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When, oh when, is Big Boi’s album going to drop?

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Big Boi of Outkast at Pure.
Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/www.erikkabikphoto.com

Fans have been asking this question for months now, and have received a few different answers.

While the Outkast member has been promising a solo record for a while now, he assures Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty will be out soon. Really.

The hip-hopper, whose real name is Antwan Patton, talked to the Las Vegas Sun before taking to the stage at LAX on Saturday night and assured the record would be out in December or early January.

“That’s the window that we’re looking at,” he said, sitting comfortably backstage on one of the club’s leather couches while giving the exclusive interview.

Still, fans know better than to hold their breath while they wait for the CD’s release.

Big Boi told the Weekly in March that the album would be “coming out in two months, three months at the most. … Juneish, Julyish.”

Meanwhile, fans have been waiting – some more patiently than others.

So what’s the hold up?

“I was in the midst of a little label thing,” Big Boi explained, adding, “I finally got it right now, so it’s time for it to come out.”

The so-called label thing the rapper referred to was a disagreement with LaFace/Jive and his threatening to leave and sign with rival label Def Jam.

“I was about to switch labels because I really wasn’t comfortable with the label I was at so I was about to go,” Big Boi said. “Then they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, and … they wanted to do right by me, so here we are.”

He said he appreciated the patience his fans have demonstrated over the tumultuous past few months, and promised the disc will be worth the wait.

“Good things come to those who wait, you know,” he mused. “The album is done and they’ll be happy when they get it.”

The record is named after Big Boi’s father, who passed away a few years ago.

“My father was in the Air Force and he was a pilot and his name was Chico Dusty. (That was) the nickname they gave him and so … that’s me, walkin’ in his footsteps,” he explained in March as he made his way into Pure at Caesars Palace.

The Atlanta-based hip hopper spoke about his father this weekend, as well.

“He was a bad, bad man, one of the best dudes I’ve ever known and, you know, it’s like I’m walking in my father’s shoes,” he said. “He was a stand-up guy and was serious about what he did and I’m his boy and I’m going to put my best foot forward and give it everything I’ve got.”

Big Boi said the record will stay close to home musically, as well.

“It’s going to stay funk-based,” he said. “The lyrics are going to stay deadly, it ain’t nothin’ but venom, and you know, it’s top notch, you know, hip hop, funky music.”

He gave fans a taste of what’s in store last week when he leaked a track from the record online.

“(I) just put out a little leak record the day before yesterday called ‘For Your Sorrows’ featuring George Clinton and Too Short,” he said, noting, “It’s getting great reception out there in the whole internet world.”

“I recorded … three CDs’ worth of music so, you know, I had a couple that I could just, you know, kind of let loose,” he figured. “Now I’ve got the 14, 15 cuts that I’m going to use for the album and it’s ready. I’m just all about bringing awareness and the marketing and the promotion got to be set up right so I can get the right push.”

As part of the promo, Big Boi has become an avid Twitter user, updating his account several times throughout the day. Still, he insists that he hasn’t become addicted to the social networking tool like some other celebrities.

“No, man, I’ve got a life outside of that,” he said. “I’ve got three babies and, you know, I’ve got a whole home life and, you know, I work.”

Still, he said he uses his handle, @therealbigboi, to keep fans updated “all day long, off and on, all day long.”

“I think it’s really cool,” he said. “I’ve been getting a lot of good feedback and a lot of thoughts and stuff like that … They ask questions and I answer questions and all that; it’s a cool way to connect with your fans.”

In addition to his upcoming solo album, fans have been asking about a new Outkast album, too.

While he and partner André 3000 originally were hoping to get a record on shelves before the end of the year, it looks like it will be a while before the duo release a follow-up to 2006’s Idlewild.

“I really can’t call a timeframe, man, you’ve got to talk to Andre Benjamin about that,” Big Boi said. “It’s not on me; if it was up to me, we’d be doing an Outkast album right now.”

He said he doesn’t expect any new Outkast material will be released until both he and André 3000 complete their current solo projects.

The two combined their solo efforts in 2003 and released a highly-successful double CD, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. The album went on to win a Grammy for best album of the year, was certified 11 times platinum, and went on to become the best selling rap album of all time.

This time, however, the two are doing things separately, and seem to be taking their time while they do it.

Big Boi said he will focus on getting his solo record out and performing until André 3000 is ready to get back into the studio.

The 34-year-old performer said he enjoys coming to Las Vegas, where he is always well-received by club audiences.

“Every time I come here and destroy a stage, the next day or so they call me, wanting me to come back,” he said before noting the unique energy of Las Vegas shows.

“I like the fact that the venues are up close and personal,” he said. “I’m used to doing arenas and theaters and … (in Vegas) you can … touch the fans and mingle and get to feel the energy up close and personal.”

Though this weekend’s trip was a short one, Big Boi said he appreciated the opportunity to “get out here and kill it for a minute.”

He also planned to “get down there, out on the craps tables or blackjack tables, (to) see what’s happening,” before flying back to Atlanta on Sunday.

Big Boi asked if he could send the following message to his fans before taking to the LAX stage on Saturday night:

“To all the fans out there, the album is coming. I’ll have a solid date for y’all in the next week to 10 days,” he said. “I’ll have an exact date for you all so stay tuned. Meanwhile, enjoy the treat that I gave you all, ‘For Your Sorrows’ featuring George Clinton and Too Short, produced by Organized Noise.”

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Melissa Arseniuk

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