Outkast's Big Boi utlizes creative brand building
For anyone who’s followed Outkast since “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,” the sight of Big Boi, one half of the Atlanta duo, cooking on television with Martha Stewart was jarring.
But with hip-hop radio stations playing nearly identical music to their top-40 station siblings and MTV long ago deciding that the “M” in its name is vestigial, rappers have to explore new venues when promoting albums.
Big Boi, in particular, had inspiration to work hard; his album “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty” has gotten major praise everywhere from The Source to Pitchfork.
amNewYork caught up with Big Boi, 35, as he prepared for his show tonight at Terminal 5.
Your album has been lighting up critics’ Top 10 lists. What’s it like to see it still getting praise?
It’s a real good feeling to know that people still appreciate good music. It acts as motivation for me to get back in the studio. It’s like jumper cables.
And you made those lists without big airplay on radio or television, too.
It’s always about trying to get new ears out there. You’ve got to visit new avenues to get the word out about the album. Whether it’s Martha Stewart or on a local cable access show. It’s about building a brand.
Has social media changed the game significantly for hip-hop promotion?
I’ve been releasing songs on my Twitter account and it got people ready for the album. “Royal Flush” didn’t even get on my album, and now it’s been nominated for a Grammy.
How did “Royal Flush” get left off?
Any song with me and Andre  is an Outkast record, and so Jive [Outkast’s label] didn’t want Def Jam [Big Boi’s label for his solo work] having control of an Outkast song. It’s all about label politics.
We’re required by law to ask — when will we hear another Outkast album?
The plan is to go in after Dre finishes his record. It’s been the plan for a couple of years now, so hopefully his will come out soon.
If you go: Big Boi is at Terminal 5 Wednesday at 7. 610 W. 56th St., 212-260-4700, $50.