Chicago, prepare for a new version of Boi's Town.
"Anybody got something cold to drink?" he cawed across the suite in the James Hotel where he was due to meet the press.
Sir Lucious Left Foot, as he is also called, informed all media in attendance that he would not get to enjoy much of the spoils of Chicago. Instead, he was popping into town to show off specialty bags he -- self-dubbed "hip-hop royalty"-- designed for Crown Royal and then flying back to his lab (aka Stankonia) in Atlanta, where he is working on his next album.
But before he could vanish into the stratosphere, the Kyles Files talked to him in a one-on-one interview to get more details on the album, which emerging artists have caught his ear and what advice he could offer aspiring MCs.
Check out our Q&A, then hit redeyechicago.com/kylesfiles for more insight into Boi's town.
Do you have any plans while you're in Chicago, other than your Crown Royal Black event?
Naw, it's just business, unfortunately. I gotta get back to the studio. Might sound boring but I work a lot. Got a lot to do in the lab.
So you did a mini-documentary for Crown Royal Black that showed some of your life, would you ever do a full-on reality show?
Naw, probably not. They caught some great moments. They got me at the Grammy's, performing, partying and celebrating. But I probably wouldn't have nobody following me around like that full time. I'm just too busy. Maybe I'd do it, if it were done right.
So, we've established you're busy. What else are you working on?
[Funk rockers and Big Boi collaborators] Vonnegutt's album. Also working on my new record. I'm working on something with Modest Mouse and Jimmy Cliff. Still finishing up the 11-month tour for "Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty," and then heading to Glastonbury and Bonnaroo [festivals.]
You have to spill more about your new album.
Naw. Can't do that.
Come on, just a tiny hint?
Alright, it's gonna be funky. And it's called "Daddy Fat Saxxx: Soul Funk Crusader."
Okay, that's what you've got going, but who is inspiring you? I know you helped discover Jannelle Monae and she's doing big things. Who has you excited right now?
Right now, my boy Pill out of the ATL. Big Krit. They're lyricists, and I'm a big fan of lyricism.
Yeah? Well, then I have to ask you this. Don't get mad. What got you working with Gucci Mane? I have to say, I was a little surprised when you worked with him on "Shine Blockas."
You was surprised? Well, let me tell you. My main reason for it was I am a fan of his music. One of my favorite artists is Too Short. I like Too Live Crew. Plus, he's an Aquairus like me and we work together.
Right, there's all kinds of music and I like those artists too and "Shine Blockas," but you're so known for lyricism. It was an interesting match.
Yeah, well everybody can't do everything. I like to bring people together. Bring different worlds together.
Alright, I got you. But speaking of lyricism, how do you think Southern rappers are faring there? For a while, there was a perception that Southern rap wasn't as lyrical. Is that changing because of rappers like you, like
The South is a melting pot, you know. We've got lyricists and there's no doubt on that. We got 3000, Cee-Lo Green, Jay Electronica, like you said. There's Ludacris. I think people are starting to see that. Yeah, we got bounce and our music is based on that, but it's just like [Washington] D.C. where they got that go-go. It's no different. It sounds good.
Right, like Chicago's got
[Shaking head "no"] I can't sit in the club listening to that all night.
What? I know you aren't making fun of house music?
Naw, not at all. It's just that [waving hands, bobbing head] "doosh, doosh, doosh" music like they play in Vegas.
Oh no! Chicago house music not like that. That is some trance, "Blade" blood-dripping-out-of-the-ceiling music. I don't know. I have to play you some Chicago house.
Alright, alright. [laughing] I'm sorry.
You should be. I'll tell all of Chicago on you. But seriously, while you're here, will you be scouting for new people for your label?
You know, I usually don't get a chance. I'm in and out. To be honest, most people I meet, get brought to me in the ATL. But I have heard some good people out of Chicago. Nobody I could name like that.
Got it. Well, every week, I try to help Chicago MCs by doing a track-off where I pit one artist against the other and the winner gets in the paper.
Yeah? That's dope! Help 'em out. I like that.
Well, can you offer any advice to the artists out here in Chicago?
Don't try to sound like anyone else. Be yourself and focus on your lyrics and approach. There are crews out here where everybody sound alike. All their music sound alike and nobody stands out. Don't do that. Be memorable.