Last night Big Boi previewed a handful of songs from Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors at a Def Jam hosted event Converse Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn, Def Jam hosted a preview for the album. The crowd milled as Big Boi’s Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty spun on loop, jumping to attention only once the evening’s host, DJ Cutmaster Swift, turned it over to Outkast classics — “ATLiens,” “Rosa Parks,” “B.O.B.” — to get the crowd hyped while we waited on the cause de celebre. Big Boi showed up just as “SpottieOttieDopalicious” wrapped, in a camo jacket and with a heavy looking medallion hung around his neck, and and ready to perform six or so of the 17 tracks that made the his album with him. All said and done, we left with the sense that Vicious Lies album will be every bit as funky and danceable as Sir Lucious, but that it also might harken back to his days as the rap happy half of Outkast.
Of course, Andre 3000 didn’t make the cut — turns out he is, uh, busy (but really) — which is unfortunate, but Big Boi once again has proven that he (and his capable cabal of collaborators) can more than hold his own. He played “In The A,” a heavy hitting nod to his hometown that features fellow ATLiens a particularly agile sounding T.I. and Ludacris, saved from the trenches of chart-pop. Elsewhere, there was a track called “CPU” that features Phantogram‘s Sarah Barthel and finds the rapper cracking computer jokes (“I know it isn’t too conventional/But it’ll do until I get you in the physical”); “Mama Told Me,” featuring Kelly Rowland, which we’ve had on repeat for a minute now; a contemplative jam called “She Hate Me,” featuring cool guy Kid Cudi on the hook; and the recently released and beautifully crafted A$AP Rocky featuring banger, “Lines.”
A$AP Rocky is one of the season’s most in-demand rappers, but as Big Boi explained in an interview with the Village Voice, his inclusion was not meant to be an exercise in heat seeking. “He merked it,” he said of Rocky’s verse, recorded after the two ran into each other at an Atlanta radio station. “It’s not like I sat down and was like ‘Who can I get on the album that’s hot?’ … I don’t need the hottest n**** to get on my song. My s****’s hot.” After last night, we’re inclined to agree.
Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is out December 11th.