Khujo “Gun Club” Goodie Keeps Goodie Mob Going Strong
Khujo “Gun Club” Goodie is many things: emcee most miraculous, one fourth of the Atlanta-based quartet Goodie Mob (including Cee-Lo Green, T-Mo, and Big Gipp), and first-generation member of the Dungeon Family, best known for the multi-platinum success of Outkast. After recently releasing the latest single, “Orange Hall”, from his highly anticipated solo album Feed the Lions, he took some time out to look back over his storied career that has spanned three gold albums with Goodie Mob.
How did Goodie Mob form?
I was in a group with Big Gipp and Raymond Murray, who’s a part of Organized Noise. The group was called Sixth Sense. It was kind of like a southern version of Public Enemy down south. That was at the time the Gulf War was going on and we actually had a song called “Pray for Peace”. I think it was either Channel 2 or Channel 5 came over to Gipp’s house and was interviewing us about that song. At that time I wasn’t even writing yet. My voice hadn’t developed yet; I was really just a hype man at that time. But that’s what we were up to; it was a southern version of Public Enemy.
What it did, there was another phase that came along with it where actually the name Goodie Mob was the name of the group T-Mo and I had together. We called ourselves lumberjacks because, we were still Goodie Mob, but the rhyme skills were rough like lumberjacks and it was kind of like living in the woods type, know what I mean? We used to touch on that kind of stuff when we used to rap, about going in the woods and chilling and all that good stuff. The managers we had at that time were like, ‘why don’t you call yourselves lumberjacks?’ So we tried that but we didn’t come out with that album until we officially came out with Goodie Mob presents the Lumberjacks. So it wasn’t changing our name; it was just our title we were going to.
So Goodie Mob was the name before the Lumberjacks?
No, Goodie Mob was the name but we had a song. Me and T-Mo had a song called “Living Life Like Lumberjacks”. But T-Mo and I did the very first Goodie Mob song called “It’s a Goodie Mob Thang You Wouldn’t Understand”. And that was done by a friend called Ed-X. So the name Goodie Mob actually came from a spin-off of Parliament. When I was a young cat one of my big homies was putting us on to some old music. Once we heard that Parliament man, we said those guys are funky. They were funky so we came up with the Goodie Mob. Just like the variety of stuff that Parliament had, that’s how I kind of wanted it to be with Goodie Mob.
Cee-Lo, T-Mo, and Big Gipp were solo artists before you all formed Goodie Mob, correct?
If you listen to Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, you hear Dre saying in the verse, first Big Gipp, Goodie Mob, Cee-Lo, Outkast, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. So at that time, all of us were like individual groups. That’s [why] when he said Goodie Mob at that time that was me and T-Mo. Gipp actually came from another group called Chain Gang. And Cee-Lo was doing his solo thang. So, all of us would meet up at the dungeon with our music. We always were recording at that one central location. They were doing everybody’s projects at that time. At first it was just T-Mo and I doing Goodie Mob, the Goodie Mob flavor. We rolled up on Gipp ‘cuz I knew Gipp, then we met up with Cee-Lo. So it was cool to be like hey man, shit, why don’t everybody just come on and do this whole thing under the umbrella Goodie Mob?
How did you get with the Organized Noize production team?
I had already knew [Organized Noize producers] Ray and Ric ‘cuz we had a central location called the Jelly Bean, a skating rink. So, back in the days they had a studio at the rink. And they was able to test out they music and go mix it up at the skating rink and play music and see how it is. So, that was another mutual meeting place as far as the dungeon. I mean I knew they did music and I was just following them when they moved from one spot to another, so we were friends. Gipp and Ray, they stayed in East Point. We used to go over to their house. We used to go over to their house all the time.
Did it take some time to get the name change correct?
In the very beginning of our career, there was a big mistake made. They said that Big Gipp and Cee-Lo were actually Goodie Mob. And they had put that out in magazines and everything. I mean, Khujo and T-Mo were nowhere to be found. Our names were nowhere to be found in none of that. And plus, when they did the song “Git Up, Git Out”, that was a single off of Outkast’s album. So they had a big hit; they had a great head start. “Call of the Wild” [featuring Khujo and T-Mo] was damn near the last song on the fuckin’ album [Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik].
Goodie Mob’s been in the lab before with 2Pac, right?
This was during the time that Suge Knight and the East Coast/West Coast beef started brewing up and Goodie Mob was out in California. [At the 1996 Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles] we met Pac behind stage for the first time. We met him behind stage, man; dude was so energetic. He was hyped, man. I was like wow. Next thing you know, he invited us to the studio that night and that’s when he was recording the song “Living the Good Life”. He actually gave us a shout out [on the song]; he said ‘Goodie Mob in the house’. I thought we were going to get on that song that night; I wanted to get on that bad. It was me, T-Mo and Gipp and my manager at the time.
Why didn’t you get on the song?
I think he was actually in the booth [when we came in]. I think he was getting ready for a verse. And it was like, we were just in their blown away. I think we just chilled out that night. We didn’t do anything; we just chopped it up, had a good time. We might’ve talked about doing a song but we didn’t stay in L.A. that long.
What can you tell me about the classic Goodie Mob track “Guess Who?”, dedicated to your mothers?
I wrote that when I was still living with my mama and my brother. I wrote that in high school. It was a serious verse. I can remember man, hearing my mama in the room that night, wailing. It was ugly not coming up with a daddy. We had to go through a lot of stuff. I mean, stuff getting cut off but she was always there. I never had to worry about not having a roof over my head–never had to worry about that. That song was a hard song especially. I can remember now my mama cooking for me and my brother. ‘Ya’ll come and eat, ya’ll come and eat now.” Yeah, it’s just a lot of memories man, me my mama and my brother; especially that song right there. That takes me back.
How did you come up with the idea for the song?
I think the idea came from, I think it had to be Gipp and Cee-Lo with the idea. They came with the hook and “Guess Who”, I just thought that was an ingenious title because it was still a song that people can relate to and participate in, talking about the perseverance of saying something like, guess who? ‘Okay, he’s talking about his mama’. And they was just going all the way through the verse, all the way through the song. Organized Noise, they just produced us. They let us write 32 bar raps. They gave us a lot of flexibility man. ‘Cuz 2pac had a song about his mama around about that time too. That came out around about the same time. It was good for us to at least honor somebody other than ourselves on that song.
Hear more from Khujo Goodie here.