Big Boi’s Track-by-Track Breakdown of Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors

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  • Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors_Lead
    <h2>Big Boi <em>Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors</em></h2>
    <strong>Year:</strong> 2012
  • 1. Ascending
    “Ascending” [Produced by Andromadon, Big Boi, & Chris Carmouche]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “It’s pretty much the same type of process for <em>Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors</em> and <em>Sir Lucious Left Foot</em>: just trying to do stuff with new sounds and really try to look for a new groove. You never want to duplicate anything that you’ve done so it’s just scrambling shit up in a pot and just getting it going. ‘Ascending’ was done by the guitarist in this group I’m working with called Fishhawk—my man Andromadon. He also produced ‘Descending’ along with Chris Carmouche and myself. We wanted to open it up pretty, and the licks just sounded so angelic. Short and sweet. Bring it in and then get straight to it.”
  • 2. The Thickets
    “The Thickets” ft. Sleepy Brown [Produced by Cy Fyre]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “It was produced by Cy Fyre, who also produced the song I’m on with Trae tha Truth and everybody called 'I’m On.' That’s how I connected with him actually: He came to the video shoot for 'I’m On.' Sleepy Brown [is on it], of course. The same players I use, the same band, the OutKast band, is everywhere on the whole record. In the South, the thickets is like the brush outside. Old man will tell you, ‘Boy—I’ll take you out into them thickets and wear your ass out.’ That’s where you go to get ready and prepare for battle—the thickets. But I wanted to start it out. It was just all love, like I ain’t missed a day. I was really kind of transcribing my thoughts from the last time—just lyrical exercise.<br /><br /> “My mom was in there when I recorded that shit, too. That was the first time she’s ever seen me in the studio recording, ever. Because when I used to record it was always so late. My mom would come to the studio, but that was the first time she heard her baby in the booth. It was on like a Saturday last football season—I forgot who was playing. She was in there and that was her first time seeing her baby in the booth, after 20 years.”
  • 3. Apple of My Eye
    “Apple of My Eye” [Produced by Mr. DJ]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “It’s about the girl who catches your eye. The beginning of it, to me, sounds like the Garden of Eden. Then they bite the Aaple, and then, when you do that—in the Bible to acquire knowledge or whatever or to see what’s going on—it’s really about opening your eyes and finding out who you really want to be with.<br /><br /> “My wife is the apple of my eye, but it’s not particularly about her. It’s about, ‘Fellas, choose wisely who you want to be with.’ I said, ‘Other girls be wilding until they ain’t have no body left.’ Like no ‘body’ as in any physical body, and nobody left to fuck—you know what I’m saying? There’s a lot of slick stuff in there, you got to just listen to it. And that’s why I’ve got all the lyrics on the record—you got to get in touch with what I’m saying. Being on social networks, I really see that some things that I say have to be decoded. Because I don’t want to say it straightforward—I want the listeners to listen. I really rhyme in riddles a lot, and I’ve been doing it and I didn’t really notice. But that’s what I was doing until people be like, ‘Oh, man—you got to catch it.’ It might be black and white to me, but the average listener might not understand what I’m saying.”
  • 4. Objectum Sexuality
    “Objectum Sexuality” ft. Phantogram [Produced by Phantogram]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “That’s one of my top three songs on the whole record. What happened with Phantogram was, I was on my computer—you know they have those pop-up ads when you’re closing out screens. Some advertiser was using their song; ‘Mouthful of Diamonds’ came on. The beat was crazy, so I used my phone and Shazam-ed it. After I Shazam-ed it, I put it as my jam of the week on my site, bigboi.com, and Sarah from Phantogram reached out to me like, ‘Hey!’ Actually, they’re in Stankonia right now recording their album. So I saw them again, she autographed me some vinyl, sent it to the studio—I saw them at Outside Lands in San Francisco and invited them to Stankonia and they came down for like a week. We did so much music and that was one of the first songs that we did—‘Objectum Sexuality.’ It’s really a freaky song; it's about a person who is in love with an inanimate object. Josh [Carter], who produced the track, was telling me about a girl that’s in love with a roller coaster. So it’s on some freaky shit.”
