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A Short History of Big Boi’s Kate Bush Obsession

OutKast rapper's praise for Bush's latest underscores a fandom that stretches back to his middle-school years

picture-18576-1373300776Marc Hogan // November 23, 2011

Big Boi’s recent praise for Kate Bush’s new album 50 Words for Snow has been making the rounds lately, and with good reason. “The album, to me, is just very somber and very chill,” the OutKast MC memorably told Rolling Stone. “Knowing her music and being a fan, it’s very, very deep Kate Bush for me. It’s concentrated. It’s raw emotion. It’s almost like a scene from her diary — she seems to be in love like a motherfucker. Really, really, really in love.”

Still, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton’s deep feeling for Bush’s music shouldn’t come as a surprise. As Rolling Stone notes, the rapper has been a fan of the idiosyncratic British singer-songwriter since his uncle turned him on to her records when Big Boi was only in middle school. In fact, Daddy Sax’s ongoing admiration for the singer behind such classic songs as “Hounds of Love” and “Running Up That Hill” is well documented. Below, some examples from the past:

  • Deeper Than the Page of a Book, Let Me Look: In the March 2001 issue of SPIN, Big Boi said, “Kate Bush — I go deep into her music.”
  • Back in the Day When I Was Younger, Hunger: According to 2004 book Hey Ya! The Unauthorized Biography of OutKast, Big Boi said that after his uncle introduced him to Bush’s music, it affected him so much he couldn’t put it into words, so, “I’d sit and think and play her records for hours.”
  • Girl, I Hardly Know You, But You’ve Got Your Very Own Ringtone: In 2004, London’s Observer Music Monthly reported that Big Boi’s ringtone was “Babooshka,” from Bush’s 1980 album Never for Ever. “Kate Bush is my favorite artist of all time,” he’s quoted as saying.
  • Tryna Find You, Where Are You Now: In July 2010, Big Boi told the British GQ about his efforts to get in touch with Bush: “I’ve been trying for some years now. She’s like a kinda recluse. She lives somewhere in a castle around here and plays some sort of oversized piano like the Phantom of the Opera! You can hear music come out the windows! I’m looking for her, know what I’m saying? That’s my dream collaboration for sure.”
  • Do You Wanna Bump and Slump With Us: Also in July 2010, asked with whom he would like to collaborate, Big Boi told British magazine Flavour: “Kate Bush. I’ve been trying to get Kate Bush for the last seven years and now I’m come over here to camp out for a month just to find her. Kate Bush is definitely my dream U.K. collaboration.”
  • Sweeter Than a Plate of Yams With Extra Syrup: Around the same time, Big Boi reportedly elaborated to Britain’s Live From Studio Five TV show: “I want to work with Kate Bush… That’s, like, my dream collaboration, most definitely. Just the realness of her music, the stories behind the songs as well as the production, how things kind of evolve as the song progresses … She’s a very creative artist, producer and writer. She’s like my top favorite next to Bob Marley … Kate Bush is number one on the list.”
  • Old School Players to New School Fools: In September 2010, Boi told the Los Angeles Times about his uncle hipping him to Bush’s music: “[She] became my favorite artist of all time. Her and Bob Marley would tie for first. I used to listen to ‘The Kick Inside’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘This Woman’s Work’ and just admiring the style of music she was making, from the production side of it to the lyrics … It was kind of mind-blowing. I was like OK, I wanted to be like her.”