Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Album Review: Big Boi - Boomiverse

Big Boi
**and1/2 out of *****

On Big Boi's (Antwan Patton) first solo release, the underrated Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty he extended his Outkast success and while it never ventured far from his main acts style, it proved he could carry on at the top of his game with a solo career. Then came some experiments and moves towards more "modern Hip-Hop" via partnerships with Phantogram and others on the incredibly underwhelming Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors and Big Grams. 

Now the ATL-ien returns and the results are somewhere between Left Foot's party time looseness and futuristic more recent efforts; not a return to form but steps back in the right direction. He has not lost any of his pure rhyming style and comes directly at you in the opening "Da Next Day" dropping excellent rhymes in impressive fashion. However the track features a good supporting verse from Big Rube and nothing else. No chorus, no memorable beat, so when the MC's are done it feels more like a demo than a successful disk opener.

That stated, the best efforts appear early. "Kill Jill" is a hoot as he partners with long time comrade Killer Mike and Jeezy which also shows Big Boi changing up his flow to fit the odd Asian inspired beat from Organized Noize. "Mic Jack" has a surprisingly good vocal effort from Adam Levine supporting over an 80's inspired dance beat while "In The South" pulls everything back to his hometown of the Atlanta.

The most complete track is not surprisingly the most "old school" sounding as Scott Storch (of all people) creates a Southernplayalistic-style beat where Big Boi digs in, spreads out and describes the "Order of Operations".

From here on the album begins to drag and disappoint, while still experimenting and searching for a sound. "All Night" is an interesting effort based on an old-time piano riff, that while unique never succeeds, "Overthunk" indulges his more digital tendencies and "Chocolate" is a one note joke that sticks around way too long.

"Made Man" drags and never takes off, "Freakanomics" is a scattered odd digital-beated mess which finds Patton singing and "Follow Deez" ends the disk on a dull note. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is the perfect-on-paper-pairing of Big Boi, Snoop Dogg and Organized Noize production for "Get Wit It". The finish product is so much less than it's parts, a boring, bland instantly forgettable number which is disheartening for these all-time all-stars.

That is the issue with all of Antwan Patton's work these days, there is such high expectations based on his career as half of one of the greatest hip hop acts of all time along with the excellent beginning to his solo career. While he has very little to prove, there is a sense he still could be one of the best on the planet if it all came together on one of his releases...or perhaps a reunion?!?
We love Big Boi, so perhaps we grade him harder than others, but this was a let down for us, not anywhere near as bad of a letdown when we heard Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors though. Oof, that was bad, this is just average for these times. We still like it better than the new supposed best hip hop albums this year....

Support the artist, buy the album, peep some video:

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