Five Rea5ons I Should Be Excited About Big Boi’s Sir Lucious Leftfoot

Posted: July 5, 2010 by RA in Music
Tags: , ,

Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, the bassier, smoother, more soulful half of Atlanta Hip-Hop giants OutKast, is set to release his first solo album, Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty on July 6. While he’s released a solo album (“Speakerboxxx”) under the group’s name, this will be his first studio release under his own name. He may not have Andre 3000 this time, but he’s brought a bunch of friends along for his debut release on Def Jam, where he’s been reunited with former mentor and label head L.A. Reid. 

I should be excited. Problem is, I’m a little concerned. Here are 5 reasons why:


1.  Without Andre, He’s Got A Lot to Prove 
I’ve been a Big Boi fan for as long as I’ve thought of he and Andre as separate individuals. I’ve had his back through the “OutKast is so different and awesome… especially that Andre 3000″ phase. Through the ubiquity of “Hey Ya!” and The Love Below getting announced as Best Album at the 2004 Grammys, with Speakerboxxx mentioned as an afterthought.  Through the annoying, mixtape-fueled “Andre 3000 is the greatest rapper alive” phase of 2007/2008.

Now popular opinion seems to be approaching Camp Patton. But the majority opinion is still that Big Boi needs Dre. Especially more than Dre needs Big Boi. This had to have fueled his creativity and (cliché alert:) hunger as he recorded the album during the peak of the Andre-jerkfest of ’07.
Problem is: This album was mostly complete by 2008, long before Jive launched the final salvo in their years-long battle. That’s a shitload of fire we’ll never get to hear on this album. Plus, that’s four fewer songs to choose from during the editorial process — meaning we’re likely in for at least one or two more filler track than before.

2. He Must Be Brilliant to Have Recorded this Au-Courant Stuff Two Years Ago
If the album was in the can as far back as two years ago, then it’s very unlikely to be trend-focused — especially if IDJ is willing to release it in 2010. Patton says as much in the Verge article linked above — he defied Jive by refusing to ride the wave of Lil’ Wayne’s “Lollipop” by recording his own take on it.
Problem is: 80% of popular music is recorded 9-24 months before it’s released. From initial A&R to recording time to label politics, the average record is about 18 months old by the time it’s released. For this reason, I long ago came to the realization that “today’s sound” is almost never that. And there’s the fear that while he refused to go trendy in 2008, he may have been less discriminating in 2006. The last thing I want to hear is Big Boi’s take on “Sexyback”. 

3. His Friends Are Cooler Than Yours
Big Boi’s always been the ATLien with the coolest associates. From Sleepy Brown to Joi to Janelle Monae, he’s the dude whose dinner parties you just know are the shit. Well, he’s got them all on Leftfoot… except for Killer Mike. But that’s cool, anyway.
Problem is: He sure has a lot of guest appearances on here. I’m hoping, like Cutty’s turn on “Shutterbugg”, most guest appearances will be minimal and unobtrusive, lest we have a Tical 0 situation on our hands. Plus, some of his choices give me pause. From George Clinton (unpredictable, and seldom offers much besides O.G. cred) to Jamie Foxx (seriously?) to Gucci Mane (God, no!), he may need to be a little more circumspect in his feature choices.

4. Shutterbugg + General Patton

I’d like to say more, but you probably wouldn’t hear me over those.

5. Some Underdogs Actually Deliver
I’ve always maintained that Big Boi was better than Dre. Sure, Dre was the safe, inoffensive, commercially viable one. Not necessarily a crime in itself, but a damn shame if that status is pursued aggressively (whining ad nauseum about the rigors of having to wear baggy pants for a movie role), and if it’s 100% at odds with a stance previously held (calling Michael Jackson “that sellout” way back when).

Both Patton & 3000 sought to push past the established bounds of Hip-Hop, both sonically and with their image. However, when 3000 dialed it up to 11 (culminating in the weird-for-weird’s-sake video that almost ruined “Prototype”), Big Boi got pushed back into the lane of straight-man within the group. In order for Andre to truly shine as an oddity, Patton had to be reined into orthodoxy.

However, my dislike for Andre isn’t what fuels my preference for Patton. The fact is he’s just a more compelling Hip-Hop artist. Plus, let’s be honest, which do you skip over when it comes on today — “Hey Ya!” or “The Way You Move”?

All in all, I really don’t know if this album’s gonna be the opus I’m hoping for. But I don’t care, I’m there on 7/6.

  1. Five Rea5ons I Should Be Excited About Big Boi?s Sir Lucious Leftfoot…

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  2. Raven says:

    I’m soooo holding out on this CD. I loved Speakerboxx (moreso than I loved The Love Below actually – Speakerboxx is just more danceable and hell it was an AMAZING album), but eh this album just looks like its not going to be that good. Also, that General Patton song was a bad song 😡

  3. merq says:

    Great comments, Raven. Both here and the Kelis post. Hope to hear more of your thoughts in future.

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