Starting out as one half of the legendary Atlanta duo OutKast, Big Boi has been in the rap game for over two decades. Suffice to say, with that experience it’s fair to state Big Boi knows a thing or two about making it, both artistically and financially, in an industry that isn’t always lucrative for rappers.
The man born Antwan Patton recently revealed in an interview with The Breakfast Club that a major factor in his longevity and success has been his uncaring attitude when it comes to trying to get played on the radio.
“Radio has never been the target for us you know what I’m saying,” said Big Boi. “We had a couple of radio songs but like sometimes the radio will come to the party sometimes they don’t, but we fill seats and stadiums and things like that.”
Patton believes the days of a rapper generating substantial revenue off of single record sales are over (he says the money is truly in touring) and the radio doesn’t seem to be helping usher in any sort of changes, anytime soon.
“They [radio stations] want to keep pushing the same thing, like if you turn on the radio now it seem like you might be listening to the same song all day you know what I mean and I get bored with radio,” he said.
The ATL MC went on the mention the aura of the unorthodox personalities of both himself and fellow OutKast member Andre 3000 bleed into their music, allowing both members of the dynamic duo to stay fresh from the get go and ensuring their music was unique enough to always be noticed.
“The thing with us is we never want to recreate what we’ve done before,” said Big Boi. “When I make songs, no two songs on my album sound alike you know what I’m saying? They have to be in they own zone but at the same time they cohesively go together as one body of work, where the listener can just push play and have a good time…people always want something refreshing.”
With the change in criteria to what is considered a ‘rap song’ these days, Big Boi doesn’t plan on letting up on his incomparable persona anytime soon to get some additional airtime. While he’s aware of the shift in what audiences want to hear from rappers these days, his hip-hop roots are firmly planted into the underground.
“In this day and age it’s not about what you say, it’s style driven it’s how you say it you know what I’m saying? You don’t have to be the most lyrical person in the room to get a hit record you know what I’m saying? A lot of the stuff be jamming but I mean, I come form a different era – we worked hard to be respected as lyricists I mean, that’s the only way I know.”
In the full interview, which can be viewed below, Big Boi speaks about L.A. Reid helping him be smart with his finances, how he’s found success investing in technology with the likes of Chamillionaire (remember him?), Trey Songz and Kelly Rowland, a Tupac/OutKast collab that never got to take place and how dope it is for his label to be able to sign Killer Mike and Janelle Monet among other things.