Usually, when it comes to hip-hop albums, it is the beat that initially garners my interest. The lyrical content can either elevate or diminish my impression of a song or album, but, undoubtedly, this is almost always a secondary judgement. Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, Big Boi's first solo outing from his mainstay, Outkast, worked, for me, in the exact opposite way. Don't get me wrong: The beats of "Shutterbug" and "General Patton" are some of the most inventive I have ever heard. But, from a purely melodic standpoint, most of the songs of Sir Luscious Left Foot do not break much new ground. Instead, the vocal performances of Big Boi and his compatriots captured my interest; the music, itself, revealing its greatness with repeated listens.
EVERY voice here sounds perfectly positioned to compliment the music. Big Boi, himself, is always rapping on some level of profundity; not once does he show flaw or blunder. His role as the center of the show is unquestioned, throughout, so I want to take some time to give some much-deserved respect to the proverbial stage hands and dressing-room consultants who allow the man to perform at his most spry. T.I.'s elastic drawl fits wonderfully on the DIRTY (feel free to add "r"'s to your leisure) "Tangerine". Yelawolf's verses on "You Ain't No DJ" are both aurally pleasing and lyrically splendid, his hilariously manic annunciation one of the many highlights of the album ("And God said 'Look to the burning bush'/Now turned to weed/So I jumped on my shit when I saw my mamma burning trees"). Although the performance, itself, is nothing spectacular, Janelle Monae's maturely subdued tone compliments the neo-soul romp of "Be Still", perfectly. The post-chorus of "Hustle Blood" is pure comedic gold. The skit at the end of "You Ain't No DJ" is so brilliant, it should be featured in the lyrics booklet. And, of course, the David Blaine, which I will probably never forget, whether I want to or not.
A moment to list a few notable words and phrases on Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (pronunciations included when appropriate):
- Anything ending in "er"
- With [weeth]
- Kodak You ("Kodak" being a verb in this case)
- Pretty Bitties
- Outdoors [out-douz]
- Alligator Souffle
- Patton [pateyn] [patuhn]
- Semi Up To This Tow Truck
- Ayalabiameyayagains [Good fucking luck]
- Chicken Chow Mein
- The entire chorus of "Fo Yo Sorrows"
- Must Be Teatime
- Obsolete [ob-suh-leyt]
- Feel Me
If reviewers are reluctant to award Sir Luscious Left Foot the classic status it deserves due to the hype machine that still hums in the distance, allow me to speak for them by saying it is the greatest rap album released in at least four years. This is one of those albums that comes around every once in a while that perfectly exemplifies an hour of pure good times. Not a moment of Sir Luscious Left Foot is wasted, so the least anyone can do is waste no time in listening to it.