Posted: Tuesday – July 6, 2010

The greatest appeal about Outkast is their ability to re-introduce themselves on every album without compromising the quality of their music. Since their 1994 classic debut Southernplaylisticadillacmuzik, Andre 3000 and Big Boi have released stellar music to the masses. Their biggest commercial success, 2003’s double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, consisted of two solo albums, one from each group member. Big Boi’s disc, Speakerboxxx was a vintage hip hop with a “808” bass theme. After Outkast released their sixth album, Idlewild in 2006, they announced they would release true solo albums before doing another Outkast album together.

After 4 years of waiting, record label disputes, and constant release date delays, Big Boi finally delivers his first true solo album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty. With so much pressure, delay and anticipation placed on this album, most die-hard Outkast fans may be thrown off a bit by the sound of the album. To clear the air, Sir Lucious Left Foot is no ATLiens, no Aquemini, or Stankonia.

The album starts off with the hard hitting Daddy Fat Sax. It creates the proper excitement for an album opener and Big Boi throws in some slick rhymes as well. Production team Organized Noize assists Big Boi on several tracks on Sir Lucious Left Foot and on every appearance they manage to add their vintage Outkast touch to the album. The radio friendly Turn Me On, featuring Sleepy Brown, is a decent track but it seems to lack something (Andre 3000) to make it standout. Another radio friendly track Shutterbug is the album’s first standout track, produced by Scott Storch. Big Boi manages to ride the beat almost to perfection and the vocals from Cutty aren’t too drowning to find enjoyment out of the song. Another solid track is the thunderous General Patton. Think of Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter II track Best Rapper Alive but instead of actually saying that, Big Boi attacks critics and haters alike. “Paperboy, you can’t destroy what we done built, pick on somebody your own size and f*ck around and get killed”. Ghetto poet Big Rube closes the song out with his words of “knowledge.”

T.I. and Khujo Goodie (of Goodie Mob) assist Big Boi on yet another radio friendly track titled Tangerine. The heavy bass production is a solid backdrop for T.I. and Big Boi. Big even manages to steal the spotlight from Tip on this one.

Longtime partner Andre 3000 makes his only appearance on Sir Lucious Left Foot on You Ain’t No DJ but not rapping or singing but as the producer. Interscope Records newcomer Yelawolf is featured on the track and his verse is downright forgettable. He is clearly outclassed by Big Boi and while the song screams Andre 3000 all over it, the song should make any fan wonder “What if?” he was on the track. Despite no Andre, Big Boi handles the track well.

Big Boi rides this momentum into the Lil Jon produced Hustle Blood. Jamie Foxx provides vocals for the track’s chorus and Big Boi sounds right at home but the winner here may actually be Lil Jon. The beat is contagious and should have listeners coming back for more. Organized Noize pops back up on the George Clinton and Too $hort funk fest Fo Yo Sorrows. Big Boi speeds the tempo up and takes time to mention New Orleans and Katrina. “Call it fiction addiction cause the truth is a heavy thing, remember when the levee scream, made the folks evacua-ezz yeah, I’m still speakin’ about it ’cause New Orleans ain’t clean, when we shout Dirty South, I don’t think that is what we mean I mean, it mean the rough, the tough, the dangerous, we reign supreme, can slaughter entire teams with the ink that my pen bleeds B-I-G, B-O-I – nigga, please.”

If your going through the album searching for that Outkast sound…well, it’s alive and well on Night Night with B.o.B. By far one of the album’s standout tracks, Big Boi sounds sensational on the song while B.o.B. handles the chorus sounding like a very convincing Andre 3000. Big Boi co-produces the track with DJ Speedy. Another Big Boi co-produced track is the pleasant surprise Shine Blockas with Gucci Mane. Any fans that may have been skeptical of a Gucci/Big Boi sound, will wonder. The song turns out nearly perfect. Gucci handles the chorus and even has a verse that’s pretty decent.

After listening to Sir Lucious Left Foot, I realize that Big Boi can do it without longtime partner Andre 3000. I also realized how important both, Big Boi and Andre 3000, are to the overall sound of Outkast. They both feed off of each other’s energy and that creates what we know as the Outkast sound.

Sir Luscious Left Foot is a pretty good album, a funky ride that fans should easily love. The first half of the album is a bit shaky but the album gets stronger as it progresses. The more you listen to the album, the more addictive it becomes. The guest appearances were great and didn’t outshine Big Boi on any feature. After 4 years of delays, I can truly say I expected more but I can’t complain with Sir Lucious Left Foot and even after 16 years in hip hop, Big Boi is still as funky and good as he was back in 1994.