Album review: Big Boi - 'Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty' (Def Jam/Mercury)
Label wrangles have left the OutKast man’s solo album André 3000-free, but it’s still a stunning listenMore on Big Boi
What’s finally made it is an expansive, guest-packed 57 minutes that recall the Southern hip-hop bounce of 2003’s ‘Speakerboxxx’, but with an added twist of maturity. On one hand, it is an album about mourning – the titular Chico Dusty is a reference to his late father. At the same time, though, it features Patton rapping in character, as personas including Sir Lucious Left Foot, General Patton and Hot Tub Toney. Topics include religion, conspiracy theories, and – inevitably – sex, all done with a sense of play .
Certainly, ‘Sir Lucious…’ is the sound of a man with something to prove. You know ‘Shutterbug’, an ’80s-tinged club banger with ’60s guitar twang. The excellent ‘Tangerine’, featuring TI, is tribal hip-hop with mind-melting guitar ripped off Funkadelic’s ‘Maggot Brain’. And it’s hard to imagine who else could piece together a track like ‘Fo Yo Sorrows’, a spooked spliff anthem featuring George Clinton, pimp rapper Too $hort and crooner Sam Chris. Not everything works. ‘Be Still’ is a waste of the brilliant Janelle Monae. Mostly, though, you leave knocked sideways by Patton’s fluid vision. “I spray like the backside of a skunk”, he raps. No need to hold your nose. Breathe it in.
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