Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
06:00PM ET July 6, 2010
Contributor: Hip Hop Blog Staff
A Rocky Williform Company
How does a legendary MC record a Grammy winning, diamond-selling album that is still somehow one of the most underrated releases in 2000s hip hop?
Not exactly sure what the answer is, but that's exactly what happened to Outkast's Antwon "Big Boi" Patton following the release of Outkast's critically-acclaimed, massively-popular double-album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Most fans focused on his partner Andre 3000, and Andre's more obvious and eclectic funk, rock and pop experiments and mostly gave Big Boi's Speakerboxxx half of the album a polite nod and lukewarm kudos while lavishing (maybe over-praising) 3000's quirky and infectious Love Below.
But now, after Outkast's extended hiatus following 2006's disappointing Idlewild film and album, Big Boi has resurfaced on his own, on a new label with a renewed focus. 3000 produced one track, and Outkast's contractual complications with Arista meant that Dre couldn't even appear on the Jive Records-released album. But all that means is that Big Boi is inspired and sounds like he's completely relishing the opportunity to remind everyone that he is also one of the better MCs of his generation and a visionary talent on his own. Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty has the shimmer of early 2000s Outkast but isn't the sound of a legend coasting. Big Boi's rhymes are fierce and the production is uniquely funky; the lead single "Shutterbug" has one the truck-rattling thump of a classic Clipse track, with Dungeon Family stalwart Sleepy Brown singing a smooth hook over a jittery electro synth. "General Patton" is an anthem, with Big Boi's enthusiasm tangible in lines like "You disrespect it/It's yo' ass/One half of the Outkast/Return like Ghost of Christmas Past."
The Dre 3000-produced "You Ain't No DJ" features young sensation Yelawolf and, oddly enough, is one of the tracks that sounds less like classic Outkast. On the contrary, it proves that the forward-thinking crew is just as visionary as ever; a percussive beat with sound effects that let Big Boi and 'Wolf drop some of the album's most confrontational brags, dismissing so-called DJ's who only cater to fame. The Organized Noize-produced "Fo Yo Sorrows" features the return of George Clinton, who collaborated with Outkast on their classic 1998 Aquemini album track "Synthesizer." The song is a highlight, with Bay legend Too $hort also dropping by and a beat that recalls Kid Cudi without aping his style.
Those that have been following Outkast for the past 16 years shouldn't need a reminder that Big Boi is as great as he is, but always standing next to the universally-revered Andre 3000 can sometimes make even the staunchest of fans take Daddy Fat Sax for granted. Forever cast as the accessible, radio-friendly Paul McCartney to Three Stack's more avant-garde and experimental John Lennon, Big Boi shows that he has more than a few tricks up his sleeves--he's one of the best to ever do it. Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty doesn't only add to his legacy--it cements it.