As a busy rapper, actor, entrepreneur and family man, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton prefers to maintain classic style in his life. With six platinum-plus OutKast albums, a handful of Number One hits, three films (ATL, Who’s Your Caddy?, Idlewild) and an animated feature (Freaknik: The Movie) under his belt, the Atlanta native has kept very busy in entertainment over the past 16 years.
An active entrepreneur, 35-year-old father of three has been involved with producing a show with the Atlanta Ballet, and is a registered breeder of Pitbulls, servicing many celebrity clients.
In 2010, Big Boi finally released his own solo debut album via Def Jam entitled Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, and has partnered with Converse to make his own branded Chuck Taylor sneaker. UrbLife.com spoke with Big Boi recently to find out more about his fashion endeavors, and it looks like he’s making some plans for something bigger! Read on…
Why did you decide to partner with Converse for your sneaker?
Big Boi: They approached me because they wanted a classic artist to symbolize their classic Chuck Taylor shoe. I was honored, because Converse has been around with the American classics forever. It wasn’t just a designer shoe, these were limited edition shoes. It’s got the “Sir Lucious Left Foot” on the left foot and “The Son Of Chico Dusty” on the right foot, and the Big Boi logo on the tongue.
It’s nothing too fancy, just plain and simple… and it’s a limited edition as if I was a graffiti artist tagging up on a wall. It was a real cool thing, they’re shoes that everybody wears and I was glad to be a part of it.
How many colorways does the sneaker come in?
BB: Just one, the off-white that sometimes looks beige with the rubber toe.
How would you describe the changes in your style over the years?
BB: Style is all about personal expression and how you feel that day. Some days you might want to go out and have on a fresh pair of Gucci jeans and [Nike] Air Max with a Crooks & Castles t-shirt, and other days you might want to have on a three piece Armani suit with Gucci loafers and knee high socks with a big butterfly bowtie.
Throughout the years I’ve just tried to keep it funky. It’s all about accessories like shades and things… you have to funk it out a little bit.
You’re a parent, and kids are influenced by style and the things that they see [on TV, in videos, etc.]. Have they tried to walk out of the house yet with anything you didn’t approve of?
BB: No, they’re 9 and 10 and I have a daughter who’s 15, and they already know what it is. My son will go in my closet and try on my shoes. That’s the funniest sh*t in the world! It looks like he has scuba diving slippers on, trying to look fresh with my shoes on.
So they wont be walking out with inappropriate clothing as they get older?
BB: I’m a hands on parent, me and my wife are right there. Certain things you just aren’t going to try when your parents are there, we didn’t raise them that way. My daughter was raised in a fashion where she’s going to get respect as a young woman, and that comes from hands on parenting.
I don’t let TV, movies, radio and music raise my kids. I’ve been raising my kids since they were born, and that’ s parts of being a father. I’m always there and I always like to tell these young dads to be in their kids’ lives.
What would you say are the fashion trends that you’ve shied away from over the years?
BB: I definitely cant do the jeans that fit like leggings… I think they call them skinny jeans. That’s the main one I just couldn’t do.
Has there ever been a fashion style that you just couldn’t wear that you liked anyway?
BB: No, if I like it I’m going to rock it!
Now that you’re getting hands on experience with the sneakers, would you like to branch out into clothing lines? If so, what direction would you go?
BB: Actually me and Andre 3000 are working on this new line called OutKast Originals. It’s going to be t-shirts with quotes of ours throughout the years, and we’re going to keep it real funky and simple. We’re going to hook back up with that in a minute and then basically jump back into designing.
As you approach middle age do you ever worry that your style will be stifled, or that one day you wont be able to dress the way that you want?
BB: Never that! I’m going to wear whatever I want as long as it’s fresh and rocked out. I’m going to be snazzy and jazzy as long as it doesn’t look like any foolishness. You can’t be an old man with some shorts that come above your knee.
Tell us a little about the Sir Lucious Left Foot album… are you achieving everything you wanted with it?
BB: Yes, I’m achieving everything I wanted and more! To still be here making music that people can appreciate is motivation to go back and make new music. The way people dig it and can’t stop playing it front to back, that just tells me that they want to hear the funk, and I’m here to keep the funk alive.
Follow Big Boi on Twitter @TheRealBigBoi
Watch Big Boi’s video discussing the inspiration behind his new custom Converse!
Big Boi “Shutterbugg” video from Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty