storytellers of all time, when it comes to hip-hop music. And that was just a great record. You could visualize the words and things he was saying. He was so cool. I’m all about the cool shit.

“Yeah, he was on ‘Da Art of Storytellin” remix, and then me and him did ‘Street Talkin” for his record. We were like, ‘Who better to get on this remix than the greatest ever to tell a story?’ And we did it, recorded it, went out to L.A. to shoot the video, and everybody had fur coats to the floor. I had my hair permed-out, pressed down flat like a pimp, ya’ feel me? That was a real good time. We had the puppets in the video, too. It was real good. They tried to charge me 40 goddamn thousand dollars for one of them puppets.”

19. New Edition – Heart Break, (1988)

18. 2 Live Crew – As Nasty As They Wanna Be, (1989)

17. Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever, (1989)

16. A Tribe Called Quest – People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, (1990)

15. Tony! Toni! Tone! – The Revival, (1990)

“This is like from my high school days. Funny story about that one. Remember when you used to get eight CDs for a penny, and shit like that? Well, what me and Dre used to do, is we used to order those shits and send them to the next door neighbor’s house, and get all them shits out the box when they came to their house. [Laughs.]That’s how I got a lot of my earlier CDs. For real, X-Clan, and all kind of shit. And that was one of the records I got from that [scheme].

“That was a dope ass album. From ‘It Never Rains (In Southern California),’ to ‘I Care.’ There are so many good songs on that album. Lot of slow jams. And to me, those boys were talented. And Raphael Saadiq is still doing his thing and putting out dope records, too. There are some people that really enjoy making music, and you can tell [he’s one of them].”

14. N.W.A – Niggaz4Life, (1991)

13. Cypress Hill – Cypress Hill, (1991)

12. Dr. Dre – The Chronic, (1992)

11. Various Artists – Boomerang (Soundtrack), (1992)

10. The Isley Brothers – Beautiful Ballads, (1994)

9. Mobb Deep – The Infamous, (1995)

8. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Natural Mystic: The Legend Lives On, (1995)

7. Dungeon Family – Even In Darkness, (2001)

6. Kate Bush – Aerial, (2005)

5. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, (2009)

“Once again, I got into Phoenix from when I saw a live performance of the song ‘Lisztomania’ on MTV. And that song just makes you feel really good. Music is supposed to make you feel a certain type of way. And how he sang it, and the progression of the bass line and the song, it’s a beautiful record. So when I saw that song, I Shazamed it, and it took me to the album. Another one of my favorites is ‘Rome.’

“Original music is where it’s at. And the lead singer doesn’t sing typical melodies. The way he sings, it’s against the grain. And it makes for a unique sound. I think they got an album coming out [in 2013], too.”

4. John Frusciante – The Empyrean, (2009)

“He’s the guitar player for the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers. He went and did his own solo album thing, and there’s a song on the album called ‘Before The Beginning,’ and it’s his interpretation of the song ‘Maggot Brain.’ And it’s a dope record. You’ll fuck around and get a baby off of that record if you’ve got the right girl in front of you, I’m telling you.

“I think this might’ve come on TV or in a movie or something, and I used my Shazam. That Shazam is the shit. It recognizes [the song you are listening to]. Then I went to YouTube and checked out the story behind it, and it was deep, man. He was going through a lot of stuff, and he really put it down with that one. The guitar solos are insane. There’s like no words on that album, it’s just him playing the guitar. Crazy. Talking with that motherfucker.”

3. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, (2010)

“[I included this] because of the journey I took to make it. Coming off of Idlewild, and getting back in the studio, I was just really tapping into a new stream of sounds, and really completing a thought. It was my first [solo] album that wasn’t tied to an Outkast album, so it meant a lot. Lyrically, it was on some kill shit. I really just took it out on the music.”

“When I perform the songs at a show, that’s when I get total gratification, because people love this music. Even to this day, if I do a concert that’s an hour and a half, the catalog is so vast that trying to pick the songs that I will use is crazy. I got so much music from Southernplayalistic all the way up to now Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. It’s one hellified show. My band kills shit.”

2. Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid, (2010)

“Janelle Monae is one of the few artists that I’ve signed, besides Killer Mike and Vonnegutt. I like to develop artists and all that, but one thing about her and that whole Wondaland crew is that they had vision. And the way they put the songs together, the whole album is like a movie. And just to be a part of the whole project, and introduce her to the world, I feel really blessed. And I’m actually co-executive producing this next record of hers, too. She’s signed to me, so I did a joint deal with Bad Boy with her.”

“[When I first met her], she was singing background for this guy Scar that I had signed to Purple Ribbon, and she would be around Stankonia. A little cute little girl, with a little afro. And I caught her at an open mic night at Justin’s one night, and told her I wanted her to be on the team. She said, “Yes, Daddy.”

1. Big Boi – Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, (2012)

 “I love it, man. I feel like this is my best work to date. I’m still a student of the music. All of it is an experimentation process. So, this new record, I got to do everything I wanted to do on there, and just really take the music in a different direction, where not everything has to be just rapping, but more melodies. And this is my most honest album, where I really opened up to the world about what’s been happening. It’s stripped down. And I love that everyone loves it. It’s a good thing.”

“It’s so easy to make songs that are like verse, hook, verse, hook, gone. You gotta get into the instrumentation, and the whole feel of the points you’re trying to convey. I had a lot of fun making this record, and I’m glad people want to hear some new shit, without the same four people on every song. That’s crazy.”

“Even with my last record. I didn’t just load my album with a lot of big time names. I don’t need big time names to sell my records. I rely on the music. No bells and whistles. No controversy. Just me and the music. Sometimes people get distracted, because they’re looking for something extra to go along with it. But as it saturates, they get it. They realize that the shit is timeless classics. You could put this shit in five, ten years from now, and it’ll still be like that.”