In the months leading up to the 2019 Super Bowl, a slew of celebrities pledged to boycott the event in support of former 49er Colin Kaepernick. Big Boi refused to join the protests, and ultimately performed at this year's halftime show alongside Travis Scott and headliners Maroon 5.
So, does the ATL rapper regret his controversial decision? It doesn't sound like it.
During a recent appearance on Ebro in the Morning, Big Boi defended his halftime show performance while pointing out the perceived hypocrisy within the NFL boycotts.
"With the NFL protests, people say they're protesting, but at the same time, it's selective protests," he said (8:38). "So you got people playing fantasy football. You're not so supposed to be doing that. People gambling on the games. You're not supposed to be doing that. People going to the game. How you going to protest, and you're still participating?"
He continued: "... If Julian Edelman was the only motherfucker out there running routes, and it was no black players on the field, ain't no way in hell I would've performed at the Super Bowl. But the city was there, everybody was there. You can't just pick and choose and be selective. You're either all in or you're all out ... I'mma think for myself and I'mma do what I know what I wanna do. And do what's right for me and my people."
Big Boi said he would feel like a hypocrite if he chose to turn down the gig, as he regularly watches NFL games and even streams his reactions on Instagram. He also made it very clear that he is against policy brutality, and highlighted the ways he has tried to bring more attention to these injustices.
"You can't [be] selective and do a protest when it's convenient for you. I'm against police brutality—I'm against all that shit," he said. "Me and Killer Mike made a song, 'Rabbits Revenge' (with Tom Morello). I ain't hear nobody press play on that motherfucker. We actually spoke on Sandra Bland and Tamir Rice and everybody."
Big Boi said he didn't receive as much backlash as Scott and Maroon 5, mostly because he has a reputation for giving back to the community.
"I do stuff around the city of Atlanta. People see me in the streets of Atlanta, molding the minds of young kids, as well as speaking up for our people," he explained. "... I've been doing it."
The interview also touched on YesJulz's OutKast x EarthGang comparison, which many believed was disrespectful to Big Boi (18:53).
Ebro asked why so many credit André 3000 for OutKast's success, specifically praising his lyrics, while overlooking Big Boi's contributions.
"I don't think they look past, they don't," Big Boi responded. "...Those who know, they know ... there's only one OutKast and there will only be one OutKast."
You can check out the full interview above.
The video was released just hours after Big Boi and Sleep Brown dropped their collaborative single "Intentions." The track will land on their upcoming album Big Sleepover.