BlocBoy JB knew he was coming to Atlanta to meet Big Boi at Stankonia Studios, but the Memphis upstart didn’t realize this was no ordinary studio. Originally owned by R&B star Bobby Brown, the space is where Big and fellow OutKast member Andre 3000 recorded several of their classic albums, including their diamond-certified “coup de grâce” Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
The fruits of the trailblazing duo’s labor are evident by the dozens of blown up magazine covers and platinum plaques that line Stankonia’s walls. “You got too many plaques,” says BlocBoy, as Big guides him through the studio. “It’s like left, right—I ain’t never seen this many plaques in my life.”
BlocBoy and Big Boi make their way down the hall to Studio A, where they sit down for a conversation about music, style, and the concept of reinvention. Decked out in a navy blue Puma tracksuit and a fresh pair of Puma RS-0 Sound sneakers, BlocBoy explains how he tests out new music. “Sometimes I call an Uber and just hop in the car and play the music,” he says. “I just let [the driver] listen to it and see what he likes.”
Big Boi relates to the revelation, calling it “battle testing” a record. But that’s not the only type of battle that came up during the sit down. When Big’s son Bamboo heard his father was meeting up with BlocBoy, the college-bound teen ran to the studio on his lunch break from work to challenge JB to a “Shoot” dance-off. You can catch a highlight of the battle, as well as Big and BlocBoy’s conversation, in the video above.
The Puma RS-0 Sound is available in limited supply now with a full release on August 16.