I’ll admit that I was initially against the idea of a Big Boi solo album. Not because I didn’t think he could pull it off but because being the huge Outkast fan that I’m am, I didn’t wanna see them apart. Even with the whole Speakerboxxx/The Love Below project I was reluctant but it was okay because both were sold together under the Outkast banner.
Then two years ago while riding in my car I heard “Royal Flush”; the unofficial sequel to “Skew It On The Bar-B” and Bio Boi’s first single featuring Andre 3000 & Raekwon. Then I thought; “Okay this is awesome. This will work. Andre will still have some verses and production ob Big Boi’s album. I still get Outkast”. Plus Speakerboxxx was good right?
That was 2008. Between label complications (Big Boi moved from Jive to Def Jam as an solo artist to release Sir Lucious Left Foot) and a failed single (“Sumthin’s Gotta Give”) the album was pushed back several times. Plus Jive, Outkast’s record label, blocked any song featuring both Big Boi and André 3000. Damn.
So finally the album is here. And while many will say that Big Boi is the lesser half of Outkast, that lesser half is very talented, has a tremendous track record, and is one of the artists responsible for the South’s rise in Hip-Hop music. So let’s see how well Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty stacks up…
1. Feel Me (Intro)
Produce by Malay
The album starts off with simple whistling that grows into a funky intro full with piano, guitar, and heavy bass. With lyrics sung like “15 years off in the game, still ain’t changed…”, it’s a good intro to get you ready for the rest of the album.
“Damn, and that wasn’t nothing but the intro” – Big Boi
2. Daddy Fat Sax
Produced by Mr. DJ
We jump headfirst in the first song off the album. The song, titled after one of Big Boi’s alias, had him reminding us of his legacy and abilities (“I write knockout songs/You spit punchlines for money”). Over a space-age beat provided by longtime calibrator Mr. DJ., the Outkast feel is definitely there (Minus an Andre verse). Nice start plus I love the scratching incorporated here.
3. Turns Me On
Featuring Sleepy Brown & Joi; Produced by Organized Noize
It’s always good to see Organized Noize behind the boards for any Dungeon Family member; And for good reason. Sleep Brown & Joi handles the hook as Big rhymes sex (“I’m kicking it with you ma like martial artists do/We can break boards and you can kicks rocks when I’m through”). The vibe here is smooth and fun that all works together.
4. Follow Us
Featuring Vonnegutt; Produced by Salaam Remi
I usually a fan of Salaam Remi’s work but not in this case. The beat doesn’t seem to fit Big Boi’s style and comes off a little boring. I also never bought the poppy-rock hook and bridge by Vonnegutt for this song. This is the first track I’m not feeling off this album
Featuring Cutty; Produced by Scott Storch & Big Boi
When I first heard this song I didn’t like it (Especially the production). But after a few listens, it grew on me. I think Scott Strotch provided a well made club beat and Big rides it effortlessly. I’m still not sold on that chorus especially since Big Boi is known for writing good ones.
6. General Patton
Featuring Big Rube; Produced by J. Beats & Big Boi
Big Boi aggressively rhyming over a fat chorus and an orchestra sample from Solti’s 1962 recording of the Verdi opera. Yes, more please. My favorite track off the album.
Featuring T.I. & Khujo; Produced by Knightheat & Big Boi
With heavy smooth guitar licks leading the way, the mood is set for all the ladies to come out and “shake it like a tambourine”. I love the low tone of this song and that’s not even talking about the changes to it added towards the end. T.I.’s verse here is pretty good too. Plus who else but Big Boi can make a Greg Louganis references about getting head and not make it sound gay?
8. You Ain’t No DJ
Featuring YelaWolf; Produced by Andre 3000
Let’s be clear, the main attraction here before even listening to the track is seeing 3 Stacks name on the productions credits. It has all the ingredients of an Andre beat but left me a little underwhelmed. It’s not bad but you know the pedestal us Peach State natives put 3000 on. This is also the closet you’ll get to an Outkast reunion on this album.
