Published on September 9th, 2017 | by Just Jay


Goodie Mob Day Declared for 25 Years in the Game

Recently, Goodie Mob rocked the A-Town Music Fest at Wolf Creek Amphitheater in Atlanta on a stage with a collective of rappers who fully represent a well thought out tribute to ATL’s culture spanning over 25 years. Big Boi, YoungBloodZ, Pastor Troy, Crime Mob, Kilo Ali, T.I. and a dope DJ set by KP The Great added to the vibe. Just as the sunset, thousands of fans waited in anticipation as Goodie Mob took their positions backstage.

Khujo is first to do a mic check. His eyes covered by dark shades complimented by a full salt & pepper beard fittingly classifies him as the distinguished O.G. of the group. Today, that’s a badge of honor considering many rappers won’t experience the joys of marriage, rapping and fatherhood in middle age. Don’t be misled, they don’t call him “Gun Club Goodie” for nothing. His lyrical delivery has always been exact like that of a sharp shooter. He stands with strength as one of the first members of the group back when music legend Ian Burke, who was also responsible for getting TLC signed carefully assembled one of hip hop’s greatest dream teams.

As mics are passed to the rest of the group, the soulful voice of CeeLo is heard echoing the words of “Free” as they mentally prepare for a historic evening, unbeknownst to them. “Lord it’s so hard, living this life/A constant struggle each and every day/Some wonder why I’d rather die/Than to continue living this way.” Reminiscent of an old Negro spiritual, the words are even more powerful with today’s social climate.

In no time they had the crowd bouncing invoking a reincarnation of the Old Atlanta. Skating at Cascade, the Beautiful restaurant, Edward J mixtapes, Club 112 until 6 am, yeekin’ and Freaknik. That’s just part of the nostalgic city that are adrenaline rushing memories if you lived it. Seeing thousands of fans singing in unison word-for-word shows the love Goodie Mob fans have had since the beginning of their careers. With “Cell Therapy,” “Soul Food,” “Dirty South,” and “Thought Process,” we were quickly reminded that the South always had something to say.

It’s kind of mind blowing that it has been more than 2 decades since the release of Soul Food, the album that started the pivotal consciousness as we know it in Southern hip-hop culture and has since become the holy grail of classics, especially for any emcee from the “Dirty South.”

Goodie Mob taught us to rise up in the face of racism and poverty, live with self-determination and to challenge the corrupt system that doesn’t value black people. It’s the same war we’ve been in with America at large since being shipped here against our will. What took place in Charlottesville, VA is yet another reminder of what Goodie Mob has been making music about for 25 years. These four men are connected through experiences and music where they grew from boys to men. They have been activists in the spirit of our beloved ancestor Dick Gregory and street hustlers who spoke in a Southern drawl who not only made us think, but fed our souls.

Rico Wade of production trio Organized Noize had many good things at an ‘Art of Organized Noize’ panel as he reflected on working with CeeLo in the formative years. “I love him to death because he could speak so intelligently and so clearly. That was important at that time. You know you had Wu-Tang Clan, The Chronic…all the Dr. Dre stuff. So we were trying to push the South forward. We wanted to come across fresh and clean, not just slum and ghetto. CeeLo had a gospel vibe. He seemed preachy, but he was street…like street poets.”

Often playing the role of big brother in the group, Big Gipp has often stood out as the eccentrically styled self-proclaimed “Mutant” who has been setting trends before people knew what they were. Rico Wade also credited the East Point, Ga native of bringing consciousness to Goodie Mob. Reinforcing this belief, Big Gipp spoke about the state of music during an interview with Atlanta radio personality B High on Hot 107.9 earlier this month. “This is the first time in music history that the music doesn’t match with what’s going on and that’s wrong. We came from the fields where our music represented us in slavery through the Civil Rights Through the hippie sh-t with the Black rock & roll sh-t with Jimi Hendrix. I feel like Jimi Hendrix was really fighting for the war. We always stood with a purpose. What happened to our purpose? Is our purpose just to be millionaires with no voice?”

Usually reserved and even keeled, T-Mo, the silent warrior rarely makes statements outside of music or does interviews. While in part his natural demeanor, he actually had some of the most savagely fierce and revolutionary lyrics regarding The White House and questionable attorneys in 1995 when Soul Food dropped. Through it all, he has always kept a smile on his face, even in turbulent times, which makes moments like these even sweeter.

As the A-Town Fest came to a close, ATLiens, Atlantans and transplants all gathered for the perfect ending to the best festival of the summer. Here is an excerpt from the proclamation of Goodie Mob Day by Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall:

“In honor of Goodie Mob as pioneers of Southern Hip-Hop, Atlanta’s Goodie Mob has been outspoken on issues such as gentrification, affordable housing, discrimination and when Goodie Mob began in 1991, rapping was about social justice, not just the norm in Hip-Hop. And since then Goodie Mob has achieved U.S. album sales of 5 million. Throughout this primetime, original and current members CeeLo Green, Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo have stayed true to the social consciousness as the root of inspirational messages instilling self-esteem in millions of people who believe in the power of Hip-Hop to change the world and heal our planet. And whereas On Saturday August 19, 2017 Goodie Mob performed on the stage at Wolf Creek Amphitheater as part of the A-Town Music Fest thank you Richard Dunn (founder of Muddy Water Group). Now therefore we, the members of Atlanta City Council and on behalf of the citizens of Atlanta recognize Atlanta’s own Goodie Mob for more than 25 years of artistic achievement and music activism and hereby proclaim Saturday, August 19, 2017 as Goodie Mob Day in the great city of Atlanta.”

Today was proclaimed @goodiemob day by Councilman @kwanzahall @djemperorsearcy #Atownmusicfest

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Words by Dione M. Davis

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