Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty
Fuck Andre 3000. Okay, that might be a bit harsh. It’s not really his fault. Fuck everyone’s obsession with Andre 3000. Seriously, have you actually listened to The Love Below? It’s terrible. But that’s neither here nor there. What’s finally here is Sir Luscious Left Foot… The Son of Chico Dusty, the official solo debut of Big Boi, Andre 3000’s running partner in the commercially and critically successful Outkast, and it’s really good. Unfortunately, all anyone can seem to talk about is that because of label nonsense Andre 3000 doesn’t show up to drop any of his irritating sub-Prince wank (or his now rare rapping, which would have been welcome). Fuck that.
This is about Big Boi and even if he’s destined to forever live in his more outlandish partner’s shadow, he’s delivered one of the best hip-hop albums since Speakerboxxx, his previous solo album in everything but name. Put simply, Left Foot is a staggering achievement. It’s wildly ambitious and inventive, but jammed with pure pop moments. It’s scattered and varied, but wonderfully consistent. It’s a downright joy to listen to.
Always an adventurous artist, here Big Boi embarks on his most widespread excursions to date. ‘Daddy Fat Sax’ mixes decaying, future disco processed strings with old school turntablism. ‘Follow Us’ screws a chorus sung by Vonnegutt that skirts dangerously close to the Jay Z’s embarrassing ‘Forever Young’ into cascades of synths and a syncopated tropical bounce. ‘General Patton’ finds Big Boi flowing overtop the massive waves of an operatic choir and skittering electronic drums. ‘Fo Yo Sorrows’ gets by on minimal techno beeps, while ‘You Ain’t No DJ’ is little more than a steel drum melody and blasts of processed vocals. ‘Be Still’ is almost a tender piano ballad.
Holding everything together is Big Boi’s gymnast flow, a veritable force capable of staccato bursts of furious movement, ear-pleasing grace and explosions of triumphant leaps, twists, turns and flips. On ‘Shutterbugg’ he references protecting his neck like the Wu-Tang Clan and then slips into the chorus of En Vogue’s ‘Back to Life, Back to Reality’ before Cutty hat tips Pharoahe Monch. ‘Follow Us’ finds Big Boi in critic mode, calling out the state of rap without sounding like some cranky old man or would be messiah. On ‘Be Still’ he looks inward, rapping about wasting time and relationships finally allowing Janelle Monae’s gorgeous singing to segue him into a spoken word coda. On ‘The Train, Pt. 2 (Luscious Left Foot Saves the Day)’ he adopts an airy, nasal breeze that transforms what could be the album’s sappiest moments into one of its most touching.
Sir Luscious Left Foot has almost everything: mainstream appeal, headphone expansion, hip-hop purist pleasing rhyming and next level futurism. The guests all rise to Big Boi’s level and even the skits aren’t a complete waste of time. The only thing it doesn’t have is Andre 3000 and it’s better for it. Though the two share undisputed chemistry, Left Foot forces listeners to appreciate Big Boi on his own and he in turn provides material arguably even better than Outkast at their peak. It’s time we all forget about ‘Dre.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.