Big Boi, né Antwan André Patton, is best known as being one-half of the rap duo Outkast, but he’s also a songwriter, actor, and record producer. He found success early in his career after he met André 3000 while the two attended Tri-Cities High School in East Point, Ga. in the early-1990s.
Today, he joins Maroon 5 and Travis Scott for the Super Bowl LIII halftime show which should kick off around 8 p.m. EST depending on gameplay.
Here are five fast facts to need to know about the halftime show guest Big Boi.
1. With Outkast Big Boi Helped Put Southern Rap on the Map
In the early ’90s, Outkast helped the music world see that there was another alternative to the East Coast vs. West Coast fued. Big Boi and André signed to LaFace Records in the early ’90s and released their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, in 1994, laying the foundation for Southern rap. The record was produced by Organized Noize and reflected the lifestyles of pimps and gangsters while balancing its content with politically conscious content that represented the status of black Southern life.
OutKast won Best New Rap Group at the Source Awards in 1995. The debut album also hit the Top 20 in 1994 and was certified Platinum by the end of the year. When the group accepted the award at the Source Awards, they took the stage followed by boos from the crowd as a result of backlash from the East Coast—West Coast beef. André said, “But it’s like this though, I’m tired of them closed minded folks, it’s like we gotta demo tape but don’t nobody want to hear it. But it’s like this: the South got something to say, that’s all I got to say.”
As stated by rapper T.I., “Outkast, period. Period. That’s when it changed. That was the first time when people began to take Southern rap seriously.”
2. Outkast’s Later Successes Helped Rap Crossover to the Mainstream
Outkast released six studio albums in total. They won six Grammy Awards throughout their career and sold over 25 million records worldwide. While their first two records helped catapult them onto the scene, their third and fourth records, Aquemini (1998) and Stankonia (2000), were critically praised and helped define the hip-hop and rap-pop sounds of the era.
In 2000, Stankonia brought them to the next level, producing the most recognizable of the group’s singles like “B.o.B.,” “Ms. Jackson,” and “So Fresh, So Clean.” The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling over 530,000 copies the first week. The group won Best Rap Album for Stankonia and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for “Ms. Jackson.” In 2003, the album was included in Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, released in 2003, continued their quest to crossover into other genres like pop, funk, and jazz. The double album is arranged as two solo records mashed together. Big Boi’s half, Speakerboxxx, focuses on Southern hip-hop with plenty of “P-Funk-tinged boogies,” while André 3000’s The Love Below features psychedelic, pop, funk, electro, and jazz influences. The release’s lead single “Hey Ya” was virtually inescapable that year, winning Best Album/Urban Performance at the Grammys. Follow-up single, the Big Boi-fronted “The Way You Move,” knocked “Hey Ya” off the top of the charts in February 2004 and became the seventh instance an artist replaced itself at number one.
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below went on to win Album of the Year and Best Rap Album.
3. Big Boi Has Three Solo Albums That Were All Well Received Critically
In 2010, Big Boi dropped his first record, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, to massive critical acclaim. Vibe called it one of the Top 10 best albums of the year, while Paste called it “a massive, ambitious album shot through with knee-knocking beats and deft lyrical touches from Outkast’s swagger champion…both a trove of pop jams and a profound piece of artistic experimentation.” Lead single “Shutterbug” is a banger that fuses Big Boi’s southern roots with infectious electronic hooks and bouncy synths.
Two years later, Big Boi followed it up with Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors which was just as well received, thanks in part to its single “Mama Told Me” featuring Kelly Rowland. The rapper continued staying true to his roots while pressing forward on 2017’s Boomiverse. “Walking a thin line between pretty much every musical genre known to mankind, don’t be surprised when on Boomiverse one minute you’re breaking your neck on a bed of 808s, electro drum patterns and screaming synths and the next you’re kicking back to a selection of funky rhythms, sax solos, and acoustic guitars,” wrote Will Lavin of Clash Music.
4. Acting Career and Other Television Appearances
In 2006, Big Boi starred in the musical comedy Idlewild written and directed by Bryan Barber. The movie stars André 3000 and Big Boi and features music written, produced, and performed by Outkast. The soundtrack served as the duo’s sixth and final album.
Big Boi’s other TV appearances include Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘n Out Seasons 3 and 5, as well as a musical spot on Chappelle’s Show performing his song “The Rooster.” One year after Idlewild, Big Boi secured a leading role in Who’s Your Caddy? directed by Don Michael Paul.
The rapper also appeared in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit called “Wildlife,” which aired in 2008. Big Boi played a rap artist called “Gots Money.”
5. Big Boi Still Lives in Atlanta and Has a Lot of Pride for the South
“We come from a time when it wasn’t cool to be from Atlanta. Now Atlanta is the shit,” Big Boi told Newsweek in 2017. “It’s the place to be for music and film and television. That’s our city and we proud of it. We’re gonna rep it every chance we get.”
The rapper calls his home city “economically one of the greatest places to live.”
“Something that you get in L.A. or New York for like two million or three million, you can get in Atlanta for [much cheaper]. The cost of living is way lower and Atlanta’s a big city, but there’s also a lot of trees, know what I’m saying? So you can speed up life or slow it down as you please, depending on where you live at. And then the people are nice. You can walk down the street and say hello to someone and they speak back to you,” said Big Boi.
Big Boi has been married to Sherlita Patton, a former boutique owner, since 2002. Her store PValentine was once featured on an episode of My Super Sweet 16. Although Patton once filed for divorce, the two reconciled in 2014, according to TMZ.