Every week, a different FADER editor compiles a playlist to highlight a new release and give you a guide to that artist’s web of influences and peers. These Staff Selects live in our Spotify app, alongside GEN Fs from our archives and playlists for each issue. This week, it’s Naomi Zeichner on Big Boi and his 15-year run of raps about being a dad.
On “Tremendous Damage,” from his new album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Big Boi remembers his late father and grandmother and assesses the heaviness of his role, in their absence, as the adult cornerstone of his own family. Parenting, and the determination to balance money hustles with child rearing, has been a persistent theme in his verses since Outkast’s 1994 debut. Back then, Big Boi worried whether he was pissing off his parents and rapped about learning loyalty and swagger from his uncles. He became a father for the first time before ATLiens, but he raps most about settling into fatherhood on 1998′s Aquemini, which includes the autobiographical “West Savannah” and a scene, on “Da Art of Storytellin (Part 1),” where he halts a blow job to go pick up his daughter. Take a listen and read Big Boi brag about sending his oldest to college in our interview about Vicious Lies.
Stream: Big Boi on Fatherhood