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Cee Lo Talks Upcoming Goodie Mob, Gnarls Barkley Projects

Henry S. Dziekan III, Getty Images

Though his upcoming solo effort — ‘The Lady Killer’ — is the first order of business before moving into 2011, Cee Lo is already mapping out plans for his other musical endeavors — Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley. The ‘Dirty South’ rhymers’ new project is a priority for next year. Staying mum about producers they’ve called on, Cee Lo did disclose what fans can come to expect on the forthcoming opus.

“Goodie Mob, it’s still very, very conscious,” Cee Lo reveals of records he’s worked on with members such as Big Gipp. “This time around I believe it’s understanding. I don’t think it’ll be as aggressive. There’ll most certainly be edge but not aggression directed at one source. There’s a natural mystique in the air surrounding Goodie Mob.”

As for Gnarls Barkley, the duo’s next album will come to fruition over less conversation and more active collaboration. “Me and Danger [Mouse], we’ve never talked about music, ever,” Cee Lo admits. “Not once. We’ve talked about other people’s music, but not about our own because [Danger Mouse's] end of the bargain was done just producing it. I just come in to second that emotion. My thing is to say, ‘Is this the song that you would have written if you wrote the songs?’ Our success ratio is on the high end because I can honestly say I nailed it with him time and time again.”

With a career that dates back to 1995, Cee Lo bears the intellect of a teacher who’s prepared to pass his vast knowledge on to willing students of the game. As much as critics say hip-hop has hit a dead-end, the charming chorister explains that all music, whether it produces a dance craze or an ignorant phrase, has its own time and place to be heard.

“When I’m out and we fly and we poppin’ bottles of Rosé or whatever, I don’t necessarily want to hear the music I do, not when we at LIV in Miami,” he chuckles. “We’re having fun. All music is not meant to convey a message. Some of it is simply meant to entertain. Therefore you have art and you have product. It’s not to insult either one, it’s to acknowledge them both as equals. Sometimes music is that mirror that says, ‘This is you, make a decision,’ and sometimes it is that open window of opportunity to escape out of. I’m not at odds with alternatives existing. There should be. I need an alternative to my own music.”

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