Cee-Lo Green is no stranger to the spotlight. The singer has been a recording artist for some time and got into the reality TV genre as a judge on the hit NBC reality competition show The Voice. But what many of Green’s newer fans don’t know is that he started his career as a member of The Goodie Mob, an Atlanta-based hip-hop quartet that stood out for its more conscious lyrics.
One of their biggest hits was “Soul Food,” a song about the importance of nurturing your spirit. Green left the group in 2000 but they stayed on good terms. Once he achieved a measure of solo success, he reached back to record with his former bandmates and in the process, scored a reality show The Good Life, on TBS.
“I shot most of it last year when we were doing the Las Vegas residency. Green says. ”I brought all the guys out to the West coast and they were part of the Vegas show. I got a call from TBS and they were in the market to do something semi-reality based and I said we’ve got something.”
The show focuses on the bond between the group – Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo, all of whom have known each other for years. Cee-Lo and T-Mo grew up next door to each other. That kind of familiarity can lead to some comic moments, which the show has an abundance of.
“It’s semi-scripted,” Green says. “I likened it to a Curb Your Enthusiam. They give us a premise where we can bounce off each other so all of the dialogue is really freestyle.”
After a 14-year hiatus, Goodie Mob put out Age Against the Machine as an independent project last year. Green says it enjoyed solid success as an indie release and the feedback on the show so far is good.
“They think its funny,” he says. “I’m like they’ll put anybody on TV!”
Comedy and the easy camaraderie between the guys is what The Good Life focuses on. But it’s not like they weren’t asked to do some of the things that reality TV is infamous for.
“They tried. When a reality show comes up, what’s typically associated with it is drama. They’re like ‘Is there any drama or jealously?’ No, these guys are like my older brothers and they’re really fortunate to be back in the light. I’m more than grateful and generous with sharing the success, so there’s no drama.
Though he (and his now famous cat, Purrfect) enjoyed being on The Voice, it ironically enough took too much time away from Green’s own singing career. He is working on new music and currently touring with Lionel Richie.
“This is really a lot of the reason why I wanted to take a hiatus from what became a demanding job with The Voice. I wanted to do new music and get back out. It really fell kind of impeccably this tour with Lionel Richie.
Will the two prolific singers and songwriters ever write or sing a duet together?
“We talked about it and I’m just waiting in the wings until he calls me.”
The Good Life airs on TBS on Mondays at 10:30 p.m. (Photo: TBS)