Antwan André Patton (born February 1, 1975), better known by his stage name Big Boi, is an American rapper, song-writer, record producer and actor, best known for being a member of American hip hop duo OutKast alongside André 3000. His work in the duo has produced six studio albums. During the duo's hiatus, he and André 3000 each announced plans to release a solo album. Big Boi's solo debut Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty was released in July 2010 to respectable sales and critical acclaim.
He had a strong interest in hip-hop music, and met André "3000" Benjamin while attending Tri Cities High School in the early-1990s. The two eventually joined forces as OutKast and signed with LaFace Records.
Patton has often used his lyrics to criticize the problems that plague both the African American community and the world. An example is 2003's "War", a scathing attack on the Bush administration and the War on Terror. Another example is 2008's "Sumthin's Gotta Give" with Mary J. Blige talking about the state of America and Barack Obama.
After four increasingly successful albums as a duo, the members of OutKast chose to make two solo albums, and release them as a double album under the OutKast name. André 3000 released The Love Below and Big Boi Speakerboxxx. The two albums were packaged together as Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2003. Speakerboxxx featured a style similar to OutKast's previous efforts, while The Love Below explored more offbeat territory, with André 3000 mainly singing rather than his usual rapping. One song from each album was released in September 2003 as a single.
Patton's choice was the single "The Way You Move", featuring Sleepy Brown. It was originally supported by urban radio, but then crossed over to pop charts and became almost as big a pop hit as Benjamin's "Hey Ya!". "The Way You Move" supplanted "Hey Ya!" as the #1 song on the US pop charts. The second single from Big Boi's side of the album was "Ghetto Musick", which featured both members of OutKast and a sample from Patti LaBelle's "Love, Need & Want You".
In 2007 after the sixth album under the OutKast name, Idlewild, Big Boi announced plans to release a full fledged solo album. While he had released a previous solo album in Speakerboxxx, it still was technically under the OutKast name. The album was to be titled Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. The album's first promotional single, "Royal Flush", was released in 2007, and featured Raekwon and André 3000. Over the next few years the album saw many delays, but multiple promotional and video singles were released such as "Shine Blockas" featuring Gucci Mane, "For Yo Sorrows" featuring George Clinton and Too $hort and "General Patton" featuring Big Rube. The first official single was "Shutterbugg" featuring Cutty and the second "Follow Us" featuring Vonnegutt. The album was released internationally on July 5. Guest artists include alternative urban songstress Janelle Monae; Big Boi's own new group Vonnegutt; plus established rappers T.I. and B.o.B. Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty received general acclaim from most music critics, earning praise for its inventive sound, varied musical style, and Big Boi's lyricism.
Big Boi at Counterpoint Festival 2012
In a July 2010 interview for The Village Voice, Big Boi revealed that he is working on the follow-up album to Sir Lucious Left Foot, entitled Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, stating that he is "maybe about six songs into it". It is expected for a late-2012 release.
On February 27, 2011, it was announced that Big Boi is creating a joint album along with rappers Mike Bigga and Pill. Later that day, Big Boi posted on his Twitter account that he was mixing Mike Bigga's album entitled, "PL3DGE".
Big Boi announced on May 24, 2012 that he was about 80% complete with his next solo release. He also revealed that both he and Andre 3000 would be releasing solo projects prior to any Outkast project.
On June 9, Big Boi announced via Twitter that he will be releasing "Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors" on November 13. That date was later pushed back to December 11, 2012 on November 1st when he debuted the cover. The first single from the album is "Mama Told Me" featuring Kelly Rowland. The album featured guest appearences from A$AP Rocky, Ludacris, T.I., Little Dragon, Kelly Rowland and B.o.B.
Big Boi revealed that he is already ten songs deep into his third as of now untitled studio album.
Patton and Benjamin star in Idlewild, a film about music during the Depression-era South. The film was released in August 2006. Patton also has plans in the works for a project partnering him with Sleepy Brown. He released a mixtape/compilation album, Got Purp? Vol 2, in conjunction with the Purple Ribbon All-Stars in November 2005 on Purple Ribbon Records; Aquemeni Records had become defunct after Benjamin left the company. The first single from the album was "Kryptonite", which cracked the Billboard Hot 100 and was a hit on hip-hop radio. Patton was also featured on the song "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)", which is the first single from UGK's new album, Underground Kingz.
In 2006, Big Boi founded the Big Kidz Foundation a nonprofit organization to help youth in Atlanta. The Foundation's mission is to provide culturally diverse experiences in the field of humanities while helping create socially-conscious youth. In January 2010, Big Boi and the Executive Director, Jennifer Shephard Lester launched the Big Kidz Foundation in Savannah, Georgia.
In 2010, Big Boi launched his custom Chuck Taylor sneakers with Converse. The shoes feature the title of his Def Jam solo album debut: "Sir Lucious Left Foot" on the left, and "Son of Chico Dusty" on the right. His Big Boi logo is featured on the tongue of the shoe.
On April 28, 2011, Big Boi announced that he would be working with Modest Mouse on their new unnamed album.
Big Boi appeared on Nick Cannon's Wild 'n Out Season 3 as one of the many guest stars, as well as guest starring and appearing as a musical guest on Chappelle's Show performing his song "The Rooster". In 2006, he branched into feature film acting, appearing in ATL and Idlewild, followed by a starring role in 2007's Who's Your Caddy?
Big Boi is a playable character in the Def Jam: Icon videogame.
He appeared in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Wildlife", which aired November 18, 2008. Big Boi played hip-hop artist "Got$ Money".
He also appeared on ESPN's "First Take" on January 10, 2013.
In 2008, Big Boi began a collaboration on a new show with the Atlanta Ballet. The show, entitled big, premiered at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, April 10–13, 2008. The show was performed by Atlanta Ballet dancers, local youth and talent, as choreographed by Lauri Stallings. Music may be performed live onstage during the performance, as it was when the ballet created a live music/dance collaboration with the Indigo Girls.
Patton is married to Sherlita Patton, with whom he has two children: daughter Jordan and son Cross. Another child, a son named Bamboo, is from a previous relationship. Numerous references to the Patton family are present in Big Boi's rhymes. His younger brother James raps under the name "Lil' Brotha", and is a member of hip-hop group Konkrete, while 'Uncle Donell' was 'locked up in prison' (as mentioned in the song ATLiens) but has now been released. His other brothers, Marcus and Jason, also make their way onto some songs as well.
His wife Sherlita Patton is also the co-owner of a clothing boutique in Atlanta, Georgia called PValentine. She co-owns the store with Tracy Valentine. The expensive brands carried by the store and the ties to Big Boi attract many music artists and other celebrities to the store. The store was featured on an episode of MTV's My Super Sweet 16 when R&B artist Chris Brown went for a birthday gift from Big Boi. He is also a registered pit bull breeder.
In August 2011, Patton was returning from a cruise when a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement drug dog at the Port of Miami alerted officers. Patton was arrested and charged with illegal possession of the controlled substance MDMA powder. Patton was released from the Miami-Dade County jail on a id="mce_marker"6,000 bond.
In an interview with New York City’s Hot 97, Big Boi revealed that the day after the elections, a White woman approached him at an airport and congratulated him on "his win last night" (Referring to Barack Obama winning re-election), to which Big Boi responded "Bitch, I voted for Gary Johnson".