Big Boi’s got a little more work ahead of him. He’s nearing the creative finish line of his forthcoming sophomore solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (a title inspired by his now passed grandmother), and though the Outkast MC has yet to close out the project, he’s already feeling good about it. Why? “My momma like it,” he joked in front of a few journalists last night at NYC’s MSR Studios during a brief preview of his rough work.

Between sips of his Starbucks frappuccino, Big explained that he’s not scheduled to submit his album to his Def Jam record label until September, but he should be finished with Rumors around August after he pulls around 12 tracks out of the pool of 30 he’s cut so far. The effort finds the Outkast member going in a different, less funk-soaked direction artistically—one that, in part, was inspired by the other half of ‘Kast, Andre 3000.

Last summer, when Big played ‘Dre more funk-inspired tracks intended for this album, his response was, “You’re doing more funk?” Big recalled. So after some thought, he started from scratch. The result is a fresh, indie-inspired groove. He’s been performing at festivals not often frequented by rappers, like Camp Bisco, and random run-ins with trendy small-time bands to thank for it.

First, he found Indie pop duo Phantogram. Their music was in a pop-up Internet ad he came across. In love, he whipped out his iPhone and Shazamed it, then hollered at lead singer Sarah Barthel on Twitter. Now she’s on several tracks on Rumors. Big went as far as calling her “my new Sleepy Brown.” He was joking again, but similar to the chemistry he’s got with the Organized Noize singer, Barthel sounds delightful with him.

There’s also a song featuring boutique pop group Little Dragon, who Big Boi first heard during a visit to Andre 3000’s house. Before ‘Dre could say “Hey Ya,” Big had them on a Rumors track, too. And there are more stellar features on the project as well. Learn more about the eight cuts Big Boi played us in the preview ahead. 

Written by Brad Wete (@BradWete)

Follow @ComplexMusic