Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty is the solo debut album of American rapper and OutKast-member Big Boi, released July 5, 2010 on Purple Ribbon Records and Def Jam Recordings. Production for the album took place primarily at Stankonia Recording Studio in Atlanta during 2007 to 2010 and was handled by several record producers, including Organized Noize, Scott Storch, Salaam Remi, Mr. DJ, and André 3000, among others. The album's development and release were impeded by a controversial dispute between Big Boi and his former label, Jive Records, over creative differences and commercial concerns.
Following a heavily-delayed release, the album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 62,000 copies in its first week. It achieved moderate international charting and produced two singles, including the UK top-40 hit "Shutterbugg". Upon its release, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty received general acclaim from most music critics, earning praise for its inventive sound, varied musical style, and Big Boi's lyricism. As of September 26, 2010, it has sold 175,000 copies in the United States. Big Boi promoted the album with a supporting tour that spanned August to November 2010.
"Frequently written off in favour of flamboyant other-half André '3000' Benjamin, it's high time people started singing the praises of Big Boi. As 50% of Atlanta, GA crew OutKast, the man christened Antwan André Patton played a pivotal role in bringing the hard-bitten soul of the dirty south to prominence during the late 1990s in the US.
And while fourth LP Stankonia made bona fide pop stars of the duo, it was 2003'sbSpeakerboxxx/The Love Below - a double album showcasing the work of either artist on separate discs - which spawned an era-defining single in Hey Ya! and established Benjamin as a rakishly-dressed, latter-day Prince figure for the hip hop generation.
Unfortunately The Love Below was less focused than the comparison would suggest, and in fact it was Patton's Speakerboxxx which lent ballast to Dré's whimsical, intermittently inspired flights of fancy, turning in the kind of colourful hip hop productions that helped make OutKast's name in the first place.
Patton floated the idea of a solo record in 2007, but following issues with OutKast label LaFace/Jive he switched to Def Jam last year. Even worse, Jive decreed that tracks featuring vocals from Patton's erstwhile sparring partner be left on the cutting room floor, meaning 'net-leaked numbers Royal Flush and Looking 4 Ya are absent from Sir Lucious Left Foot. That's a real shame - both Big Boi and Dré kill it on the former, while the latter could almost be a laser-focused Kanye joint minus the woe-is-me ass-clowning.
Nonetheless Sir Lucious Left Foot is a potent reminder of one of the more consistently inventive forces in rap 16 years since his debut. Given Patton's rep as the conservative half of OutKast it's easy to forget how damn musical his ideas are, like the mellow Rhodes piano that underscores Turns Me On's supple west coast funk, or the horns that add cinematic gloss to the The Train Part 2's outro.
Shutterbugg's ice-cold electro is given a spacious, club-ready sheen by Scott Storch that'll have the track bouncing 'round your brain for months to come, while George Clinton even shows up on the Kraftwerk-gone-ringtone rap hokum of Fo Yo Sorrows. André 3000's sole credit is as producer on the un-Dre-like You Ain't No DJ, which has the coked-out, machine-funk feel of a Clipse track.
Meanwhile the heavyweight General Patton and heady, AOR-tinged Shine Blockas only confirm Patton as one of the best pop-leaning hip hop artists around. That OutKast comeback will surely be killer, but for now respect is due the way of this splendid solo adventure." - BBC
Rolling Stone (p.104) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "He's got an inimitably slick and speedy flow....Packing more style -- and more substance -- into his four-minute-long songs than other rappers deliver in an entire album."
Spin - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "Big Boi has always been a deceptively elegant rhymer...and he's in top, post-pimp form."
Entertainment Weekly (p.116) - "[A] stunningly realized solo debut....Ready with a nimble flow no matter the backdrop, he touts his high-flying party life over bombastic opera, chrome-bright electro, wiggly funk, and anything else that comes his way." -- Grade: A-
Paste (magazine) - "[A] massive, ambitious album shot through with knee-knocking beats and deft lyrical touches from Outkast's swagger champion..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "We haven't heard a major-label rap album this inventive, bizarre, joyous and masterful in a long time..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.85) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Big Boi's absurd -- and absurdly dextrous -- verbiage knits it all together handsomely."
Personnel: Big Boi (vocals); Chris Carmouche, General Patton, Dax "Dirty Dr." Rudnak, Henry Welch, Henry Keisha Atwater, Big Rube (vocals).
Audio Mixer: Chris Carmouche.
Recording information: Dungeon East Studios, Decatur, GA; Instrument Zoo, Miami, FL; King Of Crunk, Atlanta, GA; Kush Studios, Palm Island, FL; Stankonia Recording, Atlanta, GA; The Dungeon Recording Studios, Atlanta, GA; The Slumdrum Dreamhouse.
Photographers: Diwang Valdez; Jonathan Mannion.
Several years in the making, no doubt interrupted by a change of labels (from Jive to Def Jam), Sir Lucious Left Foot...the Son of Chico Dusty finally sees completion and official release. The first proper solo album from OutKast's Antwan Patton contains the single "Shutterbugg," a bold and energizing electro-funk production from Scott Storch.