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>It’s funny because I wrote an article a few months back for FullBlastMagazine.com, asking different artists to finally come out of their hiding and deliver the music their fans want. I talked about The Strokes, Missy Elliot and OutKast whose last album was 2006’s “Idlewild”. In the article I did note how the group always said they wanted Big Boi‘s first solo album to be released before they came back as a group, and finally after a few years and “promo” singles have passed and Big Boi has delivered “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty” a very diverse, fun, and overall pleasing Hip Hop album. The beauty of OutKast is that they’ve always been unique to the Hip Hop genre, they always stayed true to the roots but added weird and very original elements to make them stand out. Big Boi, because he was less animated and not as unique in style as his partner Andre 3000, has always been overlooked in the talent department. His contributions to the duo over the past 15 years are essential to why OutKast has managed to be so popular, glimpses of his talent were shown on the feature-heavy “Speakerboxxx” side of their Grammy winning double album. “Sir Lucious” is more effective in shining a light on him and his impeccable wordplay, cadence and overall delivery. Though there are loads of features from the likes of T.I., Jamie Foxx, Too $hort, Gucci Mane and George Clinton to name a few, this album is really a celebration of Big Boi and he manages to never let himself be drowned out or overpowered by his guests or the amazing production behind the songs.
If a complaint can be made, it may come from the fact that this album at times does feel too much like an OutKast album and doesn’t do all that much to separate itself. Songs like “Turn Me On” and “Tangerine” for example feel like they are only missing that verse from Andre. The difference on “Sir Lucious” is that most of the songs feel like they come from a really organic place, they might not all use live instrumentation but they feel like it. It just feels like less of a computer and technology assisted album and more like a jam-session. And though there is experimentation with the production (the stuttering backing track to the first single “Shutterbug” and the dingy underground sounding track to “Fo Yo Sorrows” — two stand outs from the album), this album never goes too far left with their sounds. One other complaint comes from the fact that Big is making some pretty important statements on individual songs, but overall the album doesn’t feel like it’s saying anything. There’s a bit of a lack of cohesiveness with the actual content of the songs, but the production flows pretty effortlessly. And that’s quite a challenge given the very diverse sounds on the album… take the two best songs for example “Follow Us” is an R&B-ish track that’s significantly Rocked out with the hook by Vonnegut, and “Be Still” almost takes a jazzy route thanks to Janelle Monae’s smooth vocals on it’s hook.
“Sir Lucious Left Foot” is a pretty impressive, fun and actually catchy Hip Hop album. Which is pretty amazing because with Hip Hop there is a fine line with that… if you go too Fun it’s just a commercial pop album, and if it’s not Fun at all it’s just a boring album that takes itself too seriously. This album is perfectly balanced and the perfect running time, as it never really gets to feeling like too much. The best thing however, is that this albums release might signal the return of really the best Hip Hop Duo of all time. Let’s cross our fingers.