  • 5. In the A
    “In the A” ft. T.I. & Ludacris [Produced by Showdown, DJ Aries & BlackOwned C-Bone]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “[The remix] is on the way—I’m going do the other side of the A. This new producer Showdown made it with BlackOwned C-Bone and DJ Aries—I’m always known for giving new producers a shot. I never was really one to go try to get whoever’s the hottest producer. I always try to keep everything organic, so when he sent me the beat, I just wanted another ATL anthem to showcase the lyrical side of Atlanta. Who better to do that than Tip and Luda, two voices that I respect. Tip came through the studio, we camped out for a few hours, killed it. He played me his album, I played him some of my records—it was really just that brotherhood. Then when I talked to Luda—because he was shooting <em>Fast & Furious</em> overseas, he actually recorded his verse in Europe—he wasn’t in the room with us. He got it, sent it back and it turned out great, man. It’s for the Falcons and for the Hawks and the Braves—it’s an anthem to get these boys. They played it in the Dome; we sent it to the Georgia Dome and to Phillips Arena. It’s a battle song for sure.
  • 6. She Hates Me
    “She Hates Me” ft. Kid Cudi [Produced by Sharif Wilson, Big Boi & Chris Carmouche]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “Another new producer, my man Sharif B. Wilson out of Virginia, a young cat. I think he’s fresh out of high school. That’s what it’s about, man. I treat the studio like a funk factory. 24 hours, around the clock, we are making music. When he sent me the music, it just sounded so somber and I just loved what the music was saying to me. I did a show with Kid Cudi at the University of Arkansas, and we was just talking about records like, ‘Man—we’re overdue to get in the booth,’ and I was like, ‘I think I’ve got the perfect song for us.’ So, we went out to L.A. and recorded it at Frank Zappa’s studio for like a week—Mothership Studio—it was dope. I didn’t meet [Frank Zappa], but it was great. It’s a house and a studio in the hills. It was dope. Kid Cudi and his homeboys came through before they went to the club one night and he just mashed it, and then went to the club. [<i>Laughs</i>] It’s just all about hope and relationships. Everybody done had somebody or lost somebody and had hopes, even if you didn’t get back with them, [that] there was always light at the end of the tunnel like ‘it can happen.’ So it’s a song about that hope.<br /><br /> “[Kid Cudi] was cool, man. He’s a cool kid. Talented guy. I like artists that you can’t pigeonhole and put them in a category. Him, he’s one of those ones like you don’t know what he’ll do—you know what I mean? So, it worked out good, man. I can pretty much work with anybody that’s dope. I have to respect your music and respect what you’re doing to work with you. I’m not just going to work with somebody just because you’re the hot dude or you’re on this song or that song. I want to work with artists who love to kind of push it. I want to bring something out of them that they don’t normally have on their own material. And he came through, man. Definitely.”
  • 7. CPU
    “CPU” ft. Phantogram [Produced by Chris Carmouche & Jeron Ward of The Flush]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “That song was an early Saturday morning song. Came in, The Flush and my man Chris Carmouche, who co-executive produced the album with me, were there. We were just in there working on some music. We were watching the movie <em>Drive</em>, and just that whole feel of dark synths. The movie was playing on the screen and we were trying to put together our own soundtrack for the movie because we loved that shit—that shit was dope. Go Dreamer came up with the hook just jamming. So we came in, took it to the other room, started writing to it.<br /><br />“Sarah [Barthel of Phantogram] done came back to Atlanta and she heard it and she was like, ‘I want to get on that.' So she got on the hook, sung the hook, and I just started writing and wrote the bridge and wrote the verses and started putting different elements into the sound, just little trinkets. Then I sent it back to Sarah; Sarah came up with <em>another</em> bridge. Just compounding music on top of music—and that’s how I like to make it. It turned out good. It’s the digital age and the whole 'CPU' thing is when you’ve got that somebody and you’re always looking at them on the screen whether on the computer or on the phone or whatever. You don’t have them in person, but you still get the effects of their persona because they’re there, you know what I mean?”
