The sun hung low in the Georgia sky, casting a warm glow over Tucker as I made my way to Down Home Brewing. Today was no ordinary day; today, I had the privilege of sitting down with none other than Big Gipp, a founding member of the legendary Goodie Mob, in the heart of hip-hop’s southern cradle.
As a Hip-Hop journalist hailing from Atlanta, Goodie Mob’s music was the soundtrack to my youth, along with the soulful beats of OutKast. Meeting Big Gipp, the man behind the lyrics that shaped my formative years, was a moment I had long dreamed of.
Gipp strolled into the brewery and donned a distinctive ensemble that screamed southern swag – a purple wide-brimmed felt fedora, a long black leather trench coat, a stylish purple tie, and classic black chucks. The man’s fashion sense alone was a testament to his iconic status in the hip-hop world.
Seated amidst the brewing equipment, we began our conversation. Gipp’s warm demeanor instantly put me at ease, and the aromatic hints of brewing beer set the perfect backdrop for our discussion. Little did I know that this interview would not only touch upon hip-hop history but also involve a hands-on experience in the art of craft brewing.
We started by delving into the creative process behind one of Goodie Mob’s pivotal tracks – “Cell Therapy.” Gipp shared insights into the inspiration and collaborative effort that birthed the 1995 debut single, revealing layers of depth in the creation of a hip-hop classic. Gipp states, “We had to do everything that people thought we couldn’t do. And we had to do it in a way that it wasn’t easy to follow. I think we really reached our goal because Outkast has never been duplicated, and I think Goodie Mob can’t be duplicated.”
Our conversation took an unexpected turn when Gipp spoke about the late 2Pac’s desire to collaborate with Goodie Mob on an album. The revelation of the unrealized potential for a musical masterpiece between these two iconic forces left me hanging on every word, a poignant reminder of the what-ifs that often accompany the untimely departure of musical legends. When asked if it was true that 2Pac and Goodie Mob were in talks about making an album together Gipp said “Yeah, it’s true to that. Before he got out and went Death Row, he was already calling out offers and was like, yo, when I get out, I’m coming to Atlanta.”
Transitioning seamlessly, Gipp shed light on Andre 3000’s instrumental project, “New Blue Sun.” The visionary album, devoid of traditional rap verses, showcased Andre’s avant-garde approach to music. Gipp’s insights provided a rare glimpse into the mind of one of hip-hop’s most innovative figures. About the transition, Gipp says, “3000 (Andre 3000) just opens a new genre for hip-hop producers and hip-hop people who play instruments. Remember Miles Davis never said nothing to you Kenny G don’t say nothing to you. It’s so many examples of just musicians that have a great amount of success and never said none to you to just play instruments.”
Atlanta, often referred to as the Mecca of Hip-Hop, became a focal point of our conversation. Gipp passionately spoke about the city’s influence on the genre and its unmatched role in shaping the sound and culture of hip-hop. His pride for his hometown was palpable, and rightfully so. Gipp speaks to Atlanta’s success saying, “It’s so funny that at this point, like having so many people come out of Atlanta. Atlanta has done what only a few cities have done and that’s create international superstars on every side of Atlanta. Like, you know, the last emergence was from the North side, the Migos and everything they bring into the game. And then look, Lil Baby coming back, representing for Oakland City with the Southwest Atlanta. So it’s like for us, just watching the success of everybody and where the game is going. We have no competition now.”
As we shifted gears, Gipp shared anecdotes about Pimp C’s request to borrow his flow for the iconic verse on Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin’.” The interconnectedness of hip-hop, where artists pay homage and borrow from one another, was a theme that resonated throughout our conversation. “He was in the studio working on Big Pimpin’. It was just so much about that record. He didn’t really like the record, but he understood the record and why it was important. He just knew he had to come with a style that was just so Southern. And with him being from Houston and me from Atlanta, he just mixed it. And I think Big Pimpin is one of Pimp C’s most famous verses.” Gipp says.
Gipp, now a successful entrepreneur, talked about his current ventures, including the unexpected twist of brewing beer. Watching him expertly craft a brew on the spot was a testament to his versatility and passion for exploring new horizons. “I have an event coming up December 2nd, you know, a black tie event at Down Home Brewing, 2316 Main Street, Tucker, GA. Come, you’ll be able to taste the beer; you’ll be able to have the beer. We’re going to have packages where we can do tastings. You’ll be able to take it home. And I’m going to add some CBD products in the bags for you guys.” Gipp warmly states.
The future of The Dungeon Family was the final piece of our conversation. Gipp hinted at upcoming projects, leaving fans like myself eagerly anticipating what’s next for this influential collective. Gipp wisely says “You know, Organized Noise, man, they taught us well. Never give everything to this game. Always keep something for yourself.”
As our interview wrapped up, the combination of hip-hop history, personal anecdotes, and the aroma of brewing beer created a truly unique experience. Big Gipp, a living legend, not only shared his story but allowed me to witness his creative prowess in the world of craft brewing.
Leaving Down Home Brewing that day, I couldn’t help but reflect on the richness of Atlanta’s hip-hop legacy and the ever-evolving narrative crafted by its icons. Big Gipp’s words echoed in my mind, reminding me that hip-hop is not just a genre but a living, breathing culture with stories waiting to be told, and in this case, brewed.
Check out the full video interview below.