Goodie Mob will drop a special 25th-anniversary edition of the debut album. The group is also prepping a new album, featuring Big Boi, André 3000, and more.
On November 7th, 1995, Goodie Mob arrived. That was the day the group — which consists of Big Gipp, Khujo, T-Mo, and Cee-Lo — released their classic debut Soul Food. Prior to the release, the Atlanta-based collective Goodie Mob was part of, Dungeon Family, had already garnered some success. The year prior, Outkast released their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, which went gold at the time. And Organized Noize, which consists of Rico Wade, Ray Murray, and Sleepy Brown, produced one of the biggest songs of the decade, “Waterfalls” from TLC.
But Soul Food is the album that defined the Organized Noize sound: a gorgeous mix of gospel, blues, politics, paranoia, and grit. The album is the crown jewel of Goodie Mob’s career. And now the group is planning on celebrating Soul Food with the release of a special 25th-anniversary edition. Out on November 6th, the rerelease will include a 12” vinyl and a new version hitting DSPS. The anniversary album will feature the original album as well as eight additional songs.
One of those tracks is “Free,” the album’s intro, which features Cee-Lo singing. The song, which was one of the last to be recorded, originally featured verses from all the members. You will now get to hear that track in it’s original glory. “Free” is one of the more important records from Goodie Mob and the perfect introduction to the group.
“I realized we had a classic [album] when I heard my main man Cee-Lo drop that ‘Free,’” T-Mo said during a phone conversation. “I knew that I had never heard nothing like that on any other hip-hop record as long as I had been living. “
Despite the heavy themes, Soul Food was a hit. The album included rap hits like “Dirty South,” which featured Cool Breeze and Big Boi, and the album’s first single “Cell Therapy,” which cracked the Billboard Hot 100.
“I don’t think people was expecting to hear that type of shit coming out of the mouths of somebody down from the South,” Kujo said, speaking about the impact of “Cell Therapy” “Because all you kind of really heard about in the South was strip club music… Nobody heard that type of stuff coming out our mouths before, even though that the information was already available out there.”
A week after the Soul Food rerelease, Goodie Mob will drop their first album in five years. (Their last album was the experimental Age Against the Machine in 2013.) The album, titled Survival Kit, is a reunion with their most important Soul Food collaborators, Organized Noize. The entire Goodie Mob — who have had many quarrels over the past two decades — hasn’t worked with Organized Noize since World Party in 1999.
For Goodie Mob coming home was an important part of their development,
“The last album Age Against the Machine was more so something wild and adventurous… We were exploring other avenues, other alternatives, other jurisdictions, other territory. Trying to take the brand as far as we could take it,” Cee-Lo said. “Sometimes that ambition is blind and you can miss the mark. Even if you have the best intentions. We turned the spaceship around and came all the way back to Atlanta Georgia, and posted up at headquarters, man, and broke back in.”
The new album seems like a return to form for the group. Alongside Chuck D, there are appearances from Big Rube, Big Boi, and André 3000 (although not on the same track.) The album’s latest single, “Frontline,” features the rappers talking about relevant themes, like the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest. This song isn’t an outlier. It seems like Goodie Mob is making political music again.
[The new album] sounds like Organized Noize and Goodie Mob… reaching back into those other days, into those old days, and bringing it back up to date to what’s going on now,” Kujo Said. It’s just a collage of all the things. It’s relevant… it’s 21st-century shit.
Check out the tracklist for the album below.