OUTKAST star ANTWAN PATTON was inspired to pour his heart out on new record SPEAKERBOXXX/THE LOVE BELOW by the death of his father.

The rapper, also known as Big Boi, watched as his father passed away in February (03), and decided his new album should be a tribute to him.

He says, "My dad died and it just f***ed me up. He was actually on dialysis, waiting for a kidney transplant. He had one transplant but it was rejected.

"He was wearing a halo for a minute. He was like, 'I just wanna be around y'all.'

"My grandma never let me know how bad it was. He was going through a lot, man. I was there when they had to let everything go. He was like, 'You're a champion, you're a champion.' It f***ed me up."

30/10/2003 02:23