Big Boi and Phantogram explore an intriguing role reversal on “Goldmine Junkie,” a soulful track from their collaborative album, Big Grams, due out September 25th. “Junkie,” a tale of broken hearts and romantic devotion, finds the Outkast rapper trying out a suave croon, with singer Sarah Barthel sliding into an unexpected rap verse.
“No matter what you say to me, you’ll always be a goldmine junkie,” Barthel sings on the chorus over chiming piano and deep bass, with Big Boi countering, “No matter what I do to break your heart, I know you’ll always love me.” Big Boi also contributes a rap verse filled with one-liners about love (“I stole her heart like a known felon”) and cuddling.
“When we were in the studio, we were trying to figure what person to put on a track and Big was like, ‘Why don’t you just rap?'” Barthel told Rolling Stone about the track. “‘Uhhh. No. that’s a bad idea.’ But he talked me into it and coached me in the studio, which is strange to be rapping in front of your all-time favorite rapper.”
Big Grams came together after Phantogram (Barthel, Josh Carter) collaborated on three songs from Big Boi’s Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors LP. Realizing their unique chemistry, the two parties linked up for subsequent sessions in Los Angeles and Atlanta, resulting in their seven-track debut EP featuring Skrillex and Run the Jewels.
“They stayed with my family, sitting at the dinner table with me and my kids just kicking it,” added Big Boi. “Me and [Killer] Mike were in the studio and Josh and Sarah came down and we were all just vibing out. The chemistry in the room, we just call it ‘best friend shit’ because it feels like we’ve been knowing each other forever.”