Compilation; No Rating Given
“All I know is Big here, Dre gone/ moved on/ changed names from Aquemini to Purple Ribbon,” says Killer Mike, one of Purple Ribbon’s marquee artists, as he bluntly clarifies the cloudy quagmire surrounding the Dungeon Families future affairs, on the opening track of Big Boi’s formal introduction of his newly (re)formed Purple Ribbon imprint, Big Boi Presents? Got Purp? Vol. 2. Quite possibly one of the most promising upstarts in rap today, Purple Ribbon boasts a roster of Dungeon Family alumni’s as well as a few new comers looking to obtain the same fame and adoration as their leader.
From the opening of the album, it is clear that this label, and coincidentally, this compilation, was created in the image and likeness of its founder, Big Boi. Lacking the eccentric quirkiness, and introspective lyrics a la Andre 3000, Vol. 2 instead delivers trunk rattling southern bass while staying with the Outkast aesthetic of funkadelic rhythms and smooth, R&B like stylings.
A major theme in this album is the enjoyment of life and all it’s pleasures, whether it be females, cars, or the sticky-icky. The latter is the topic for discussion on the head-nodding cut, “Kryptonite.” Over the bouncing keys and stuttering drums, Killer Mike, Blackowned C-Bone, and Rock D the Legend, share tales about the joys of greenery. The sweet indulgences continue on the syrupy, bass filled, “Claremont Lounge,” where Bubba Sparxxx, along with Killer Mike and Cool Breeze, details the courting of the females: “Snatched her from a ball player/ that wasn’t playing ball/ he paid for it all/ but she wouldn’t take it off/ so I’ma take it off his hands/ I know you heard of that/ and I’ma murder that furry cat for a fact.”
Inhaling herb and chasing birds aren’t all this compilation is comprised of. Big Boi gracefully balances the southern trunk rattling with the smooth harmonies of Purple Ribbon’s R&B counterparts. Newcomer Scar earns his keep with his contributions, “U Got Me,” a breezy, borderline generic pop track that would be better suited for an early summer release. And “What is This?” A heavier track that has Scar sounding more comfortable and Cee-Lo effortlessly dropping jewels like the seasoned veteran he is: “And when it’s mutual/ there’s not much to say/ you know it’s genuine when all your jewelry’s tucked away.”
Purple Ribbons go-to crooner, Sleepy Brown, delivers one of the standout tracks on the album with “Me, My Baby and My Cadillac,” a light-hearted, feel good menage of strings, keys and Browns creamy smooth vocals.
There are a few missteps in Vol. 2. Such as the uninspired Goodie Mob track, “Hold On,” the plastic feeling of “Time Will Reveal,” by Janelle Monroe and the unneeded, useless skits. Konkrete also provides a low point with “Shit Ya Drawers,” and although they partially make up for it with “Lovin’ This,” it’s clear they still need some grooming.
If Vol. 2 is a microcosm of the material that Big Boi intends to put out with Purple Ribbon, then they will indeed prove to be a force to be reckoned with. With Killer Mike, Bubba Sparxxx, and Sleepy Brown onboard they are definitely suited for success. However, Big Boi will need to let his younger members finish developing.
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