Big Boi & Killer Mike
April 30, 2013
There is a difference between having a lot of fun at a show, and a show being legitimately good. I had a lot of fun at the Big Boi & Killer Mike show, but only one of the two artists present really impressed me, and it may not be the one you’d immediately expect. Just by saying that, I’m sure everyone is clued into the fact I enjoyed Killer Mike much, much more than Big Boi. Let me go through the two performances in chronological order, just to give you a taste of the whole experience.
I’m not gonna lie, Killer Mike coming out on stage was an underwhelming feeling. Just a stout man walking out with nothing to accompany him but his DJ. No band, no drums, and not even a hype man. But from the opening bars of “Big Beast”, Killer Mike owned the stage for 60 minutes straight. Aided by the beats of El-P, everything from Mike’s 2012 breakout, R.A.P. Music, sounded great. It may not have been as crisp as the album versions, but with the energy Killer Mike brings to every syllable, there is going to be some level of “windedness” from the big fella.
More than the sound, Killer Mike’s performance and general attitude toward the crowd was exhilarating. He has been toiling in the rap game for almost twenty years, with a couple modest successes, but you can just tell that one of the hardest working men in hip-hop is not shy about bathing in his own renown. Weirdly, this is not cocky or self-serving though. He is taking everything the crowd is giving to him, and pouring it back into his performance. By the end of Mike’s set, he was clearly dead, but managed to do the title track off of R.A.P. Music a capella almost in its entirety – a perfect end to his time on stage.
On the other hand, Big Boi came onto stage in the most self-congratulatory manner possible – a montage of his career. He has deserved this, but just because you deserve something doesn’t necessarily mean you need to indulge in it. Big Boi also had a DJ, but also a live drummer as well, which was nice. What was not nice was the shittiest hype man in the world by his side for the entirety of the show. I don’t even want to plug this guy’s name, but mid-set he performed a song off his own album, which killed any momentum Big Boi had.
Also annoying was the display of music videos behind the stage for every Big Boi solo or OutKast track that had a music video. It was distracting, and only served to remind us during the OutKast tracks Andre was not there. This may sound like a lot of negativity, but there were some nice moments, even if sometimes it did seem Big Boi was just going through the motions. For instance, the OutKast hits were about as fun as it gets, even if it didn’t always sound the best. There is something so infectious about OutKast, you just can’t help yourself.
Killer Mike joining the stage late in the show for “Ready, Set, Go”, “Kryptonite”, and “Thom Pettie” was also a highlight, but that had more to do with Mike than Big Boi, although they did show a clear chemistry onstage. This is just a microcosm of the show. Killer Mike stole it.
I do have one little bone to pick with both guys to finish things off. Why didn’t they play “A.D.I.D.A.S.”? It makes no sense not to play Killer Mike’s biggest hit pre-R.A.P. Music, which also features Big Boi.
Killer Mike: 9.5/11
Big Boi: 6/11
Can’t Miss (Killer Mike): “R.A.P. Music”, “Untitled”, “Big Beast”, “Reagan”
Can’t Hit (Killer Mike): None
Can’t Miss (Big Boi): “Rosa Parks”, “Shine Blockas”, “In the A”
Can’t Hit (Big Boi): “Apple of My Eye”, anything pre-Aquemini OutKast