Cee-Lo Green: Revolutionary

Cee-Lo Green is such a revolutionary lyricist, he’s ahead of himself, his peers and the bulk of MC’s to appear. But it is his past, not future, which has lead the Atlanta, Georgia rapper to the Goodie Mob, trading verses with comrades Outkast and Lauyrn Hill, and finally one of the most proficiently profound MCs in Hip Hop. Mainstream Hip Hop has been greedy with the accolades and the fame. Mr. Green’s flows have yet to break through the barriers created by typical style, stagnant subject matter, and uncreative art heard in regular rotation. Cee-Lo has not let these restraints become a barrier and recently released his second solo album, Cee-Lo Green Is The Soul Machine.

His [r]evolution started within the revered group Goodie Mob, Outkast, Organized Noise and others, who formed the Atlanta-based collective The Dungeon Family. Soon thereafter, Atlanta’s place in Hip Hop was officially validated with hits like “Cell Therapy,” “Soul Food,” “Black Ice,” and other songs that gushed out of the camp.

Paradise was lost after distance came between Cee-Lo and his former group mates T-Mo, Big Gipp, and Khujo after Goodie Mob’s disappointing third album World Party. Because of the more commercial vibe, Cee-Lo quietly sought solace in the creative freedom associated with being a solo artist.

Cee-Lo explains, “Everybody doesn’t share the same business etiquette. My etiquette is to stay gone getting it and other individuals ultimately gonna have to catch up with that…The ones [members of the Dungeon Family] that have established namesake are still all you really notice, unless others work 5 or 6 times as hard for the true equilibrium to be showcased. No insult to anybody, but everybody’s working at their own pace.”

A Cee-Lo-less Goodie Mob has completed a new album deemed One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show, an obvious jab at their former friend. Diplomatically, he says, “We still got love for each other and I still carry the banner of what we collectively stand for.”

Goodie has typically stood for creative freedom, but Cee-Lo’s solo success was stagnated because of the eccentric (but praised) feel from his first album, Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections. The singles and videos for “Freak” and “Getting Grown” pushed the envelope creatively and set up Outkast’s Andre 3000 to get down.

“Its easier and simpler for me to complicate things than it is to simplify. People’s reactions to what I’ve done are helping me write the book.” Lo asserts. “Simplexicty is what my music is becoming. Perfect Imperfections was a full course meal and you had to be hungry to digest it “I’m just now coming to the realization that simplexcity (simplicity and complexity) is a law.”

This change in philosophy is evident in his second effort, Cee-Lo Green Is the Soul Machine. Mellow compared to Perfect Imperfections, the new album offers the listener a glimpse of Lo’s softer, more soulful side.

“This new album is a continuation of the first album. I am them both,” he says.

The day to day is the data that I downloaded and then remaster

Into a rapture. Abracadabra…born after.

-The intro of Soul Machine

Soul Machine has even mightier goals than mere inventiveness.

“I’m old enough to be an elder, but young enough to be the youth. I straddle the fence and wish to be the bridge to the older generation. I’m better than I was yesterday. That’s what this album is about; trying to show the elders that we all didn’t miss it and show the youth that you can do it and get away with it,” he proclaims.

By incorporating contemporary production and collaborations by The Neptunes, Timberland, TI, and Ludacris, Cee-Lo hopes to make his music more palatable to the stingy masses. On the other side, die-hard fans might cringe at some of these collaborations, but he isn’t overly concerned.

“I regard all music as validated. Its ones own experience that can’t be denied. When its done and its heard, its immortalized: it be,” he yelps.

Purposely, Cee-Lo Green stomps out another road less traveled and publicly displays his diverse talents on The Soul Machine.

“Its just about as much voluntary as it is involuntary. I just can’t help myself.” Although Mr. Cee-Lo Green’s solo career does not yet course through the flow of mainstream success, he is content with his current place as and Hip Hop/Soul artist.

He moves forward. With confidence, he says, “I’m not used to selling a lot of records. I’m used to following my heart and doing what I do. This is why I continue to praise God cause I’ve been able to make a career out of going against the grain.”