Goodie Mob, Soul Food

Hua Hsu

By Hua Hsu

on 08.23.12 in Reviews

Soul Food

The Goodie Mob
Building blocks for movements to come

According to Cee-Lo, the first record from Goodie Mob (“the Good Die Mostly Over Bullshit”) was originally conceived as a compilation. At the time, Cee-Lo and Big Gipp were solo artists and T-Mo and Khujo called themselves the Lumberjacks. The four of them formed a bond in the Dungeon, however, and they decided to become a group. Their 1995 debut showcased their diversity of voices, something you realize within minutes of “Thought Process.” These aren’t boys passing around a crown, trying it on for kicks. “Frustrated, irritated, sometimes I don’t/ Know myself, I be too numb” Khujo grunts, finding solace in his brothers, a blunt and the Dungeon. Meanwhile, the cherubic Cee-Lo pokes his head up from the grind and realizes, “I kinda like bein’ poor/ At least I know what my friends here for.” These aren’t just great songs, they were the building blocks for movements to come: the local pride of “Dirty South” and “Soul Food,” the paranoia and spiritualism of “Cell Therapy” or “Live at the O.M.N.I.” If Outkast’s stories promised fantasy and escape, Goodie Mob was trying to describe the feeling of visiting someone at the county jail, the micro-triumphs and aches of everyday life, the sound of a swinging screen door.