As much as I’d like to write ‘album of the year’ and step away from my keyboard with a self-important sense of accomplishment, I know Big Boi’s new album deserves stronger praise.
With Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty and The ArchAndroid, Big Boi and Janelle Monae have injected a renewed sense of fun and spontaneity into pop music. Big Boi has the honor of achieving this in a genre that either clings to the past or lunges forward with obnoxious gimmicks. Big Boi jumps between styles with reckless abandon while maintaining a constant level of lyrical pandemonium. “Shine Blockas” sways with the feel-good sounds of a Harold Melvin sample while “General Patton” kindly reminds you to “Get the South dick up out your mouth.” And then there’s the electrical earthquake that is “Shutterbugg.”
Big Boi somehow ties it all together, perhaps just with sheer charisma. Sir Lucious Left Foot is blindingly vibrant and almost impossible to listen to sitting down. Hit play and get off your ass.
I love how Daedelus’ creepy vocals make me feel like my house is haunted. This track comes from Proximal Records first compilation Proximity One: Narrative of a City. His remix of Baths’ “?” has a similar effect.
Unexpected crack from Jazmine Sullivan. Missy Elliot flips the “Impeach the President” drums, “Affirmative Action” by the Firm, Biz Markie, and Dougie Fresh for a track that should send you stumbling down memory lane in multiple directions.
First rapper to spit over it gets a Metal Lungies fanny pack.
Renaissance Gangster saw DJ Burn One feeding Memphis rapping machine Starlito East Coast sounding beats for an oddly successful marriage of country rap and old school samples. With this unreleased gem, Burn One further demonstrates his ability to make music that defies regional classification. This beat could easily go either West or South.
I winced when I heard Big K.R.I.T. landed a deal with Def Jam off the buzz surrounding his mixtape. It’s encouraging to see Def Jam pick up a talented artist, but like many others, I’m afraid he might disappear into major label purgatory. For now, vibe to K.R.I.T.’s awesome blend of West Coast synths and Southern 808s on “Lil Buddy.” Def Jam if you fuck this one up…
You know, we could have had a lot of fun with T-Pain’s funny little sound, but no, artists and labels had to jump on Auto-Tune and make it the focal point of popular music for two years. Those who emulated “Buy U a Drank” and “Lollipop” should have had the foresight to realize how dated and stupid their music would be after mainstream music found another golden calf; though, they probably didn’t care.
So even when it sounds kind of cool on a song like this, Auto-Tune’s stigma threatens to overshadow Bun B’s hardened braggadocio. Trill O.G. drops August 3.
Reality’s Future History LLC Compilation will drop next week with a strong list of hip-hop blog approved rappers, though Torae clarifies,
Listen, I’m not a blog rapper, just a rapper that they blog about.
It would appear that Torae is just avoiding a label with a bad reputation (who really wants to be known as a blog rapper?), but the distinction is warranted. “Blog rappers” make trendy, ephemeral music for a niche fan base on the Internet and are forgotten a week after their mixtapes drop.
Torae is not a blog rapper. In fact, he said he would stab me if I posted another one of his songs.
T.I. put all hit aggressive street shit on a mixtape called Fuck a Mixtape to sate his core fanbase before radio plays his new Lady Gaga/Rihanna singles for eight months straight. Aside from “Ready Set Go” with Killer Mike, the only other song from the tape worth repeated spins is “Here We Go Again” which sounds like it was just a tad too gutter for a Nelly Furtado feature.