Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
In the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN connect with CeeLo. A native of Atlanta, the star’s first appearances on wax came alongside Outkast and his Goodie Mob on Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, most notably on the hit single “Git Up, Git Out.” Unleashing their debut album, Soul Food, in 1995, Goodie Mob quickly established themselves as one of the elite rap acts out of south by releasing three consecutive gold albums during the latter half of the decade. However, CeeLo would eventually pursue a solo career and drop his debut album, Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, in 2002. From there, he would team up with producer Danger Mouse and form Gnarles Barkley, reaching the apex of his career with the seismic single “Crazy,” which is regarded as one of the best songs of the aughts. He’s also had a successful run in his own right with five solo albums to his credit and a rack of songwriting credits for artists across various genres. Simply put, CeeLo is a certified music legend who continues to wow fans with every rap spat or sang lyric.
To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the CeeLo’s episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.
1. The Origin of Goodie Mob
“Initially we considered everyone in the Goddie Mob,” CeeLo says in reference to the genesis of the southern stalwarts. “Goodie Mob was a street name. An OG from my neighborhood, his name’s Big Glenn, we call him Big Dutty. He was the one that coined the name Goodie Mob. So, it was a crew... So, what they would do was put their goods in the Crown Royal bags, them little purple bags... So, it was like goodie bags. So, they called themselves the P-Funk Goodie Mob. I gotta credit them as the originators of the name.”
2. The Impact Of His Infamous Grammy Look
”Can I tell y’all something dope about that fucking whole thing? It didn’t work out because the time elapsed and people just didn’t really take too well to being alarmed in that kind of way,” he explains. “The funny thing about it is I got to see how much love I had out there. But, the project didn’t work. But, what was dope about it, the research was so [invaluable]. It worked so well as far as coverage. Marvel Comics reached out to me and we sat down with their JV division. They wanted to make it an official Marvel Comics character. If the deal had of went right, I would’ve been on [Avengers] Endgame.”
3. His Love For Rock Music
”The first thing I ever loved was Rock & Roll and heavy metal,” CeeLo reveals. “Bruce Dickerson is one of my all-time favorite singers. Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halfod from Judas Priest. [Def Lepard], we got the same management. I’m friends with all of my rock idols.”
4. How Wrestling Influenced His Fashion Sense As A Performer
”Another thing that was big for us when we was kids in Atlanta was wrestling,” he reveals to N.O.R.E. and EFN. “I loved the Road Warriors, The British Bulldog, The Von Arians, Ric Flair... So, what I’m basically saying is that costuming, that pageantry was kind of normal. But then, me on the soulful side, big band side, Earth Wind & Fire, those people put so much into the presentation. So, I felt like that was a standard and when it speaks to you in such a way, I felt it belonged to me to carry on the tradition as an artist.”
5. On Competition Within The Dungeon Family
”To be totally honest, we also call ourselves the X-Men,” CeeLo explains. “We did a GQ cover as the X-Men and that’s to say we’re all signified by their own special, and unique powers. So, it wasn’t that type of competition. We felt like we were supporting each other, like it was a real family vibe. Me and Dre go all the way back to the third grade. A few of us [have] known each other longer.”
6. On His Versatility As An Artist
“How did it feel to be a singer in a crew of emcees? I was an emcee in a crew of emcees. So, they just gotta go back and do the history, obviously,” he scoffs. “But, I think it’s kind of like were you would realize that everybody’s got melody, everybody can sing.”
7. His Favorite Emcee of All-Time
”I think, naturally, when you’re a fan, you kind of liken yourself to your favorites and you kind of grow up or you live vicariously through them,” the Soul Machine explains. “Like you train or you spar with your listening pallet, so we were just taught by the best. My favorite emcee of all-time is Melle Mel. His rhyme at the end of Beat Street is the best rhyme ever written in history. They was gangstas, them niggas [were] in the middle of the Bronx with spikes on and leather. They were like urban warriors. I loved that shit. That shit spoke to me.”
8. The Impact of Andre 3000’s Speech at the 1995 Source Awards
”We wanted to distinguish the difference between being southern and being country,” the “Crazy” singer reveals. “We took ‘country’ as condescending. It was, but in the terms of social politics as well, we wanted to be counted. We felt like we were fighting for the civil rights of southern hip hop as well. That’s why the narrative was what it was.”
9. Tension Within The Goodie Mob
“It was just a real simple difference of professional opinion and musical taste at that point,” CeeLo explains. “After we had been very fortunate to have three consecutive gold records, the last one, we were really at odds with [one another] creatively and I was just getting a little impatient I think. I felt like I had something else I was capable of, but I needed to commit to it. I needed an opportunity, too. And I needed the support in doing it and that’s what I expected. I didn’t realize that it would be any kind of discord or disconnect, I just thought it would be a testament to our elasticity, show how far we can stretch.”