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Big Boi: Sir Lucious Left Foot (Album Review)

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Big Boi
Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty
Producers: Scott Storch; André 3000; Organized Noize; Lil’ Jon; Salaam Remi; Mr. DJ; J. Beats; Knightheat; DJ Speedy; Cut Master Swift

It’s a comparison akin to that of the legendary basketball duo Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Pippen was an all-time great in his own right, but with Michael Jordan, they were untouchable and in that scenario, he was always overshadowed by the greatest of Michael Jordan and not fully appreciated until long after his career was done. As one half of hip hop’s greatest duo (and arguably, group) OutKast, Big Boi knows that underappreciated feeling well when compared to his highly revered, spaced out other half Andre “3000” Benjamin, but Antwan Patton is more than capable of holding his own as a solo musician as he showcases on his official solo debut, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty.

After a brief feel-good intro, Big Boi provides a verbal tongue lashing on subwoofers with “Daddy Fat Sax”, a fantastic trunk rattler in which he firmly establishes his return while providing his savvy brand of social commentary and reminding listeners who may not be aware of his stature as part of Atlanta’s Dungeon Family royalty. Patton also takes listeners to church on the downright spiritual “General Patton”, mercilessly assaulting J. Beats’ anthemic production and leaving nothing but ruins in his wake. Organized Noize allows the veteran emcee to showcases his nimble, double-time flow in addressing the South’s (New Orleans, in particular) plight with George Clinton and Too Short in tow, turning in rock-solid cameos (“Fo Yo Sorrows”) while slowing it down for Sleepy Brown and Joi on the syrupy “Turns Me On”.

Daddy Fat Sax also manages to craft versatile records that are radio-friendly without sacrificing lyrical substance, which is evident on offerings such as the lead single “Shutterbugg” as well as the Vonnegutt-assisted “Follow Us” in which he reveals his hitlist and spits that “vicious, pitbull attack sh*t” to silence naysayers, critics and flat out wack emcees. B.o.B contributes a crooning hook on the militant “Night Night” while Andre’s female doppelganger, christened “Andrea 3000″, Janelle Monae serenades listeners on the absolutely gorgeous “Be Still” respectively; both turn in ideal performances and play perfectly complimentary pieces in General Patton’s stratagem . Tip offers his trademark playboy confidence for the strip club-ready “Tangerine” and the duo’s chemistry is undeniable as Tip’s Southern drawl blends so effortlessly in with the bongo drums-driven cut that it is nearly impossible to tell the distinction between Big Boi and T.I.’s respective rhymes.

While technically a solo project, Sir Lucious Left Foot comes off as a compilation album with such a lengthy cast of characters ranging from the utterly brilliant Janelle Monae to… Gucci Mane (“Shine Blockas”). While some are executed masterfully (Janelle Monae, George Clinton, Vonnegutt), others are met with mixed and/or questionable results (Jamie Foxx, Yelawolf). Missing in action (due to Jive’s f*ckery) is Big Boi’s flamboyant partner in rhyme, whose two contributions on “Royal Flush” and “Lookin’ For Ya” would have undoubtedly strengthened Big Boi’s album of the year candidacy, but ultimately Benjamin’s absence (outside of production on “You Ain’t No DJ”) assisted Big Boi in standing out as a viable solo artist. As such, Big Boi still provides that signature ‘Kast sound while also adding a bit more to the pot in providing something all audiences can enjoy as proof that “the South STILL got something to say”.

4.5 (out of 5 spins)

Written by: Rakeem Johnson (“Mr. Genius”)

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