Album Review: Big Boi, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (Deluxe Edition)

Big Boi

Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (Deluxe Edition) (to be released December 11, 2012)

We’re mere weeks away from the year 2013. Can we please stop sleeping on Big Boi’s skills?

In recent years, Andre 3000 has been heralded as one of the greatest to ever bless a mike. But Antwan Patton, the other half of the mighty Outkast, always seems to be the odd man out. Big Boi has long been considered the more grounded ying to Dre’s eclectic yang.

Don’t be mistaken: Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Big Boi’s second solo album, proves that he can get just as funky as his rap soul mate.

“The radio got y’all like zombies,” Big Boi declares on “The Thickets.” Heed that warning – if you like your rap pre-packaged in a Young Money/MMG radio-friendly box, Big Boi will leave you scratching your head. But you’re open to unconventional hip-hop, Big Boi is your funkmaster.

“Objectum Sexuality” bumps with the soul of the P-Funk All-Stars while “CPU” is a updated take on “Computer Love.” Big Boi’s a master of taking familiar themes and  energizing them with 21st century electricity. Meanwhile, “Raspberries” and “Thom Pettie” dial back the funk to a slow Southern crawl:  The seats in your ‘Lac will be so laid back that you won’t be able to see over the dashboard.

If that’s not your thing, Big Boi is still eager to prove why he’s one of raps elite. “Lines” lets him flex his lyrical muscles while “In The A” delivers the knockout blow, outshining guest stars T.I. and Ludacris. Remember when those two hated each other? They gladly pushed old beefs aside to stand alongside a veteran.

Big Boi solidifies his status as elder statesman on “Tremendous Damage” and the subsequent “Descending.” I’m not a big fan of the sing-songy flow he uses on the first verse of the former (backs bad memories of Nelly) but both songs show the growth and maturity that are born from life’s hardships.

The only failing of Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is the lack of a standout track. The single “Mama Told Me” with Kelly Rowland is decent but gets lost in the shuffle. The bonus tracks on the album’s deluxe edition fare a bit better with the raunchy but catchy “She Said OK” and “Gossip,” where Big Boi takes aim at kids wearing tight clothes “like they’re Dancing With the Stars without the judges or the dance floor.” Heh.

Humor, wit and funkiness make Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors a strong release, although it’s slightly below 2010’s Sir Lucious Leftfoot.

While Andre spits two great verses a year, Big Boi is consistently making great albums. Will y’all respect him now?

Best tracks: “In The A,” “She Said OK,” “Lines”

4 stars out of 5


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