Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty | Album Review

After a two year journey, Antwan ‘Big Boi’ Patton delivers the heavily anticipated Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son Of Chico Dusty and singlehandedly reminds audiences why Outkast is heralded as one of Hip Hop’s greatest groups to ever do it.

While Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son Of Chico Dusty is Big Boi’s ‘official’ debut album, it is not of course the first time audiences have heard a complete project of Big Boi’s solo material – it comes seven years after Outkast’s dual solo album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. While selling over 15 million copies and making Outkast a household name beyond the realms of Hip Hop, the album, which featured monstrous hit “Hey Ya!” thrust Andre 3000 in the limelight and somewhat left Big Boi in the shadows; a position unfair considering Speakerboxxx highlighted, in my opinion, that Andre is not any more musically ostentatious or flamboyant than Big Boi.

It is possibly due to this positioning; Big Boi being regarded as less as a star than Andre, that made Sir Lucious Leftfoot’s journey to our iTunes/CD collections a slow and precarious one. When Jive (Outkast’s label) refused to release the album, deeming it not commercial enough, Big Boi took the record to Def Jam. When Jive furthered their insolent attempt to halt it from hitting the stores by blocking Andre from being able to appear as a feature artist on any of the album tracks, Big Boi complied, but not without exposing the label’s antics in interviews.

In some sense, it seems like Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son Of Chico Dusty perhaps has something to prove. If it does, opening song “Daddy Fat Sax” doesn’t waste time in making sure it’s proven. “I write knockout songs / you spit punchlines for money,” he tells his competition. “Daddy Fat Sax” is the only tune on the album where Big Boi vocals his own chorus, with the rest of the Sir Lucious Leftfoot feature-heaving with strong choruses. Former collaborator Sleepy Brown lends his rich soulful tone to “Turns Me On”, Vonnegutt adds an alternative edge to “Follow Us”, protégé Janelle Monae steals the show on “Be Still” and funk pioneer George Clinton adds serious grove to “For Your Sorrows”. Jamie Foxx, Joi, Cutty, and Sam Chris also serve vocals on the choruses throughout the album.

The instrumentation carries Sir Lucious Leftfoot onto a new plane, from the boom-clap bass on Scott Storch produced “Shutterbug”, the sharp electric guitar woven into many of the album cuts to the clever samples such as Teddy Pendergrass’s “I Miss You” on “Shine Blockas”. Jives attempt to keep Big Boi’s musical partner off the album wasn’t entirely successful, as Andre 3000 is on the buttons on the banger, “You Ain’t No DJ”. Big Boi is never lost in the music, and exhibits his own instrument – his complex flow, to enhance the rich production. Lyrically Sir Lucious is equally complex, as Big Boi tackles topics from Katrina to the industry’s fakers with poetic finesse.

It’s hard to pick just a few stand out tracks from the 17-track project, so instead I will highlight the few tracks that I didn’t reload; the instrumentally messy “General Patton”, which, with it’s orchestral samples and heavy bass is the only time on the album that the musicality within the production was a discredit, T.I. assisted “Tangerine” with it’s droning, repetitive chorus “shake it like a tambourine” and “Theme Song”, an underwhelming cut which sounds like much of today’s disposable R&B. However, the weak spots are easily ignored on Sir Lucious Leftfoot, because they are oft segued between some of the album’s best cuts.

A well-constructed, almost-masterpiece, Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son Of Chico Dusty was necessary for audiences beyond Outkast fans to realise Big Boi’s greatness.

Sit Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty is out now.

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