One of the biggest names in Atlanta hip-hop will be part of Super Bowl 53’s halftime show, as Big Boi will join Maroon 5 and Travis Scott. Get all the info about this Outkast icon before the big event.
Outkast is synonymous with Atlanta and Southern hip-hop. So, including Big Boi, 43, one half of the duo (the other being André 3000, 43) as part of the Super Bowl 53 Halftime show was a no-brainer. With the Feb. 3 game taking place at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the ATL will be represented on the field when Big Boi joins Maroon 5 and Travis Scott for the mid-game extravaganza. For those who need a refresher on this important hip-hop icon, here are some facts you should know:
1. Big Boi is best known for his work with Outkast… Big Boi (Antwan Patton) and André 3000 (André Benjamin) burst onto the scene in 1994 with Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, an album that went platinum and earned them Best New Rap Group of the Year at the 1995 Source Awards. While they continued to build their sound on follow-ups ATLiens and Aquemini (the latter having their successful single “Rosa Parks”) their real defining album is 2000’s Stankonia. It’s considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.
2. …but he’s also a solo artist. Outkast’s fifth album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, was a preview of what was to come for the band. Basically, two solo-albums were packaged as a double-LP. Big Boi’s side of the release (Speakerboxxx) is a funk/Dirty South bash, while André’s (The Love Below) is a mix of funk, jazz, rock, and electronic music. The group went on hiatus in 2007, and Big Boi has since released a trio of solo albums, with 2017’s Boomiverse being the most recent.
3. He’s smart. Big Boi was “an honor student at high school and had planned to study child psychology at New York University after graduation,” according to NME. He also has collaborated with the Atlanta Ballet on “Big,” a production that is an examination of “the American dream – or lack of it.” Also, he has two pet owls named Hootie and Hoodini.
Outkast turned down the Super Bowl – and it changed history. Imagine this timeline: instead of the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show featuring Janet Jackson’s nipple, imagine a world where Outkast performed instead? No “Nipplegate.” “Wardrobe malfunction” wouldn’t be a household phrase. Just imagine, because such a world almost happened. Big Boi said on a 2015 episode of The Dan LeBatard Show that he and Andre were offered a chance to play the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, according to Pitchfork. They turned it down because Andre wouldn’t agree to perform anything but full songs.
“[Andre] didn’t want to cut the songs, he wanted to do the full songs,” Big Boi said, indicating the songs the producers wanted were “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move.” “He said, ‘Nah, can’t do it.’ “ Big Boi said he tried “a lot” to convince Andre to change his mind, but no go. “Hopefully they invite us back.”
He’s a licensed pit bull breeder. Big Boi’s wife, Sherlita, was the co-owner of PValentine, a boutique in Atlanta. Though it closed in 2008, the couple remains busy. After all, for over 20 years, he and his brother, James, have run Pitfall Kennels, a 25-acre facility that not just rescues dogs, but breeds American Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and pit bulls.
“These are the best, loyal, most family oriented dogs ever,” the rapper said in a 2016 video, per NME. “We’re here to dispel the stigma that’s been put on them… When all’s said and done, I just want to sit back with my animals in the midst of the trees and the forest and just be peaceful.”