Big Boi
Sir Lucious Left Foot


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
July 19th, 2010 | 547 replies | 46,444 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sir Lucious Left Foot is a brilliant record according to the classic barometers, but you really don’t have to give a shit about classic barometers to understand that it's one of, if not THE hip-hop record of 2010.

In a Jaga Jazzist review I wrote recently, I claimed that their latest record, One-Armed Bandit, was “a smart album for smart people.” Now, I’ll be honest with you, when I wrote that, I didn’t exactly know what I meant per se, at least in terms of saying something I could adequately articulate (which I realize is a ridiculously horrible thing for a reviewer to say but bear with me; the point’s in sight). But oddly, after listening to Big Boi’s first solo offering, Sir Lucious Left Foot, I now understand what the fuck I was going for.

See, the thing with One-Armed Bandit is that it’s comprised of ornately detailed compositions that sound as though they required an immense amount of thought and effort to create (read: smart album). To truly appreciate it, I figured, a listener must give as good as he/she gets, must devote the time to really think about the record to admire just how much cool shit is going on (which in turn requires a knowledge of just what exactly is going on (read: smart people)). I understand this all sounds like haughty, self-congratulatory bullshit because I like a difficult record, but that’s not really what I’m going for. My point is that I was able to come to that realization because I came to this one:

Sir Lucious Left Foot is a smart album for stupid people.

Now please please please don’t be offended if you like this album (as I’m sure maybe 95% of you do (or will)), because here’s what I mean by that. Sir Lucious Left Foot is a brilliant record according to the classic barometers- the beats are killer, the verses sick, the pacing perfect, and the skits are actually pretty funny (!)- but the thing is that you really don’t have to give a shit about any of that to understand that this is one of, if not the top hip-hop album of 2010.

Because here’s the thing: like most great pop albums of our time, Sir Lucious Left Foot goes down so smoothly you’d be forgiven for not noticing just how mind-blowingly good it is. These are huge songs, in the way big pop albums should be huge- that is, colossal, not demanding your undivided attention so much as just sort of having it. Like, take this for example: There’s a stretch between “Shutterbug” and “Tangerine” where Boi causes eight million orgasms at the same time by just being catchy. “Boi, stop,” indeed. Lucious thrives off its catchiness, using stellar guest spots from people as b-list as Big Boi (people of the “shit is that Jaime Foxx!??” variety) to give the choruses that make Big Boi sound vital again, and if Sir Lucious does anything, it proves that Boi needs to be vital in the game he helped invent, the game that’s sort of wandered aimlessly when its premier dynamic duo went Idlewild. Boi is simply getting back on track.

I understand that calling a record featuring upwards of eleven different slang words for ejaculate “the solution” to problems with most southern hip-hop doesn’t exactly sound legitimate, but honestly, tracks like “Tangerine” don’t come around that often. Neither do tracks like “Fo Yo Sorrows.” These are tracks about blow jobs that tend to transcend the fact that they’re about blow jobs, and, I mean, who the fuck writes that kind of shit? Of course, interspersing them with the tracks of more serious nature (which, paradoxically, sound less authentic than “Tangerine” or the overtly-but-undeniably inspiring “Shine Blockas”) arouses suspicion that there might actually be something else going on under the line “with a fistful of your girlfriend’s hair, she’ll blow one tonight for your sorrows,” but this is the story with Sir Lucious: the imagery is arousing and the hooks are inescapable, and that’s all window dressing for the fact that this is record is a masterpiece. Sure, it doesn’t sound like one, at least not in the conventional, “man-Janelle-Monae-is-so-ambitious” sense. But I suspect that this record has more depth than anything else that could reasonably be classified as “mainstream hip hop” right now. Like, it’s no accident “Tangerine” is classified the “American Dream,” right? Or that the Roots are involved on this record? Or that Janelle guests on one of the smoothest tunes of the disc? Lucious masquerades as a silly pop album when in reality, this is the work of a collection of hit makers combining to create ornately composed, calculated silly pop music for mass consumption- “mass consumption” meaning, in this case, not just airplay but global domination.

Which brings me back to my original point: Outkast are (were?) amazing because their singles landed on two separate planes. There is, of course, the boyish charm that makes singles like “Ms. Jackson” edible to millions of people, and that purposely lands first. But then there is the undercurrent of tension, of depth, of “oh shit, this is actually fucking brilliant" that makes Outkast universally respected (and why all white people only “get” “Hey Ya” after they hear an acoustic cover of it). Big Boi simply continues to rock on this otha level, and that is why Sir Lucious stands up next to any Outkast record. It’s an album that works to rule the world, and it could. It really could. Because it is a record that rewards listening with a critical ear nearly as much it rewards blasting out your stereo while you scream “Baby baby! Yaw In Mah Siiiiistem!” As in, it doesn’t require much thought. It doesn’t require attention. Depending on the listener, it could sit on mixes next to Rising Down as easily as it could sit next to The Fame. Most of you guys will probably place it by the former, but enjoy it- purely, without elitism- as much as the latter. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is an album for anyone. And that is damn impressive.



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Chart.
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other reviews of this album
Peter Tabakis (4.5)
The unsung half of Outkast proves he's just as much a visionary as what's his name....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
kingsoby1
Emeritus
July 20th 2010



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

nice adam pretty much summed it up nicely

Bitchfork
July 20th 2010



7584 Comments


long enough?

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2010



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well i mean i wouldn't read it

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

Enotron
July 20th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

downer you missed elim's disabled porn posting by like a minute

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2010



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i just struck a paragraph for you bitchfork ARE YOU HAPPY NOW

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 20th 2010



4926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this was for the good of best new music, and I salute you. Ironic because now we will get the 'hype' comments

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

SwagChef
July 20th 2010



283 Comments


ehhhh i dont like the skits on this. if you took those out id seriously consider 4.5'ing this

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 20th 2010



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

werd

SwagChef
July 20th 2010



283 Comments


its def in the top 3 hip hop albums of the year i think

MUNGOLOID
July 20th 2010



4277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yes, finally.

sgrevs
July 20th 2010



698 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, really nailed it.

East Hastings
July 20th 2010



4391 Comments


it proves that Boi’s needs to be vital in the game he helped invent
looks like it should be "Boi* needs to be vital..."

AtavanHalen
July 20th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I didn't enjoy reading this at all. Oh well.

viewerslikeyou
July 20th 2010



33 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I want to like this alot more than I do

JizzInMyPants
July 20th 2010



2368 Comments


@ atavalen

because this is a review only for smart people

Transient
July 20th 2010



1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is awes

Ras
July 20th 2010



27 Comments


getting this album.

This may be the best review I've ever read on this site.

AtavanHalen
July 20th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You definitely need to read more.

Enotron
July 20th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think some readers may be offput by the first two paragraphs. in general this doesn't seem like the type of record that is meant to be analyzed heavily, but the content is ultimately well-written.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2010



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

clearly you guys are missing the third comment in this thread

and Atavan, more importantly, why the fuck am i making a jaga jazzist comparison AMIRITE?



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