With each solo release, Big Boi seems to shed light on a new sound he's discovered or concept he's developed, bringing a fresh take to his 23-year career as one half of revered hip-hop duo OutKast and, lately, as a solo artist. Almost four years ago, Big Boi started working on a new album (the followup to 2012's Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumours), but placed it on hold to pursue OutKast's 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour. Now, five years after his last record, Big Boi has his sights set on something bigger than him — he wants to take over the Boomiverse.
The 12-track album, crafted largely by longtime collaborators Organize Noize, serves as a reset button for the veteran rapper. Based on the concept of the Big Bang Theory, a mathematical and scientific explanation as to how the universe started, Boomiverse is characterized by new ideas, but also familiar tones, too.
"Kill Jill" and "Chocolate" showcase electrifying production, while "In the South" plays into the late (and featured) Pimp C's legacy with 808s and live instrumentation. Likewise, the piano-laced "All Night" brings in piano reminiscent of an 1800s Western saloon, but manages to also capture some pop essence. As the production balances itself between high energy psychedelia and Southern gospel, Big Boi adds to the mix by calling on longtime collaborators like Killer Mike ("Made Men," "Follow Deez") and Snoop Dogg ("Get With It") to break his solitary presence, in an effortless transition from one veteran to others.
Big Boi continues to reinvent himself, and the Boomiverse signifies something of a new start. And while new beginnings aren't without their flaws, Big Boi's lyrical prowess and effortless delivery provide the thread that link the old Big Boi universe to this, the Boomiverse. (Epic)