I liked the message of the hook but it sounded a little mislaid. Besides that, YelaWolf’s flow steals the show on the lyrics side: “Ice cold true shit/In the booth with blue lips/In the grave like a tulip/In the bar like poolsticks/808, Toomp shit/Magic Mike, poof bitch.”. All in all the song is still a win and worth a listen. Actually, now thinking about it, I can see myself liking this track more after more listens.
9. Hustle Blood
Featuring Jamie Foxx; Produced by Lil’ Jon
Two things stuck out to me when I saw this song on the tracklisting: ‘Featuring Jamie Foxx’ & ‘Produced by Lil’ Jon’. I felt that they both didn’t fit on the album (Especially for Jon since I reviewed his last album). But you know what? The song isn’t bad at all. It’s still seems a bit out of place on Sir Lucious Left Foot but Lil’ Jon surprised me with the production; It reminded me of early Prince. It’s not my favorite track off the album but it’s not bad and will probably be a single since it sounds made for radio.
10. Be Still
Featuring Janelle Monáe; Produced by Royal Flush
Yea, it may have “featuring” Janelle here, but make no mistake; this is here track. Big Boi only raps for 30 seconds and the rest is all her with the results being nice and relaxing. Good job on giving the Janelle the look too.
11.Fo Yo Sorrows
Featuring George Clinton, Too Short; & Sam Chris; Produced by Organized Noize
Awesome hook; a distorted Big Boi nails it. The varying speed of the bounce here is also worth mentioning thanks to Organized Noize. George Clinton is always a welcome edition to almost any Outkast track. My only grip is that it needs more Too Short; he’s barely here.
12. Night Night
Featuring B.o.B & Joi; Produced by DJ Speedy & Big Boi
With all the comparison that Bobby Ray gets with Andre 3000, some people would say that this collaboration is a poor man’s Outkast. It kinda is. DJ Speedy & Big Boi cook up a trademark Outkast track while B.o.B handles chorus duties. It doesn’t blow you away but it’s worth checking out.
13. Shine Blockas
Featuring Gucci Mane; Produced by Cut Master Swift & Big Boi
This is another one that I didn’t like on first listen. But the sample of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ “I Miss You Baby” is pretty damn catchy.
14. The Train Part. II (Sir Lucious Left Foot Saves The Day)
Featuring Sam Chris; Produced by Organized Noize
I honestly couldn’t think of was it actually a Part 1 to this (“Trans DF Express”?). It seems like Big Boi does something to his voice again on his verse. The instrumentation here is really good and has a mellow fell to it.
15. Back Up Plan
Produced by Organized Noize & Big Boi
I’m surprised that this song ended this album. It’s not that it’s a bad song because it’s not. But a song about having a side chick doesn’t seem like a great note to end on. The hook is catchy and Big rhymes aren’t bad either (Maybe I’m analyzing it too much).
After all the waiting, Big Boi delivered a well-crafted album; he didn’t just throw some songs together to make this. Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty feels like all the tracks are well thought out from the signature Outkast like skits that blend with the album to the tuned state of the art production. On most of the songs, a Big Boi rhymes are reinvigorated and he seems to be having a good time the whole way through.
But it’s not a perfect album and of course it’s not as potent as a full Outkast experience with Andre & Big Boi both at the helm. But then again, any Outkast experience is worth taking. You didn’t thing Sir Lucious Left Foot would do you wrong did you? Boy stop!
Download: Big Boi – “Theme Song” [Bonus Track]
Download: Big Boi feat. Gucci Mane, Bun B, & Project Pat – “Shine Blockas (remix)” [Bonus Track]
Download: Big Boi feat. Andre 3000 & Raekwon – “Royal Flush” [Not On Album]
Download: Big Boi feat. Andre 3000 & Raekwon – “Lookin’ For Ya” [Not On Album]