CeeLo Green might be most known for his many musical contributions, eclectic fashion sense, and basically inventing lyric videos, but a 2016 video of him using a cell phone that appeared to blow up right on his ear also now sits pretty high on the list. The video turned out to be a publicity stunt, and Green recently did an interview with HipHopDX where he claims Marvel Comics reached out to him about it.
In the interview, the singer-songwriter says he came up with a "vignette project" based on his own fictional character Gnarly Davidson on a quest to start over. “I figure, alright, how do people reinvent themselves? I put in the context of superhero—something traumatic happens and all of a sudden you get the power. So, we took real-life events, like the Samsung situation," he explained, referencing the incidents and resulting hazard warnings about Samsung Galaxy Note devices spontaneously combusting.
“It was scary for a lot of people,” he says of the video showing the phone sparking next to his head, but he added that there was interest from the comic giant Marvel to take his character idea to the next level. “Marvel Comics reached out to me,” he says. “They were interested in making Gnarly Davidson an authentic Marvel Comic character. It would have been historic.”
The realistic clip went viral and only added to the already mounting fear, warnings, and recall of the device. Like the rest of us, some of his family, friends, and other celebrities including Ice Cube and Louis Farrakhan thought CeeLo was actually hurt. "I have family members who aren't a part of my everyday life who are calling. I have nieces and nephews who are petrified at this image."
While it might have been cool to see Green's character come to life in the pages of a Marvel comic or even on-screen, it ultimately didn't end up working out. "To base a character on a human being is a liability as human beings are flawed, so they couldn't really do it." Green also spoke about the escapism of trap music, Dungeon Family and Atlanta music history, and which is of his own videos is his favorite.
Watch the full interview above.