  • 8. Thom Pettie
    “Thom Pettie” ft. Little Dragon & Killer Mike [Produced by Chris Carmouche & Big Boi]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “I was at [Andre 3000’s] house a while back, and we were just sitting around listening to music. I was playing him some music, he was playing me some stuff and he turned me onto MGMT, then an old George Benson album that I didn’t have already, then he played me some Little Dragon.<br /><br />“Yeah—he turned me on to the actual group. I was like, ‘Man—this shit dope!’ So, my man Trevor [points at him], that’s my videographer or whatever, was doing some work with my crew, and he was like, ‘You want to work with Little Dragon?’ And I was like, ‘Hell yeah.’ So he kind of coordinated everything with us to hook up, and I invited them down to the studio. They came down and they actually produced like three or four records for me. We didn’t use those records, but like I said, when we played the records, Yukimi was like, ‘I want to get on <em>that</em>.’ That’s how she got on ‘Mama Told Me.’ The hook and everything was already done, and the only thing she did was come in and put a bridge on there and then she re-sung the hook and the shit just sounded perfect. So that’s how that happened. Organic again.<br /><br /> “[‘Thom Pettie] was actually an interlude, and we were just fucking around in the studio, and we’ve got a saying around there like, ‘We free falling.’ Like, we don’t know what’s going on for the night, we free falling—you don’t know what’s going to happen or where you’re going to wake up or whatever. Anything goes. So when you free fall, you’re just wilding out. It was actually just me playing around like, ‘Thom Pettie that ho.’<br /><br />“Tom Petty is a singer, and he had a song called ‘Free Fallin’.' So it’s on some real shit. Basically just out all night—it’s catering to a wild night on the town. Got in there and started by obliterating the verse, and Yukimi came in and did what she felt on there. We shining; we going to always shine. Killer Mike heard it, he came in and told everybody his long accolades of the night, and it just worked out great, man. Organically created, again. That is the best shit.”
  • 9. Mama Told Me
    “Mama Told Me” ft. Kelly Rowland [Produced by The Flush, Big Boi & Chris Carmouche]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “The version with Little Dragon was the version we were going to go with at first. But [Little Dragon] switched record labels, and their old label, Peacefrog, I guess it wasn’t a clean break or whatever. So they started tripping on Little Dragon, and they wanted to come in and hijack my record because I guess they thought that was the last shit they were going to get from Little Dragon. But Big wasn’t having that shit. I was like, ‘Fuck that shit—I’ll show y’all what I do to it,’ talking to my manager, Marcus T. Grant. Myself and Kelly Rowland got the same manager, one of the best management firms in the business. [He] sent it to Kelly, she heard it, went into the studio that same day and knocked that shit out.<br /><br /> “’Mama told me’ was really just about certain advice that you get from your parents, especially your mama. Whether it’s dealing with girls or whatever, you take that. It was really just an ode to my mom. I love my mama, and the things that she told me when I was little helped me to be the man that I am today: a productive, tax-paying American citizen. [Laughs.]”
  • 10. Lines
    “Lines” ft. A$AP Rocky & Phantogram [Produced by Organized Noize & Chris Carmouche]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “Ray of Organized [Noize] produced it. He’s been in the studio with me the whole time, while working on this whole album. He’s camped out in Stankonia now. I’ve got so much music it’s crazy. I actually got the ‘Lines’ beat from Ray during the Super Bowl last year. It was before the Super Bowl happened and he was bringing more music through after we did ‘Gossip’ [a bonus track on the deluxe edition], and shit, I just loved it. I bumped into A$AP at the radio station in Atlanta, and he was like, ‘What’s up fam? What y’all doing? I’m going to Stankonia too!' I was like, ‘Shit—come on.” Within a couple of hours he was in the booth at Stankonia killing it. It was dope. That’s how it happened.<br /><br />“I wasn’t that familiar with his music until my man Trevor, again, the Panther—that’s my god brother of sorts—we were just going through some videos and he was showing me some new guy from New York and I was like, ‘Damn! He sound like he’s from Texas.’ So when I got home I asked my kids, ‘You know who A$AP Rocky is?’ My daughter was like, ‘Hell yeah, I know who A$AP Rocky is—you need to do a song with him!’ I was like, ‘Really?’ So I checked it out and it was cool, I heard the ‘Goldie’ record and I was like, ‘New York niggas ain’t going to be mad at him? He sound like he from Texas!’ He came into the studio and just got right to it and killed it. When I let [Andre 3000] hear it, he was like, ‘That shit’s dope.’ Our styles complement each other so it was cool. Then, Sarah [Barthel], again, heard that record and was like, ‘Let me get on that.’ So we started playing with all the sounds and synthesizers and she came in and killed it.”
