When Andre 3000’s mother passed away on May 27, Cee Lo could relate. The Goodie Mob member lost his own mother when he was 18 years old. Now 39, Cee Lo said during an exclusive listening session for the Goodie Mob’s Age Against The Machine album in Los Angeles, California this week that he hopes Andre 3000 can channel his emotions into his work. “I’m hoping this really makes him angry enough to be artful again,” Cee Lo said during the listening session. “That’s what I want for him.”
Cee Lo said that the death of his own mother dramatically impacted his own life. He details his admiration for her on the 1995 Goodie Mob cut “Guess Who” and discussed her on several Gnarls Barkley songs, including “A Little Better.” “When I lost my mother, I feel like I definitely took on her energy,” Cee Lo said during the L.A. listening. “I was not the same person. I took on her will. I pray and wish [Andre 3000] the same positive cause and effect. I hope he gets something constructive out of it.”
As for how the passing of “Mother Benjamin,” as Cee Lo called her, would impact future work from the Dungeon Family, of which Dre’s Outkast and Goodie Mob are members, Cee Lo said he believes there could be another Dungeon Family album. “I think it’s very possible,” Cee Lo said. “I think something’s going to be reborn because of it.”
In the interim, Goodie Mob is preparing for the release of Age Against The Machine, its first album with all four members (Cee Lo, Big Gipp, T-Mo and Khujo) in 14 years. Due August 27, the collection includes the single “Special Education,” which features Janelle Monae and will be going to radio within a week, according to the group. Another song on the album is “Pinstripes,” which features T.I.
Goodie Mob appeared on the OutKast songs “Call Of Da Wild” and “Git Up, Git Out” in 1994 and released its first album, Soul Food, a year later. In addition to his work with Goodie Mob, Cee Lo has written songs for The Pussycat Dolls, experienced success as one-half of Gnarls Barkley and as a solo artist, and also enjoyed a high-profile role as a talent evaluator on the television show “The Voice,” among other things.