Big Boi Goes Bowling in Brooklyn

September 7th, 2010

Big Boi – Brooklyn Bowl – September 7, 2010

Back in 2003, OutKast took over the world. The hip-hop duo of André “André 3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton released two singles, “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move,” that topped the music charts and broke through to mainstream radio. However, André 3000’s and Big Boi’s distinct styles complemented and, ultimately, distanced each other from their respective musical ambitions. Their last major release, the double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, is essentially two solo albums under the banner of OutKast. And, while the two have collaborated since that effort, OutKast looks to be at an impasse for the time being.

In the meanwhile, this summer Big Boi released his solo debut, the long-awaited Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. In support of the album, he landed at Brooklyn Bowl last night, his first time back to New York City since the disc’s release. Accompanied by OutKast’s DJ, Cutmaster Swiff, Big Boi took to the stage with a microphone and years of experience. The two were all the MC needed as he cycled through OutKast hits “Rosa Parks” and “Ms. Jackson,” in addition to inserting new party starters “Shine Blockas” and “Shutterbugg” into the mix.

The set kept this balance throughout, much to the appreciation of the audience. While most in attendance knew Big Boi’s new material, “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)” and early OutKast tunes from Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik captivated the group’s devotees. Moreover, each live song was synced up to its corresponding video and displayed on the venue’s surrounding screens, adding to the audio/visual experience and serene sense of nostalgia. So, while we wait for the return of rap’s preeminent duo, it is best to stay with Big Boi. —Jared Levy