Big Boi's 'Boomiverse' shines

OutKast rapper's third solo album re-ups ATLien pride

Big Boi 2017 Boomiverse
Photo credit: Courtesy Epic Records
BIG BOI: Boomiverse

It's comforting to hear Big Boi's voice again. And Big Rube, too! As the urban live-work-play condo-shopping blitz has irrevocably warped the fabric of old Atlanta, Boomiverse's arrival is a morale booster, a foglifter upping those feelings of hometown pride in work-a-day ATLiens fighting rising rents, collapsing interstates, and PTSD over the Super Bowl. From the opening one-two punch of "Da Next Day" into Killer Mike's molasses salvo in "Kill Jill," it's clear that the OutKast/Dungeon Family foot soldiers are on the move with Big Boi's third solo album. And the Purple Ribbon All-Stars team is lined up to lay down bars: Killer Mike, Scar, and Sleepy Brown share featured space with the late Pimp C, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Snoop Dogg, and Adam Levine of Maroon 5.

"In The South" is a tailor-made original flavor Southern hip-hop anthem. "Kill Jill" and the album's closing number "Follow Deez" are driven by a dark and venomous flow. Even "Mic Jack" with its Adam Levine cameo is forgivable. Big Boi has done this sort of thing before: remember "Follow Us" featt. Vonnegutt from Sir Lucious Left Foot? Same thing. Levine's corn dog voice effectively pulls you right out of the moment, but it's only one speed bump in a solid tracklist. The Gucci Mane/Pimp C combo that follows during "In The South" is more than enough to restore order to the Boomiverse. "All Night" builds around a bit of Billy Joel-style piano-driven pop. This one can be skipped. Big and L.A. rapper Troz̩ straddle hip-hop and old-school house/techno production with "Chocolate," and it turns out to be the catchiest and most compelling number on the album.

Variety is the spice of life, and that's a maxim that Big Boi seems to have mastered since the days of hollering "Hootie Hoo" and dropping "Bombs Over Baghdad." Boomiverse is a slow ride, a lean and mean pleasure cruise through generation-one Dungeon Family jams when Atlanta needs it more than ever. ★★★☆☆


More By This Writer


Thursday May 16, 2019 05:00 am EDT
The nomadic singer and songwriter on seeing the beauty in nature and making his way in the modern world | more...


Thursday May 16, 2019 04:53 am EDT
Makaya McCraven, Joel Ross, Kandace Springs, and more offer a look at the shape of jazz to come | more...


Thursday May 16, 2019 04:45 am EDT
‘Me & U’ laments the romantic woes of daily life | more...


Thursday May 9, 2019 03:24 pm EDT
Speedy Ortiz, Shaky Beats, K Michelle Dubois, and more weekend fun that's not to be missed | more...


Friday May 3, 2019 08:26 am EDT
Shaky Knees, Al Green, Cannabis Corpse and more music you don't want to miss | more...
Search for more by Chad Radford