November 12, 2012

Add Big Boi to the litany of artists enamored with the idea of making A$AP Rocky-core. We’re well on our way to having the trillwave sub-genre wind up like dance-punk in the mid-00s. In this example, The Bravery is played by Dominic Lord.

Beyond being the original Southern player, what differentiates Sir Lucious Left Foot’s lead single from the rest of the pack is his creative instincts. This is a mixed bag. Vonnegut have thankfully been placed in the slaughterhouse, but he’s got another organic yogurt rock band in Phantogram doing hook duties. I’ll let Wikipedia do my work for me: “Phantogram is an American Indie pop duo from Saratoga Springs, New York, formed in 2007 and consisting of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter. They write and record in a remote barn in upstate New York called Harmony Lodge.” Kanye gets Bon Iver, Big Boi is stuck with his low-budget Hudson River Valley equivalent. The world ain’t fair.

I’ll never be okay with the idea of a great rapper ceding the spotlight to someone less storied. No shots at A$AP Rocky, who has managed to earn the admiration of even our hater-haunted circle, but Big Boi is one of the best to ever do it, so it seems odd that Rocky is the first voice you hear on the new single from Daddy Fat Sacks. Well, after the computer-screwed vocals. It’s better than Wale kicking off the Curren$y album, but it feels like a misguided radio grab, especially considering Rocky still hasn’t broke into national radio playlists.

Despite my misgivings, this is still Big Boi and thus, he manages to redeem even his most dubious decisions. The dark piano lines add a necessary gravity and when Antwan Patton raps, you stop whatever the fuck you’re doing and pay attention. Rocky acquits himself nicely too. Make no mistake, I prefer Big Boi when he embraces the funk, but props to him for pulling off a very awkward experiment. After all, no matter how many platinum plaques you own, an all-alligator wardrobe doesn’t come cheap. Plus, he could’ve put Drake on it.


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