GQ: Let’s fast forward a bit. What is it like for you to have all these fans of Cee Lo Green who have never even heard of Goodie Mob?
Cee Lo: If people can’t see the forest from the trees—and Goodie Mob is the roots—at least they’re appreciating nature, you know what I’m saying? I had the tree from the artwork of the second Goodie Mob album tattooed on my back because the tree grows up out of the dirt. It’s a product of its environment, it grows toward the sky, it endures the four seasons, it branches out in all the different directions, it commits to the sunshine and the rain and never asks any questions. And it still gives.
GQ: At this point you might be known as much for your TV show, The Voice, as for “Crazy,” “Fuck You,” or Goodie Mob. What part of you does The Voice express?
Cee Lo: I’m a greater fan than I am a rapper. I’m a greater fan than I am a singer. I only want to rap about that beautiful black thing that is hip-hop. If it ain’t about that, I have no desire to rap. I come from a time where we didn’t say, “He can rap.” We said, “He can rhyme.” I want to get back to that, and I need Goodie Mob to do that. But I am a fan of black people, the black struggle, black music, and the extreme it can be taken to. I want to burn as a beacon of possibility. I don’t want nobody to misconstrue the commercial success I’ve had as anything other than an example of what black music is capable of. And what it’s capable of is being more than just black. I’m not black or white anymore. I’m Cee Lo Green.
CEEEEE-LOOOOOOOOO I love you.