Sunday, August 15, 2010

Album Review: Big Boi Sir Luscious Left Foot...Son Of Chico Dusty

In bands or duos, fans and critics always find a way to relegate the individual members, no matter how talented, to individual roles. In the case of Outkast, Big Boi was cast as the earthy, street everyman to Andre's 3000's P-Funk mothership fashion statements and extraterrestrial lyrical prowess. While 2003's Speakerboxx showed Big Boi's knack for making smooth, futuristic funk, Sir Luscious Left Foot, his first proper solo disc, proves there's room for more than one musical genius in Outkast.

Intro "Feel Me" starts the album's fantastic voyage off right before banging eardrums with the chest-thumping  "Daddy Fat Sax," where Big Boi, with reminds young MCs of his status. "A true gift from God/The stars aligned when they made me" "I write knockout songs/You spit punchlines for money." Dungeon Family's resident crooner Sleepy Brown joins him on the sex jam "Turns Me On" with the rapper applying trademark humor with lines like "You need some time press the snooze down/ I don't mind cause I'm hard as all the iron in the tool house," while Too Short, George Clinton and Sam Chris assist on the weed ode "For Yo' Sorrows."

However, reminding the new generation of fans who helped start this Southern rap shit seems to the rapper's preoccupation on alpha MC anthems "Follow Us," and "General Patton," calling out swagger-jackers and ghost-writer dependent emcees. Production-wise the music is first rate. First single "Shutterbug" features lean, muscular guitars pared against hand claps, synthesizers, Auto-Tuned vocals and even a nod to the Soul II Soul classic "Back To Life." The aformentioned "General Patton" samples majestic horns and operatic background vocals, while the trippy "Tangerine" featuring T.I. and Kjuho Goodie rides on tribal rhythms and Middle-Eastern style guitars. The production can also turn sparse, as on "You Ain't No DJ," all samples and scratching.

"Be Still" with former protege Janelle Monae and "Lookin 4 Ya" temporarily turn the lyrical focus to love and sex before returning to the subject of weak rappers and haters on "Night Night" and the soulful "Shine Blockas." Big Boi's flow remains, sharp, witty and nimble throughout, and the sheer force of Daddy Fat Sax's personality keeps the multitude of guest stars from overtaking the album. Overall Sir Lucious Left Foot, is a fun, edgy adventure that challenges fellow rappers to match its creativity, adding another layer of luster to Big Boi's and Outkast's legacy.


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