It’s been four years since Big Boi and Andre 3000 dropped the certified platinum Idlewild, with still no word of a new album. But Outkast lives … in Sir Lucious.
After an announcement in 2007 of an Outkast hiatus to pursue respective solo work, Big Boi cooked up a new take on Atlanta-based rap in Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (Summer, 2010, Def Jam) with the likes of Lil Jon, George Clinton, Yelawolf, and B.o.B among others.
The result was an set of varied, dense, and funky bass-driven productions, jam packed with found sounds (the glass shatter in the first single, “Shutterbug”), plenty of novel chorus-bound licks that are soft serve as a counterpoint to Boi’s lickity-split lyricism, and about every digital plug-in available, from cathedral reverb to 80’s robot talk box. Sir Lucious has all the prophetic freshness of an Outkast album. The only thing missing, are Andre 3000’s vocals.
Unsure of its commercial viability, The Son of Chico Dusty sat around on Jive Records’ shelves for two years before they finally released Boi out of his contract. Def Jam agreed to a three album deal, but took out their own insurance by stipulating that Andre’s vocals were not to be on the album.
DJ’s move actually proved to be a lucrative and advantageous compliment for both members. Along with his phenomenal rapping, Andre 3000’s eccentric personality had painted him the musical mastermind of Outkast over the years, leaving Big Boi the “Garfunkel to his Simon,” as Andrew Noz has put it. So it is perhaps justifiable, or better put understandable, that Def Jam wanted to ensure Sir Lucious would be a stand alone testament to Boi’s capability as a solo artist and leave no room for speculation otherwise. By cutting off Andre–and his genius baggage– from the album and entrusting complete artistic faith in Big Boi, both Outkast members came out of the wash as equals, and bigger than ever before.
Still, DJ’s contract terms didn’t stop Boi from harkening back to the Outkast flavor: “[Sir Lucious is] basically what you been getting from Outkast,” says Big Boi. “Raw lyricism and the funkiest grooves you can lay your ears on.” And when his tour stopped through he Brooklyn Bowl this past Saturday, September 6th accompanied by his b-boy son, Cross Pattern, Big Boi made it clear he’d have none of such chicken or egg talk, performing “Fresh and Clean,” “Rosa Parks,” “Ms. Jackson,” and leading the crowd in screaming chants: “Outkast! For Life! Big Boi! For Life!”
It’s in this win-win context that brings us to Outkast’s newest release “Lookin for Ya (Jedi remix);” a bang-out re-issue featuring two extra verses from Andre 3000 and Big Boi that never made the Def Jam cut on Sir Lucious. ( The original version of “Lookin for Ya” was “leaked” via Big Boi’s twitter account before the debut album dropped).
The message? Big Boi can have his cake, and eat it too. “Jedi” indeed. Boi appears to know exactly what his fans are pining for, and is more than willing to give it to them.
The production is by Toronto’s own Boi-1da, who has worked with Eminem, Drake, Kardinal Official, Saukrates, k-os, The Diplomats, and G-Unit. “He’s a dope cat, man…” says Big Boi. “He’s got some dope music and he’s not predictable. I’m always looking for something on that- with some new new, fresh fresh produce. Something that’s fresh out the grocery store.”
[audio:https://thecomeupshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Big-Boi-ft.-Andre-3000-LookinÃ¢ÂÂ-4-Ya-Jedi-Remix.mp3|titles=Big Boi ft. Andre 3000 – Lookin 4 Ya (Jedi Remix)]