A 20-year career as a Hip Hop artist is rare. A 20-year career as a Hip Hop artist who gets
better with every album is unheard of. But in the case of Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, it's no
As one half of Outkast with his partner in rhyme Andre 3000, Big Boi blazed trails and broke
blueprints with three certified classics; 1994's Southerplayalisticadilacmuzik, 1996's ATLiens
and 1998's Aquemini. The duo then brought in the new millenium by selling four million copies
of their genre-defying fourth studio album Stankonia only to follow it up with the diamond-selling
opus Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
Now, nearly a decade later Big Boi continues to break ground on his own with his second
solo album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. The follow up to 2010's critically-acclaimed
Luscious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty, Vicious Lies... seeks to bring the truth in an era
where anything but is accepted as the real.
"I borrowed the title from my Grandmother who passed away," explains Big. "She beat cancer
twice and the family said she needed to make a movie about her life. She said she would write
a book instead and call it Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors because she was going to tell it
how it is. So to me the title is a search for the undisputed truth. We're living in the information
age with everything at your fingertips. But at same time, with social media you can take
something and it will spread whether if it's true or not."
Describing the album as "one-half Outkast, one whole of me," Big Boi takes sole possession of
the wheel behind the Cadillac that is the Outkast legacy and cruises into unchartered territory
with his thirst to expand the rules of music serving as the navigation.
The rap veteran known as General Patton shows off his rank on the lyrical exercise "The
Thickets" and later leads the charge on "In the A" featuring fellow Atlanta troops T.I. and
Ludacris. Futuristic funk is explored on the digital jams "Objectum Sexuality" and "CPU," both
featuring indie pop duo Phantogram. Then Big opens up the soul basket and talks about the
gain and pain of relationships on "She Hates Me" featuring Kid Cudi.
Even while being established with six Grammy Awards and 25 million records sold worldwide
Big Boi proves that he can still spar with the new jacks when he recruits A$AP Rocky for
the Organized Noize-produced "Lines" and sprint with the current stars on the adrenaline-
pumping "Shoes For Running" featuring B.o.B. Also a master of melody, Big displays his "funk
throat" on the playful "Raspberries" featuring long time collaborator Scar and bounces over in-
house producers The Flush's pulsating pianos on the lead single "Mama Told Me" featuring
"I'm a student of music, I always looked at myself as a young Luke Skywalker," says Big,
insisting that none of the special appearances or production came from phone calls but from
serendipity and surprise visits. "I always want to learn about the music and use all different
genres. I don't even look at the cameos on the album as multiple features. I see them all as
pieces that go together."
Keeping the Outkast artistic tradition alive, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors' album art is
presented as a pocket-sized art gallery with customized paintings to accompany each track.
The Rolling Stone-esque logo with the clinched teeth featured on the CD represents how in
these times you have to be careful about what you say. Big has made a name for himself being
selective with his words, which is why each one he says to this day means something special.
"Today's trend is that you come in, get hot and disappear," says the living legend. "You're not
supposed to come out, get hot, do the biggest album ever and then keep cruising to where it's
undeniable. If you don't like this album, you don't like music."
Killer Mike got his formal introduction to the industry when he first appeared on the Outkast single "The Whole World" for which he won a Grammy. Mike then signed to Outkast's Aquemini label, which was distributed by Columbia Records, and in 2003 released his debut album, "Monster" which went Gold. After a short stay at Big Boi's label, Purple Ribbon/Virgin, Mike decided it was time for him to make moves on his own and in 2004 he established his own label, Grind Time Official. With no distribution, Grind Time still made an impact with Killer Mike releases including, "Dec Crack" in 2004, "The Killer" which won the SEA Mixtape of the Year Award in 2005, and "I Pledge Allegiance to The Grind I", which won Best Street Album at the 2007 Ozone Awards.
In 2007, the Atlanta native signed with SMC, in hopes of doing with the label what Dipset did with Koch. "I've done as much as I could do individually, slinging records and selling distribution," says Mike. "I got a goal, man. I literally have a goal of earning a raw, uncut, after taxes a million dollars with SMC and I know it's possible, ultimately I went with SMC because they believed in me."
Mike has established a crew, the Grind Time Rap Gang, who he plans to release through his label, Grind Time Official. With similar views on music as Mike, the crew is made up of like-minded artists from different backgrounds, who share the same passion and vigor for making dope music the hood can relate to.
Many artists have waxed poetic about telling the streets story but few have succeeded with the effectiveness that Mike displayed on his first album release with SMC, "I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II." Mike's next release with SMC will be "Underground Atlanta," which will feature some of Atlanta's most notable hip hop artists including Gucci Mane, OJ da Juice Man, Pastor Troy, Princess of Crime Mob, Yung Ralph, Big Kuntry King, Young Dro, T.I., Stat Quo, Bobby Creekwater, Da Bill Collector, and Dem Getaway Boyz.
Underground Atlanta precedes Killer Mike's as-yet-untitled Grand Hustle debut, which he is currently recording. Mike sees this album as a way to give back to the Atlanta hip hop scene that gave birth to him and made him the artist he is today. Be on the lookout.
Nyzzy Nyce, aka Nyzzy, stands pensively in a park on the outskirts of his hometown Fort Wayne, Indiana. He reflects, “Being an artist in a small town is definitely a tougher task. We work with what we got and we go hard for what we believe in.”
When he was twelve years old, he took up BMX racing at his step dad Gregory’s urging. Gregory lost the ability to walk when Nyzzy was still a child. He ponders, “I would always think, if he could walk again, what would he do?” He took up racing to make him proud.
It started out casually. He practiced downside tailwhips and turndowns on the half pipe at the local skate shop. Improving daily, he wanted to do more. After a year he began racing competitively in BMX events.
They called him a natural. Veterans of the scene began to bet money on him. He ascended rapidly up the charts, becoming the number one rider in the nation for his age group at fourteen. He attained sponsorships from Fort Wayne BMX and Gatorade along the way. Number one in two years. It was almost too good to be true…
And it was. He tore his ACL in the summer of 2002, two months into his stint at #1.
After a lengthy recovery, that fiery, competitive spirit that drove his ascent up the rankings parlayed into his newest interest: music. He began freestyling with friends at the lunch table. As time progressed, what began as a distraction slowly evolved into a passion.
Nyzzy worked relentlessly to perfect his craft, releasing a slew of projects along the way. All the while, he prepared himself for bigger and better things, a larger platform to take his music and his message.
The first step came in 2012, when he partnered with non-profit, A Better Fort, to start the ambitious, collaborative music project called the #MyCity Movement. The movement began as a means to showcase the many talented musicians and artists within the Fort Wayne community and instill a renewed sense of civic pride for residents. Later that year, he founded his own label, Hurricane Music Group.
Nyzzy is now focused on his upcoming mixtape, ‘Nothing Nyce,’ scheduled for a late Fall release. Music videos have premiered for his songs, “I Just Rather,” “Right Now,” and “Brand New,” that have amassed over 800,000 views on YouTube in a short period of time. The project features Nyzzy’s laidback vocals over an eclectic array of trap-infused drums, feel good melodic synths and trunk-rattling 808s. Fans can anticipate future videos for the singles “Nights Like This,” and “I Am The Dopest.”
Nyzzy is a rare breed of an artist who combines his sensibility for social entrepreneurship, altruistic nature, and passion-fueled lyrical ability to create infectious music. He says, “I do something, I fall into it, and I don’t stop.”