On paper, CeeLo Green’s new TBS show is about the charismatic pop and hip-hop star and former The Voice coach reuniting with his very first musical group (and longtime best friends) Goodie Mob after a 14-year hiatus to record last year’s Age Against the Machine. In the six-episode series’ hilarious promos, it also involves tigers, flaming pianos, foulmouthed cartoon critters and Green getting schooled by a Little Leaguer.
In actuality, CeeLo Green’s The Good Life is about four ambitious guys, who grew up together in the Atlanta music scene, finding laugh-out-loud ways to breathe fresh life into the art and friendship they began crafting 20 years before. And their bond is evident when Green, Big Gipp, T-Mo and Khujo gathered recently to talk about The Good Life over good food and drink.
“CeeLo has totally revamped our brand with this television show,” says Big Gipp. “It’s going to bring in people who have probably never heard of our music, but they fall in love with our characters — and then our music is next to come. A lot of people didn’t know Lo until he was on The Voice and they got to really understand who CeeLo Green is. I think the same thing will happen for the show and for us.”
Asked what it was like to reunite for both an album and a TV series after so many years, T-Mo says, “It was just nature. It was like riding a bike. You never forget how to ride a bike — we never forgot how to work with each other.” “And look what everyone came back to the pot with,” adds Big Gipp. “It gave us a chance to grow as artists being apart and to watch Lo’s success and figure out what we had to do for ourselves to stay relevant enough for him to want to come back and do Goodie Mob.”
“To come back is combustible because it’s competitive — not with each other, but as far as quality in reintroducing ourselves,” Green agrees. “So that kind of energy is in the room. Camaraderie is in the room. Creativity is in the room. We would like to showcase again the way that substance can be sellable. And substance can be stylish. And substance can be sustained over a 14-year hiatus. The four years that it took to finally get together and gel cohesively to make this record — in comparison to fly-by-night music or the disposable arts — it’s really a milestone achievement.
“[The Good Life] is to show that we’re actually approachable, human, funny and fun-loving. But that other stuff I was just talking about — that’s our business.”
CeeLo Green’s The Good Life premieres Monday, June 23 on TBS.
Photo: © 2013 Turner Entertainment Networks. A Time Warner Co. Credit: Matthias Clamer