MIC DROP is a recurring series featuring the thoughts and opinions of some of the biggest voices in classic Hip-Hop. Raw, uncut — and in their own words — these are the gems you've always wanted.
We didn't shoot the "Soul Food" video on any particular holiday. We shot that video in Southwest Atlanta, on Cascade Road. It was at a fast food joint called Hardee's. I guess LaFace Records got to them, and they allowed us to shoot the video for "Soul Food" in there. It consisted of people who went to school with us, neighborhood friends. That's why it was just so fun. And the thing about it was, at the end of the video, we ended up feeding the homeless, going to this shelter and helping feed the people that needed food.
The song? It was kind of like an assault on fast food versus home-cooked, soul food. Back when I was coming up, we didn't eat fast food every day. I only got a McDonald's Filet O' Fish if I helped my aunt clean the gutters out at her house! We was eatin' soul food every day. Macaroni and cheese, cornbread, fried chicken. I guess that's what we was growing up on: soul food. And we related it to our music, too. Soul food is something you put your heart into, your love into, your time into. You take time to measure the ingredients. With fast food, it already comes ready. You either like it or you don't!
I could see why "Soul Food" could be like a song that people would play around about this time of year. Like Cee-Lo says: "A heapin' helpin' of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and collard greens to big for my jeans!"
It also had some other political jabs in there. You know how Goodie Mob do it; we just try to mix a lot of stuff with it. Just like soul food—lotta different types of foods and different types of recipes. With the music contracts back in the days, a lot of people didn't get justice. And now, you've got these 360 deals—which I understand, if a label is doing everything for you. They want to get that from you. But that's if you wanna do it. We mixed that in there.
But that was the luxury of just having niggas like Big Gipp and T-Mo and Cee-Lo; all coming from different sides of Atlanta. T-Mo and Cee-Lo from Southwest Atlanta, and Gipp from East Point and I'm from Northwest Atlanta. Coming together and we have the same values, damn-near—like the same thing. Soul food brought all of us all together! It brings that family together! When you know Big Momma cooking, you smelling cornbread in the oven and that baked chicken and some of them black-eyed peas! We did that almost every day!
My Momma and my brother, it was just us three, and she definitely made sure we had some soul food to eat. That's how I got kinda big! Playing football, lifting weights—we was eating good! It's about getting up, exercising, doing something after you eat. Putting everything where it's supposed to go.
But that video was like the first time I'd really been inside of a shelter like that. It might've been the Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry, I'm not sure. But I was just thankful. Some people don't have the luxury of being able to eat every day like that. Just being able to give back to the community in another way. You can preach and talk to people all day and give 'em some good advice, but if you don't give them the necessities of life, you're just blowing hot air.
Seeing the young kids in there, this is something they can always remember. "Goodie Mob came and fed us that day." That was our community service; giving back to the people. Because Atlanta loves us. The only way we could've given back like that was to help feed the hungry and the homeless down there.
And even when we was coming out of the store, at the beginning of the video. You'd always see somebody homeless sitting outside of a store or a food establishment. Just hungry. And you're like "Well, damn—you're sitting at a store, they won't give you no food?" So it's always good to kind of give back. Because we still got that down here. We still got people at the exit, begging for food or begging for money. Just really needing help.
At the time, we wasn't rich. We didn't have no money. That was the best way for us to give back to the people; to give our time. And we were honored to do that.