Antwan André Patton (born February 1, 1975), better known by his stage name Big Boi, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor, best known for being a member of American hip hop duo OutKast alongside André 3000. His work in the duo has produced six studio albums. Big Boi’s solo debut Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty was released in July 2010 to respectable sales and critical acclaim. In 2012, he released his second solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors.
He had a strong interest in hip hop music, and met André « 3000 » Benjamin while attending Tri Cities High School in the early-1990s. The two eventually joined forces as OutKast and signed with LaFace Records.
Patton has often used his lyrics to criticize the problems that plague both the African American community and the world. An example is 2003’s « War », a scathing attack on the Bush administration and the War on Terror. Another example is 2008’s « Sumthin’s Gotta Give » with Mary J. Blige talking about the state of America and Barack Obama.
After four increasingly successful albums as a duo, the members of OutKast chose to make two solo albums, and release them as a double album under the OutKast name. André 3000 released The Love Below and Big Boi Speakerboxxx. The two albums were packaged together as Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2003. Speakerboxxx featured a style similar to OutKast’s previous efforts, while The Love Below explored more offbeat territory, with André 3000 mainly singing rather than his usual rapping. One song from each album was released in September 2003 as a single.
Patton’s choice was the single « The Way You Move », featuring Sleepy Brown. It was originally supported by urban radio, but then crossed over to pop charts and became almost as big a pop hit as Benjamin’s « Hey Ya! ». « The Way You Move » supplanted « Hey Ya! » as the #1 song on the US pop charts. The second single from Big Boi’s side of the album was « Ghetto Musick », which featured both members of OutKast and a sample from Patti LaBelle’s « Love, Need and Want You ».
In 2005, Big Boi released a mixtape/compilation album, Got Purp? Vol 2, in conjunction with the Purple Ribbon All-Stars on November 22 through Purple Ribbon Records; Aquemeni Records had become defunct after Benjamin left the company. The first single from the album was « Kryptonite », which reached 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. Patton was also featured on the song « International Players Anthem (I Choose You) », the first single from UGK’s album Underground Kingz.
In 2007, after the sixth album under the OutKast name, Idlewild, Big Boi announced plans to release a full-fledged solo album. While he had released a previous solo album in Speakerboxxx, it still was technically under the OutKast name. The album was to be titled Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. The album’s first promotional single, « Royal Flush », was released in 2007, and featured Raekwon and André 3000. Over the next few years the album saw many delays, but multiple promotional and video singles were released such as « Shine Blockas » featuring Gucci Mane, « For Yo Sorrows » featuring George Clinton and Too Short and « General Patton » featuring Big Rube. The first official single was « Shutterbugg » featuring Cutty and the second « Follow Us » featuring Vonnegutt. The album was released internationally on July 5. Guest artists include alternative urban songstress Janelle Monáe; Big Boi’s own new group Vonnegutt; plus established rappers T.I. and B.o.B. Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty received general acclaim from most music critics, earning praise for its inventive sound, varied musical style, and Big Boi’s lyricism.
In a July 2010 interview for The Village Voice, Big Boi revealed that he is working on the follow-up album to Sir Lucious Left Foot, entitled Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, stating that he is « maybe about six songs into it ». It is expected for a late-2012 release.
On February 27, 2011, it was announced that Big Boi was creating a joint album along with rappers Mike Bigga and Pill. Later, on April 28, 2011, Big Boi announced that he would be working with Modest Mouse on their new unnamed album. These collaborations have yet to surface.
Big Boi released his second solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors on November 13, 2012. The first single from the album was « Mama Told Me » featuring Kelly Rowland. The album featured guest appearances from ASAP Rocky, Ludacris, T.I., Little Dragon, Phantogram, Kelly Rowland and B.o.B.
Later in 2012, Big Boi revealed that he was already ten songs deep into his third as of now untitled studio album. He reiterated his plans for a new studio album in January 2014.
Big Boi was featured on the Catch The Throne mixtape with the song « Mother of Dragons. » The mixtape was released for free download on SoundCloud by HBO on March 7, 2014 to promote the fourth season of Game of Thrones.
On March 21, 2014, it was announced that Big Boi had signed a management deal with Jordan Feldstein’s Career Artist Management. On May 10, 2014, it was revealed that Boi had signed a record deal with Epic Records.