Published Sep 05, 2013In recent years, Cee Lo Green has risen to the top of the pop music world, first as the Gnarls Barkley singer behind "Crazy" and then as a ubiquitous TV star responsible for the hit "Fuck You." Long before achieving solo fame, however, Cee Lo served as a member of Atlanta hip-hop crew Goodie Mob.
In recent years, the famed singer has been back with Goodie Mob, and the group released their comeback album, Age Against the Machine, late last month. In light of the new release, we've taken this opportunity to look back on the group's storied career in our Timeline feature.
Before you dig into that extensive history, here are five notable facts about the group from that story to get you started.
Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About Goodie Mob:
5. Cee Lo Green's early musical endeavours were inspired by the untimely death of his parents.
Both of Cee Lo's parents are ministers, and the soulful crooning he would later ride to solo fame is evident in his early rap compositions. Cee Lo's father dies in 1976, when the boy is two years old. In 1990, Cee Lo's mother, also a volunteer firefighter, is paralyzed from a car crash. She dies two years later. Her death becomes a defining moment for the singer/rapper, who enters a depression he will later express through song.
4. Goodie Mob made their debut on Outkast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.
Goodie Mob — a backronym for "the Good Die Mostly Over Bullshit," as expanded on the song "Fighting" — formally arrive on fellow Dungeon Family group Outkast's seminal debut, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Recorded in Organized Noize's now-legendary basement studio, "Call of Da Wild" and "Git Up, Get Out," two of the platinum LP's most uplifting tracks, feature Goodie members rhyming alongside Andre 3000 and Big Boi about resisting temptations to drop out of school and do drugs and using your time to pursue your passion.
3. When working on Gnarls Barkley's St. Elsewhere, Cee Lo Green didn't tell collaborator Danger Mouse what he was going to do until he was in the vocal booth.
"[Cee Lo] surprised me every time he went into the vocal booth and sang something," Danger Mouse tells Snowboard Canada magazine. "I didn't know what he was going to do. He liked to surprise me. He always kept it a secret what he was going to do." The producer doesn't encourage Cee Lo to rap. "I just wanted to hear what he was going to do, and singing fit most of the songs better anyway. Melody just brought out a different side of the song more than rapping would've brought out the music."
2. The group cites Khujo's below-the-knee leg amputation — a result of a car crash — as a reason to continue after the low-selling One Monkey Don't Stop No Show.
"Cee Lo gave up on us, and also Arista gave up on us. I think it was a chain reaction of Khujo's accident [and] Cee Lo not wanting to perform," Big Gipp says, denying beef rumours. "But I feel we're going to be stronger now, because for any kid to see Khujo go up on stage and see that he still got something to say after what he's been through, that's encouragement to those kids in a wheelchair or crutches."
1. The group helped save a bus full of kids from a fire.
While touring, Goodie Mob come across a church bus full of children that had caught on fire. "It was right at the end of an off-ramp, so we pulled our bus over, we got off and were helping get the kids off," Gipp says. "The kids were counting each other, and they was like, 'There's still two more! There's still two more!' I was running back on the bus, through that fire, to get them kids, man. That was some real shit to me. People don't even know about that. That was some shit we ain't really never talked about, it was so personal to us."