A good thing happened to Cee-Lo Green last week. On Thursday night, Kendrick Lamar dropped the eight-song surprise, untitled unmastered. One track, "untitled 06 | 06.30.2014," paired the Compton emcee with the Atlanta soul-machine singer over bossa nova waves. The song stemmed from demo material Green worked on with producer Adrian Younge while Lamar was recording last year's To Pimp a Butterfly LP. Green had forgotten about the material until Younge told him Lamar wanted it.
"His innovation is so apparent and so imperative," said Green, the Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley star, in a recent interview. "I think he is making the blackest music there is at the moment. 'Black' meaning infinite possibilities. ... I do consider him an ally and an extension of the collective efforts of Dungeon Family and the continuum of that consciousness. I'm almost like a proud surrogate father."
Later this month, that Dungeon Family lineage becomes a movie star, when the documentary The Art of Organized Noize makes its Netflix debut. The film chronicles the sound, legacy, demise, and current comeback effort of the groundbreaking Atlanta production team Organized Noize, which soundtracked the rise of OutKast and Goodie Mob as core Dungeon Family members.
The film will likely show that one of the least surprising ascents from those elite ranks was Green's. During a twenty-year span, he's morphed from a tank-wearing Dirty South rapper to an eccentric soul star who sported a bird costume during a Grammy performance and was accompanied by a live cockatoo on The Voice. He's also responsible for timeless soul-pop anthems like "Crazy" and "Fuck You!" and the milky soul ballads of five solo albums. But his latest, Heart Blanche, is lifeless, meaning simultaneous publicity assists from Lamar and Organized Noize arrive right on time. With Escort.