Sounds like: Listening to the coolest dude at the party shoot the shit as the DJ spins ’70s soul, ’80s boogie funk and the occasional modern electro-pop record.
For fans of: Outkast (duh), Goodie Mob (duh), Suga Free, Dam-Funk.
Latest release: 2012’s Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, in which the Southern fire-spitter cozies up to Planet Pitchfork through collaborations with Phantogram, Wavves and Little Dragon.
Why you care: Well, he is half of the greatest hip-hop duo of all time. But Antwan “Big Boi” Patton wasn’t the half of Outkast anyone was supposed to care about in 2013, seven years after the pair’s last album. Like Phife in A Tribe Called Quest, Patton’s streetwise wit kept the group tethered to earth, allowing his partner, Andre 3000, to transcend into more cosmic realms. To use a worn analogy, Patton was Scottie Pippen to Andre’s Michael Jordan. The thing people forget, though, is that Pippen had the better post-Bulls career—taking the Trail Blazers to within a game of the NBA Finals is a better entry on one’s résumé than owning the Charlotte Bobcats—and, in the case of Outkast, the same is true of Patton. While Andre has spent their “hiatus” acting, trading shaving tips with Adrian Brody and Gael García Bernal and dropping the occasional guest verse, Big Boi has continued doing what he does best: rapping his ass off. That doesn’t mean he’s played it safe. In the era of skeletal trap-rap and slurring, monosyllabic MCs, 2010’s Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty shuddered with thick, fluorescent beats and wordplay that would give most young rappers lockjaw. And even though Vicious Lies’ glad-handing with the indie world produced some awkward experiments (Wavves doing hip-hop? Who signed off on that?), Patton still came off looking cooler than a polar bear’s toenails. Andre who? Shoot, Outkast who?
SEE IT: Big Boi plays Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., with Killer Mike, on Monday, May 13. 8 pm. $75 VIP, $25 general admission. All ages.