Big Boi Talks Electrifying New Papa Johns Commercial & Longevity In Hip-Hop

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Via Cam Kirk & Papa John's

30 years after the release of "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik," Big Boi remains committed to pushing the boundaries through his musical ventures, whether in his solo discography or dishing out delicious bars for Papa Johns new campaign, "Better Get You Some."

There’s an electrifying way in which Big Boi raps, whether he’s vividly portraying his cool as the equivalent of “Freddie Jackson drinkin’ a milkshake in a snowstorm” or describing Papa Johns “ooey gooey, crispy, crunchy, mouthwaterin’” pizza. The Outkast member has thrived since the group went on an indefinite hiatus following their groundbreaking musical, Idlewild. He’s gone on to release three solo studio albums that maintained Outkast’s futuristic approach to crafting potently groovy raps. That talent extends into the corporate world, however, as evidenced by Papa Johns latest campaign, “Better Get You Some.” Accompanied by a trailer of brain-melting visuals, Big Boi pens mind-bending bars that will undoubtedly leave you craving a slice of their “ooey-gooey, extra chewy mouth-watering” pizza, topped with their newly unveiled NY Style Crispy Cuppy ‘Roni.

Read More: Andre 3000 Reveals He And Big Boi Used To Pray To Become Good Rappers

Watch Papa Johns “Better Get You Some” Ad With Big Boi

The partnership began as a result of Big Boi’s hometown ties to Papa Johns, whose corporate office is located in Georgia. “They called and said they had a new campaign,” the Atlanta native explained shortly after receiving a Shiatsu Massage. “And they wanted a Jedi, you know what I’m saying? A heavy-hitter.”

Needless to say, Papa Johns couldn’t find a better partner to help execute this campaign. Big Boi and the Outkast brand became synonymous with a high level of prestige earned through their consistent execution with each project in their catalog. At the root of their creative success is an organic synergy, one that Big Boi said extends to the “Better Get You Some” campaign. 

“Anytime I participate, it got to be organic, and it can never be forced,” he says of Papa Johns new commercial. “I first got the clip with the visuals to it, and then, the commercial was just crazy, you know what I mean, I loved it. I was like, Okay, this is dope. It’s hypnotizing in a way the way where it just captures your attention. And when you look at it, you go and call Papa Johns. I mean, it gets the point across so just to be descriptive, and you know, just make it fun”

An Ode To The Dungeon 

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 09: Big Boi performs during EA Sports' The Madden Bowl at the House of Blues Las Vegas inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on February 09, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

But, more importantly, there’s a personal connection to Papa Johns that goes beyond the pizza franchise’s headquarters in Georgia and well into his formative years. Big Boi revealed that Papa Johns had been a fixture during his late-night recording sessions. “That Papa Johns been on the menu for years and years, man,” he said. A typical order, he says, would include a cheese pizza (for the non-meat eaters) and a few large pizzas with bell peppers and onions. “I try to trick myself into eating vegetables,” he says jokingly, though that combination actually speaks to his memories of being in his grandmother’s kitchen. “When she's cooking, I can eat raw bell peppers and onions all day long,” he says. “It doesn't even have to be cooked. But when you slap it on top of that cheese, you got a nice snack.”

Naturally, you can imagine that all those nights of White Owls and Martell struck up an appetite as tracks were being laid down in the Dungeon. In the 30 years since the release of Outkast’s seminal debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Big Boi and Andre 3000 have undoubtedly proven that rap is far from a young man’s sport. Sure, Andre seems more enthusiastic about flexing his musicianship than stepping in front of a mic (though when he does, it’s never a lackluster effort) but for Big Boi, that passion that drove classic bodies of work throughout Outkast’s tenure remains as palpable today. His collaboration with Papa Johns, for example, became another opportunity for him to flex his lyrical muscles. 

Longevity In Rap

“To be able to surpass certain limits and be in this game for, you know -- next month will be 30 years for the anniversary of our album Southernplayalisticadillicmuzik -- you have to live life,” he explains. This Jedi-like wisdom has undoubtedly served as the foundation for Big Boi’s artistry, though the true gem lies in how he absorbs and retains inspiration for his solo endeavors. “You live and you experience things, expand your vocabulary,” he continues. “And anytime you make good music, it's like, you got to paint, you paint a picture with words, you know what I'm saying? And the people go back and they might not catch everything on the first listen. So you got to drop little nuggets in there so they can kind of try to decode your messages. And I do that with everything.”

Read More: How Dungeon Family Became The Cornerstone Of Atlanta Hip-Hop

About The Author
Aron A. is a features editor for HotNewHipHop. Beginning his tenure at HotNewHipHop in July 2017, he has comprehensively documented the biggest stories in the culture over the past few years. Throughout his time, Aron’s helped introduce a number of buzzing up-and-coming artists to our audience, identifying regional trends and highlighting hip-hop from across the globe. As a Canadian-based music journalist, he has also made a concerted effort to put spotlights on artists hailing from North of the border as part of Rise & Grind, the weekly interview series that he created and launched in 2021. Aron also broke a number of stories through his extensive interviews with beloved figures in the culture. These include industry vets (Quality Control co-founder Kevin "Coach K" Lee, Wayno Clark), definitive producers (DJ Paul, Hit-Boy, Zaytoven), cultural disruptors (Soulja Boy), lyrical heavyweights (Pusha T, Styles P, Danny Brown), cultural pioneers (Dapper Dan, Big Daddy Kane), and the next generation of stars (Lil Durk, Latto, Fivio Foreign, Denzel Curry). Aron also penned cover stories with the likes of Rick Ross, Central Cee, Moneybagg Yo, Vince Staples, and Bobby Shmurda.