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Talk of the Town - Make your funk the C-Funk November 20 2003

Cee-Lo's pimpin' in the motherpad

Walking into the Fayetteville home of Cee-Lo Green — the former Goodie Mob MC, now solo producer and idiosyncratic entertainer — is a little like walking into an episode of MTV's "Cribs." The way your eyes sweep the curvilinear contours of the effectively minimalist European furnishings is reminiscent of how a camera smoothly pivots on its gyroscope, taking in every angle. There's almost a sense of deja vu. Oh wait, Cee-Lo's home was an episode of "Cribs," a rare episode concentrating more on the host house's coherent fashion than whether there was a bottle of Cristal champagne in the fridge.

In the hour graciously extended to showcase several thematically dramatic rooms — beginning in a basement conversion completed since the "Cribs" taping (a CL exclusive of sorts) — it's never volunteered what's in the fridge. But looking at the pristine pieces procured by Cee-Lo's wife — interior decorator Christina Callaway — it's clear that a direct connection between the house and the homemakers' creative sensibility exists, voicing an endeavor toward originality.

Creative Loafing: A rounded, late '60s aesthetic runs throughout your furnishings, and your music. What attracts you to this curvaceous, funked-up form?

Cee-Lo: I believe even furniture is an extension of one's fashion statement, and late '60s furniture and music attract me because of the struggle and integrity they both embodied. Due to the struggle of those times we've overcome so much. And the fashion of that era aspired to break the mold, decide the bar, so I'm attracted to an older modern.

Yet you contrast retro- futuristic 1969 Eero Aarnio bubble chairs, molded LCP transparent chaise lounges and a decidedly contemporary Philips flat-screen TV ...

In both the house and my music is a mixture of a little something new, a little something old. A flat screen in the '60s may have crossed some designer's mind, so here it is — two dreams fulfilled. My music is similar — old-school values but new-school strategy; old dog, new tricks.

As the decor seems very much to be a conscious statement, what would be the best summations of the other rooms' indications?

The studio is known as "Inner Space," a place to explore my own creativity, so it's dark, painted with the solar system, a place where it's easy to be light years away alone in your thoughts. With my recent album, however, I'm feeling more energetic and empowered, so we'll probably paint that, lighten the mood. The kitchen is a sunflower, warm and welcoming. Upstairs is a more naturalistic, lived-in feel.

Each room contains little excess. Is it a deliberate attempt to equally emphasis form and function?

There's an attempt to keep all rooms thematic but simplistic — like music, honest and direct — because a cluttered home is a cluttered mind.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com

Cee-Lo's new album, Cee-Lo Green is ... The Soul Machine, is scheduled for a Jan. 20 release on Arista Records.



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