In the midst of the changing atmosphere of hip hop,( including the generation gap, variance of opinions of how to respect the older rappers and what is a proper retirement age) there is a series of measuring marks. I have noticed that social media and presence there is one. Some of the veterans don’t touch it, while others, like Big Boi, seem to be right at home.
In the hip hop world, there will always be a place for Big Boi, whether its for his fans from the Outkast days, or the newer fans who want a taste of the Atlanta sound. On Boomiverse, Big Boi brings us further away from Outkast references and reunion wishes, and closer to the his current standing in the rap game and reality.
WHAT I EXPECTED:
an album full of very listenable beats, couple with Big Boi’s sharp lyrics and testimony of his track record over his long career.
WHAT I HEARD:
His third solo opens with him rapping right away on “Da Next Day”, spitting word play without a long buildup and takes a mid-song assist from old comrade Big Rube, who sounds fresh as ever. while this song(and others) seem to leave you expecting a 3rd verse, long term fans will know that this will not occur on a Big album. It is expected to enjoy the production as much as the lyrics, appreciating the beat as it slowly rides out on his own.
“Kill Jill” which features a tough but playful verse from Killer Mike and a hook from Jeezy, is an addictive mid tempo joint that samples what seems to be a sweet, foreign serenade throughout the background.
“MIc Jack” is an upbeat, dance selection that features singing from Adam Levine. Big Boi professes to “Break it u like the smile of Michael Strahan” as he glides over synth-y music and hook that seems fairly simple.
Gucci Mane makes an appearance an appearance on “In the South” dane between thoughts of police brutality and his car, while Big double-times his flow that I wished was longer. Pimp C is featured on the hook, only the hook unfortunately. “Order of Operations” is a reflective look at Big’s career, while making a statement on handing his money in smart manner. This is one of the stronger tracks. “All NIght” is a great song where Big displays an addictive chorus choice , while working a ragtime piano-infused melody into a party anthem.
Snoop sounds a bit redundant on “Lets Get with It”, but the two of them work the danceable beat into another party mover. “Overthunk” is a cool record but the hook doesn’t seem to meet the verses eye to eye.
By the time “Chocolate” featuring Troze comes on, you definitely get the idea that Big approached this album with the idea of a feel good product being the result. “Made Man” is a slow moving threat that is agressive and smooth simultaneously. “Freakonomics” sounds like a track that was left off of the Big Grams album, as it is filled with the same sexually suggestive energy of that album. Killer Mike’s third feature(yes three) closes out the album with “Follow Deez” which also features a hypnotic hook from Curren$y that states:
“Follow me into a land where Impalas squat
Young niggas with hammers and daily body drop
OGs survive, you still alive, a lot of niggas not
Smoking for my dead homies while I ride around.”
Surprisingly, the energy seems to pick with this hook and Curren$y’s verse for the win.
- more verses, especially when the hooks ran long, almost calling for them
- less features. Big stands strong on his own. There were too many.
- i miss the mix of darkness and energy of the last solo album “Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors”, and wished that it was here.
Creativity – 80%
Production – 90%
Track Separation – 80%
Decent Percentage – 100%
I find this to be a very listenable album, combining the elements that we always expect from Big Boi: Strong lyrics and great music that doesn’t disappoint. The areas of opportunity are usually there as well:him holding more of the album on his own, short verses at some points, but fuller ones at other points. Because the music works so much for me, I do look past the point where some lines or just thoughts sound recycled. What is good about the overall album is his playfulness with lines, and has been a staple of his sound for many years. He is still well ahead of many of his contemporaries, but there is a part of me that hope for the exploring of new ground.