It was all in the numbers for Cee-Lo Green in 2010: One viral smash. Two magic words. Five Grammy nominations. With his latest solo release “The Lady Killer” and its monstrous upbeat anti-ballad ballad “F**k You,” the versatile musician was the undisputed king of pop this year. Don’t expect it to stop after midnight tomorrow. Fittingly, the Goody Mob and Gnarls Barkley crooner became the final celebrity of the year to pedal the Duracell Smart Power Mobile Trailer today. The vehicle captures human energy via the push of a pedal, and converts it into usable power. The yearlong power storing will be unleashed tomorrow in Time Square to light up the 2011 digits as the ball drops. “I guess you can say it adds up,” Green said when asked if the pedaling was symbolic of the year he’s been having.
In a brief phone exchange (cut down due to crappy service), Green came across as humble yet proud about the success he’s had. The four-letter ballad served up over two million views on YouTube, while the song itself became a Top Ten hit.
Looking back at “F–k You,” Green said he knew he had something good but never expected it to be that huge. “You know what… nothing guarantees results. We went viral with it because we thought it had enough flare to give a good first impression.”
Did he expect to upstage silly cat videos and a “Glee” cover? No, but he’ll take it thank you very much. “We thought it was at least buzzworthy, but sometimes you become a sign of the times involuntarily,” he explained. “It’s become the gift that keeps giving.”
Green said he thinks the song resonated to the masses because everyone at one point wants to flip someone off. “My art imitates life. I think if you speak truthfully, the opportunities are endless and it’s more accessible. It’s a song that could’ve been easily written as a novelty but it’s become a staple. I believe we all need an excuse to say ‘F–k You’ out loud to somebody. If you don’t, someone else will.”
In closing (well, before the phone got disconnected), Green said he’d like to see more of 2010 in 2011. “I’ve evolved quite a bit, [but] I’m still a work in progress,” he said. “I’m not trying to just move mountains. I’m trying to move through the mountains.”
Continuing his point, he said, “I believe with music I’m able to serve a noble purpose, and I’m very appreciative. I do music for the people…by the people. The New Year won’t be a change in direction but a continuation.”