7 July, 2010@2:46 am
Big Boi’s first “real” solo LP, Sir Luscious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty, has been a long time coming. Tracks or supposed tracks from the album have been dropping for nearly three years, and they’ve all been excellent. Yet it took moving from Jive to Def Jam for one of the most successful hip hop artists ever to get his album out. One would think that when a member of a group that has released a 10x platinum album, the label would give him the benefit of the doubt. Jive may be regretting their decision now, as Sir Luscious Leftfoot turns out to double the proof that Big Boi is equal to Andre 3K in the combined beast that is Outkast.
On this album, Big Boi goes further into the directions explored on Speakerboxxx. From his fast raps to forever bouncing production, Sir Lucious Leftfoot is constantly moving and setting the pace, as the listener never gets enough time with each song or soundscape. After opening with the synth cowboy funk of “Feel Me”, Daddy Fat Sax kicks into high gear. Big claps float over a synth line, setting the tone for the Roger Troutman-esque sound that perpetuates the album, without sounding like the overdone G-Funk styles of the early 90s. This is space funk, this is every dream Sun Ra had, only at light speed.
On the first of four tracks, each produced by Dungeon Family staple Organized Noize, “Turns Me On” is one of the mellowest tracks on the album, but still makes you want to bop your head. If this album has a ladies cut, this is it, and is not the typical mood killer that we find on most hip hop albums.
There is one misstep on the album, “Follow Us” (feat Vonnegutt). It’s one that can’t be attributed to Big Boi, outside of allowing the feature of the emo-rockers on the track. Big Boi is rolling solid over raw Salaam Remi drums, and then all of a sudden in come vocals stolen from some third rate Warped Tour band. Luckily the hardest hitting song of the album, “Shutterbug” follows right after, quickly making up for it. This runaway lead single to the album features vocoder-backed track, with Big Boi rapping like his younger days on Aquemini.
T.I. appears on “Tangerine”, continuing his comeback tour, flowing with ease over big marching drums and a creeping dirty guitar lick. Songs like this and “General Patton” show that Big Boi and the producers continue to defy expectations, constantly surprising the listener. It’s clear that they follow what’s going on in hip-hop, but instead of following the status quo, they aspired to stand on top of it.
While tracks like “Shine Blockas” (feat. Gucci Mane) and “Fo Yo Sorrows” (feat. George Clinton) seem a little dated in that they both were released nearly a year ago. Still, “Shine Blockas” packs a great sample and Gucci’s surprisingly good hook and verses make the track. Curiously, the previously released single “Royal Flush” was left off the final cut.
Organized Noize helps close things out with the spaced out soul of “The Train Pt. 2″, which calms things down a bit, before they leave on a high note with “Back Up Plan”, featuring popping horns, scratches, backup vocals and synth stabs that combine a little bit of everything in Big Boi’s career since he started. Outkast and Organized Noize share a chemistry similar to that of Public Enemy and the Bomb Squad, as they prove yet again that they are made for each other.
Maybe it’s because Big Boi is only 35, but he hasn’t stopped evolving, as this LP shows yet another side to his musical landscape, packing large dosages of consistency througout. He’s conquered the world as a part of Outkast and with Sir Lucious Leftfoot, he’s proven he can stand independently as a solo artist as well. The nearly three year wait was worth it, and whether his next album is an Outkast record or a solo release, we know we can count on it being another quality addition to the catalog.
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