Big Boi Review Royale: Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors

Big Boi
Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors

big boi, vicious lies, dangerous rumors, album, cover, art

Todd’s Take:

For many years, Big Boi was the slightly lesser half of one of my favorite hip hop acts, Outkast. It’s not that he wasn’t a crucial part of every Outkast album; he just seemed to be a little more one-sided than Andre 3000. Big Boi focused more on dominating the rap game with a strikingly smooth and original flow, all while incorporating his tack-sharp wit. Andre, on the other hand, covered a lot of the musical bases and focused more on fusing genres by incorporating elements of jazz, funk, and blues into the hip hop world.  This contrast was exemplified on their 2003 double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, in which each album belonged to a different member; Speakerboxxx was Big Boi’s project and Andre’s was The Love Below. Although Speakerboxxx was very enjoyable, Andre’s efforts on The Love Below cast a shadow over Big Boi’s work, essentially leaving Speakerboxx in the dark.

After Andre’s 6 year absence, Big Boi has stepped up his game, continuing on with what he does best but also taking over Andre’s role of fusing additional elements of music into his own brand of hip hop. Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is Big Boi’s third solo album (if you inlcude Speakerboxxx, which you should) and further proves to show us that he can very well hold his own, and not just in the rap game. Big Boi manages to branch out musically, blending multiple genres together in a new way.
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Killer Mike Review: R.A.P. Music

Killer Mike

R.A.P. Music

Killer Mike, Rap Music, R.A.P. Music, Album, Cover, Art

Killer Mike aptly describes R.A.P. Music when his first line explodes out of the speakers.  “Hardcore G s**t, homie, I don’t play around”.  This is not exactly my first introduction to Killer Mike, but is the first time I have decided to experience a full Killer Mike record.  If Killer Mike isn’t ringing a bell, you may remember him from guesting on Outkast’s “Snappin’ & Trappin'”, or maybe better from his single off his debut album, A.D.I.D.A.S.  Whether you were familiar or not with Killer Mike before R.A.P. Music, he is a name that deserves attention after his latest offering.
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LxListening: Under the Covers

Woman, under covers

On “Codeine“, Jason Isbell sings “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, its this bar and this cover band”.  I’m not sure which he hates more; the bar or the cover band.  But in the right situation I love both of these things, and find reason to disagree with Mr. Isbell.  So, for today’s installment of LxListening I have decided to pick out 5 recent covers that deserve a little recognition.

What makes a good cover you ask me?  In my opinion, a good cover doesn’t try to reenact or mimic the original song, instead trying to take a new musical angle.  This can be anything from completely changing the arrangement, to changing the style of the music, to changing the pace.  Sometimes, a cover may be so ironic (as you’ll see below) because of who is singing it that it deserves a little attention.  Either way, check out a few of these gems below and decide for yourself whether you think there is any added value to these cover songs.  Enjoy.
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A$AP Rocky Review: This Sh*t Cray

A$AP Rocky Review

LiveLoveA$AP        

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This may be the only time I ever review a mixtape.  Some hip-hop artists are so prolific with the amount of mixtapes they release (e.g., Gucci Mane), it is often hard to keep up.  So, I often just stick to studio releases, and the occasional mixtape that gets a lot of good publicity.  Well, I can’t recall a mixtape that has gotten as much hype as A$AP Rocky’s LiveLoveA$AP, and the alleged 3 million dollar deal he received from RCA/Sony.  I was skeptical of the hype Rocky has been receiving, but let me tell you that this self-proclaimed “pretty motherf****r” has delivered not just the best mixtape of the year, but possibly the best hip-hop album in general.

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