#10. I met Big Boi from OutKast (New Orleans, 2011)

I went with some friends to see Big Boi from OutKast perform at Harrah’s Casino. I’d tried and failed to interview Big Boi beforehand. Couldn’t even score free tickets to the show. But I loved his recently released, thoroughly excellent first solo album, Sir Lucious Left Foot: Son of Chico Dusty, so much, that I paid my own money to see him.

At Harrah’s, as we waited in a relatively small concert theatre for his show to start, I had to pee but couldn’t see the bathroom. I wandered, searching the room’s outskirts, feeling along the walls until I found a door to a long hallway lined with red curtains. Cool, private bathrooms, I thought.

Just as I began to feel sketchy because it was obviously some kind of rockstar safe space, I saw two large bouncer types appear at the hallways’ end, coming straight for me. Behind them, walked Big Boi.

My heart raced, assuming his bodyguards were about to grab me and choke me out. Instead, the two large men kept their gazes aimed straight ahead, past me.

As Big Boi neared, I stamped one foot on the ground, just once, and stabbed my open hand against my forehead: a soldier at attention.

“General Patton, sir!” I barked. See, his real last name is Patton (first name Antwan), so that’s one of his nicknames that only a close listener/real fan would use.

Big Boi glanced over at me for a half second and asked, “Sup dude,” but didn’t wait for my answer, just kept walkin.

That counts as meeting him.

On a side note: The concert was good, though too heavy on OutKast material. Big Boi performed the classics with the original music videos playing on a big screen behind him, which only highlighted Andre 3000’s absence. I love Big Boi’s solo records as much as I do OutKast — I even preferred Speakerboxxx to Love Below — and so I didn’t feel the need to go back in time. I understood however, that most people would probably be mad if he didn’t perform the big hits. General Patton also wore his sunglasses the whole show, which always puts a damper on my enjoyment. Otherwise, Big Boi killed it.

On a humorous note: I wrote a review of the show the next day, which mentioned Big Boi’s hypeman at the show, rapper Blackowned C-Bone, who must have 1. had Google alerts set to tell him whenever his name was mentioned, and 2. not liked being called a “hypeman,” because within a couple hours of my review hitting the internet, Blackowned C-Bone himself left a comment beneath it: “Hype on deez nuts.”

This was before that phrase had really been popularized. Hence, I learned a lil something from the experience.

Michael Patrick Welch’s “132 Famous People I Have Met” series is FREE, but please consider donating to his VENMO (michael-welch-42), or to his PayPal account (paypal.me/michaelpatrickwelch2), so he can feed his kids, pay his mortgage, etc.

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