Thursday, March 21, 2013

Big Boi's Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors

I used to view Andre 3000 as the stronger half of Outkast.  I no longer feel that way.  Big Boi's 2012 offering Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is a work of art.  There are several tracks that I can't stop listening to this week.   While his work with Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland on "Mama Told Me" is solid, and the video is absolutely mesmerizing, the track called "Descending" about losing loved ones has hit me pretty hard.  Towards the end of the song, voice breaking, the crushingly sad lines "From the bottom of my chest, to my stomach/goddammit, my daddy is gone/my daddy's gone" come through an ethereal soundscape, waking up my sentiments and last night, at about midnight, it made me sob.  Have a listen:

Another track I really enjoy is "Shoes for Running."  It has a very very catchy chorus, but the rapid-fire verses contain some stinging criticisms of politics in America right now, including what I might see as President Obama's use of drone attacks to kill innocent kids.  "Shoes for running/and I'll race ya/the sun is coming/it'll chase ya/through this deadbeat town (x2)/The End is coming/I would race ya/but, there's no running/it'll chase ya/Death will hunt you down (x2)."

He goes on to attack the 1%, big drug companies, and rich people, while the weak people go to prison.  Overall though, the song is about death, which awaits all of us.  I can't help but appreciate the juxtaposition of children singing the chorus at the end about how we're all going die.  While the second verse seems weaker than the 1st & 3rd due to bragging, the other verses are very strong.  

You can fight and try to get away
But there's no way to run and hide to
You better know that there will come a day
Eventually it's gonna find you

The control that Big Boi has over his articulation is absolutely amazing.  Have a listen:

The art direction of the "Mama Told Me" video is amazing.  Here's a link to the production company's explanation of the creative process:

And, here's the video:

While Ms. Rowland dances around in skimpy outfits, my eyes are instead drawn to the art deco color designs flashing around the screen.  

The final song I'll link is "Apple of My Eye."  To quote a friend of mine, it sounds like a "mix of the Cure, Depeche Mode, and Outkast."  He's dead on.  

If you're a fan of hiphop, or not, this album is worth a listen.  

No comments: