Album Review: Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot … The Son of Chico Dusty

Big Boi

Sir Lucious Left Foot … The Son of Chico Dusty

I can’t think of another rapper more underappreciated than Big Boi. Despite being half of arguably the best hip-hop group in history, his contributions are continuously overlooked in favor of his flamboyant partner in rhyme, Andre 3000.

Speakerboxxx, Big Boi’s contribution to 2003’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (one of the highest-selling rap albums of all time, by the way) has long been forgotten thanks to Dre’s Prince impersonations.

And Big Boi’s first proper solo album, Sir Lucious Left Foot … The Son of Chico Dusty, has been collecting dust back in some record label’s warehouse for at least five years. Big Boi started recording back in 2004 but the album never saw the light of day, even after the single “Royal Flush” was nominated for a Grammy. The label thought the album wasn’t “commercial” enough and asked Big Boi to create tracks like Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop.” Ugh. And recently, Big Boi claimed record label Jive removed all the tracks that featured Andre 3000 from the album’s playlist.

But Sir Lucious Left Foot is finally here, and Big Boi is ready for redemption. He spends most of the album proving his status as a hip-hop pioneer. “Night Night” and especially “General Patton,” with its blaring horns and chants, are the perfect backdrop to prove that some Southern rappers can be lyrical powerhouses. It’s easy to forget how potent Big Boi is on the mic, until he drops verses that are “defying all odds like a caterpillar flying,” as on “Daddy Fat Sacks.” The album is also filled with those multi-layered beats that made all those OutKast songs so frantic and fun.

Andre might not drop a verse, but he produces “You Ain’t No DJ,” which brings to mind OutKast’s space-age Stankonia days. Yelawolf helps out with a head-turning eclectic verse – keep your eyes on that dude, he’s one to watch.

Sir Lucious Left Foot is filled with guests – my girl Janelle Monae sounds as flawless as usual on “Be Still,” T.I. fits right in on the lascivious “Tangerine” and, believe it or not, somehow Gucci Mane doesn’t trip all over himself on the oddly soulful “Shine Blockas.” My one complaint about the album is that there may be too many guests – although none outshine the star, thankfully.

Sadly Sir Lucious Left Foot likely won’t be the album that will finally make Big Boi’s detractors come to their senses. Had Big Boi whipped up another ubiquitous barbecue anthem like “The Way You Move” he might win more support. But who cares – true fans know that Big Boi is one of the game’s best, and Sir Lucious Left Foot puts his best foot forward, as usual.

Best tracks: “Shine Blockas,” “General Patton,” “Be Still”

4 stars out of 5


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