What Can Today’s Rappers Learn From Mumford & Sons? Big Boi Explains

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(Photo Credit: Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images)

As one half of the genre-splicing crew Outkast, Big Boi‘s musical influences flow far and wide. His forthcoming album, Viscous Lies And Dangerous Rumors, promises a wide range of music styles.

But if Big Boi had his way, he would have a record with acoustic rock band and recently announced GRAMMY nominees, Mumford & Sons, whom he counts among his favorites.    

“I’m biased because Mumford & Sons is one of my favorite groups,” he told CBS Local, when asked about the group’s GRAMMY chances. “What really turned me on to the Mumford & Sons–that’s why I like the GRAMMYS– is the live performances. When I saw them perform with the Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan, it blew me away. Killed it. I was looking for some banjo on this album after that.”

While he didn’t quite pull together the Mumford And Sons-styled banjo, he did reveal a possible collaboration in the future.

“I was actually going to do something with Mumford & Sons,” he said. “I ran into them at Glastonbury [Music Festival]. Still something will probably be in the works. They know I want to work with them and they are open to it.”

Along with the usual ATL suspects–T.I., Ludacris, B.o.B.–the set features a collaboration with electronic band Little Dragon and revolutionary rapper Killer Mike (“Thom Pettie”); as well as a music connection between rising rapper A$AP Rocky and indie pop band Phantogram (“Mama Told Me”). 

With years of pushing and pulling rap across otherwise uncrossed borders, Big Boi said rappers could learn a great deal from groups like Mumford & Sons. 

“Their music is filled with feeling,” he said. “Not just reciting words over a beat. They really feel it. The melodies, the riffs, they put songs together [with] song structure. These days it’s four rappers on every song, rap-hook-rap-hook-rap-hook, [then] thank you. It’s no build-up, no climax, just run-on sentences. People want to feel something you have to be real personal honest in your music and people will know where you’re coming from.”

Mumford & Sons recieved six GRAMMY nods as part of a six-way tie for most nominations. The other five top-nominated artists include Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Jay-Z, The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach and fun.

As one half of Outkast, Big Boi has received six GRAMMY Awards. Viscous Lies And Dangerous Rumors hits stands December 11. –Erik Parker, CBS Local

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