All four original members of Goodie Mob have reunited and released Age Against the Machine, their first effort in 14 years following 1999’s World Party. The infamous rap group — consisting of Cee Lo, Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo — explained to ABC News Radio what their new project means to them.
“We ain’t old,” Cee Lo says on the group’s behalf. “This is antique and the way that we talk and the way that we walk is timeless, you know, so with that Age Against the Machine is so fitting because we want to co-exist.”
Many fans would agree that Goodie Mob are seemingly synonymous with originality and authenticity, which is a theme Cee Lo says the crew continued while recording the new disc. For the album title, the group wanted to play up their distinctive stance of not conforming or following the usual regurgitated rap formula.
“It’s going up against a machine that doesn’t always compute with our uncompromising artistic integrity,” Cee Lo says. “Because it’s pre-programmed we end up becoming a ghost in that machine, if you will, it can’t catch up with us. We insult its artificial intelligence.”
Goodie Mob’s first single, “Special Education” with Janelle Monáe, seems to reflect the need to bring hip-hop back to what it used to be: music with a message. After all, the group came up alongside Outkast in Atlanta’s The Dungeon Family, the Southern rap collective that focused on consciousness rap and true lyricism.
It’s not surprising, then, that Cee Lo feels there’s a disconnect in the music industry, which he says is lacking what real fans need. “I’m not even sure music encourages real fans,” he says. “Like they get familiar with you but I don’t know if they’re real fans.”
He adds, “Actually, the nature of the business is very fickle and very feeble, you know, so we need music with more substance and sustenance.”
By not giving into Hollywood pressures to tone down “strong messages” in their music, Cee Lo believes that artists, collectively, can have a positive effect on consumers.
“People would be better people, music is a life-changing experience. The right kind of music, it can change your life for the better or for the worst,” says Cee Lo.
Goodie Mob is currently performing new material fromAge Against the Machine for their summer tour. The trek marks their first nationwide tour since 2009, and ends in their hometown of Atlanta on September 14. Head over to GoodieMobMusic.com to learn more.
Here are the remaining tour stops:
9/1 — Denver, CO, Ogden Theatre
9/3 — Chicago, IL, House of Blues
9/5 — Charlotte, NC, The Fillmore Charlotte
9/6 — Orlando, FL, Firestone
9/8 — Miami, FL, Grand Central
9/14 — Atlanta, GA, ONE MusicFest
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