Cee Lo’s Rock and Soul

Cee Lo Green, who enjoyed an underground summer hit this summer with 55 million hits on YouTube, hits that other tube tonight with his new talk show “Lay It Down.” It’s an interview program with fellow musicians including, tonight, Ludacris.

As a member of Gnarls Barkley, Cee Lo has been known to wear a variety of costumes from “Back to the Future” to “Wayne’s World” to the sports world.

When he came out to Los Angeles to help promote the show at the TV Critics Association press tour at an early morning session, it looked like he was in costume as well.

But he wore a hotel robe and slippers because his airline lost his luggage.

Still, he talked about the show and his view on music. I mentioned how Gnarls Barkley had injected some soul to college rock charts, something they are not known to have and asked about how segregated indie music seemed to be in particular.

“It’s the difference between artist and executive,” he said. I believe that the executive disposition is to find comparables … music that’s comparable to something else that’s working in the marketplace.”

Working that way means causes “the integrity of art to suffer quite a bit.”

“But,” he added, “I ultimately believe that all music is soul music.”

In melding rock and soul, “maybe I can help. Because a lot of my music is kind of born out of that empathy, too, for the marketplace and for the mindsets of artists and executives alike. And I would like to bring about a revitalized optimism” for that blend.

That success could be “evidence of something that is truly possible if you apply yourself. You are what you desire,” he says, and “this is what I want. This is what I think is necessary.”

 Well, he could have answered with the title of his summer single.

“Lay It Down” starts tonight at 11 on Fuse.

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