  • 11. Shoes For Running
    “Shoes for Running” ft. B.o.B. & Wavves [Produced by John Hill]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “My partner Chris Carmouche’s manager manages producers, and one of them was John Hill, who actually did the track. He came through the studio, while we were in Frank Zappa’s studio, and we were just all in there listening to beats. What really brought it out to me was the whistle on the track—I just loved it. <br /><br />“We started writing to it—this is after me and B.o.B. had actually recorded a song for this video game called <em>Army of Two</em>—the song is called ‘The Dark.’ This is before we did ‘Shoes for Running.’ The chemistry was so dope that I was like, ‘Okay, I want to do something with him for my record.’ Because I was like, ‘Shit, I’m about to say ‘fuck that video game,’ let me get the song!’ ‘The Dark,’ we maybe wrote that record in like three or four hours. We were just trading bars even into the hook, so the chemistry was incredible. I was like, ‘Okay, this sounds like something we can mash out to.’ So I called him, he met me back in Atlanta, and we really just got to do it. Got the beat out, put some 808s on there. Actually, we’ve got some more stuff cooking too that’s crazy. He’s one of the young cats who I really admire his drive and his creativity—and he can rap. I love dudes who can really rap. The lyricism, I love it.”
  • 12. Raspberries
    “Raspberries” ft. Mouche & Scar [Produced by Arthur McArthur]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “That’s another California dreaming—we was out there in California again at Frank Zappa’s studio. Seven days is all we were out there, we did three songs. It took me like 13 months to finish the album; so halfway through we just went out there to the West Coast to get a different feel. So, we were out there and Sha Money XL—that’s my dog, a real instrumental part of me putting the album together—he introduced me to Arthur McArthur. He was like, ‘I’ve got this cat and he’s got some music.’ So Sha Money was out there camped out in the studio with us, too. He brought Arthur McArthur through, he was just flipping through some beats—might’ve flipped through about nine of them—and when I heard the ‘Raspberries’ beat, it just stood out to me like, ‘Okay, that’s the one I want.’ So we went out that night. Actually, we went bowling with Little Dragon that night, and we was coming back in the car; we was already a little sauced up. Me and Chris, we were just fucking around with the melody in the car, came back that night at like four or five in the morning, put the melody down on the beat and it was just so groovy—how a girl tastes, basically. You know what I’m saying?”
  • 13. Tremendous Damage
    “Tremendous Damage” ft. Bosko [Produced by Chris Carmouche]
    <strong>Big Boi</strong>: “Bosko’s a cat out of the Bay Area—he was on ‘Shutterbug.’ He did the talk box on ‘Shutterbug.’ Definitely a West Coast pioneer, he did a bunch of stuff with E-40 and that’s my dog. Actually, him and his friend used to come to my house for cookouts and stuff—it’s all family, here. That song was actually produced by Chris Carmouche. Music, to me, is a form of therapy. Whether it is the loss of a relationship or a loved one or whatever—I had just lost my grandmother and I had lost my father—I put out these two albums. It’s kind of a self-medication for me to work on music. ‘Tremendous Damage,’ it’s some of the worst pain in the world to lose a parent. I kind of blocked it out. On the last record, I dedicated that album to my dad, but then I lost both my grandmothers in the last two years. I don’t even know the date that my father passed because I’m so numb to it, you know what I’m saying? I had to Google it, and that’s how I’ve got it in the rhyme now. After I lost my dad and my grandparents, that’s tremendous damage—those are the people that brought you up. It almost brings you out of a cocoon, to really get it off. For me to go through that—being in a group, coming into my manhood and whom I am now, to suffer through that and come out a stronger? Man, it's triumphant, and I love it.”
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  • Jonnz

    Really cool to hear what inspired the sounds and the feel of this album. As a fan of Zappa, I was pretty surprised and excited to hear that some of the album was done there, but on the page for the song She Hates Me – either there’s a misquote or something, cause Zappa is dead. Unless Big Boi was talking about Dweezil Zappa, not Frank.

  • LD

    how the fuck didnt he get to higher res? the best song on the album