First Listen: Big Boi Previews 'Vicious Lies' Album in NYC
New album out November 13, with guest spots from A$AP Rocky, Phantogram, Kid Cudi and more.
In anticipation of the fall release of his next solo project, Outkast member and Atlanta hip-hop ambassador Big Boi hosted a private listening session of his forthcoming album, "Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors," on Thursday afternoon (July 19) at MSR Studios in Manhattan.
After running through a handful of rough cuts, the rapper revealed that the follow-up to 2010's "Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty" will be hitting stores on Nov. 13. "She Hate Me," featuring Kid Cudi, will be the lead single, and a video for the track will be shot within the next few weeks.
"She Hate Me," a contemplative track in which Big raps, "Sometimes I really feel/Like I'm burning out my soul," is just one of the many intriguing collaborations that will presumably make the final cut of "Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors." Big Boi -- who spent the listening session vigorously rocking out to the new tracks while seated at the studio's soundboard and wearing shades and a backwards Bulls cap -- played three songs that featured vocals from Sarah Barthel, one-half of the indie rock group Phantogram.
One of the Barthel-assisted tracks, titled "CPU," was an intricate pop track with breathy synthesizers, marching percussion and the Phantogram singer cooing, "It's you that's on my computer screen/'Cuz it's you that's on my mind," in between Big Boi rhymes. The rapper referred to Barthel, who was in attendance at the listening, as "my new Sleepy Brown," a nod to the singer who provided the hook for songs like "The Way You Move."
Later, Big Boi unveiled "Mama Told Me," a collaboration with Swedish synthpop act Little Dragon that sounded like a lost electro-funk groove from The Time. Big also confirmed that he had recently worked on material with Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock -- "We got some bangers," said the rapper, but did not play any of the collaborations and admitted that they "might not fit" on this project.
"Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors," however, will also include some straightforward hip-hop cuts with some of the genre's rising stars. "Lines," which features Harlem phenom A$AP Rocky and production from Organized Noize, included a slew of tongue-twisting interplay reminiscent of "You Ain't No DJ," his "Sir Lucious" collaboration with Yelawolf. Meanwhile, the already-released street single "Gossip," with Big K.R.I.T. and Bun B, played out like a Southern hip-hop summit with appropriately rumbling bass. Of course, Big Boi also threw in some unassisted cuts like "Apple of My Eye," which included unhinged percussion and a mid-song snippet of a "Chappelle's Show" skit.
Big Boi told the listening part of about 20 people that he made about 30 records for "Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors," cautioning his audience that what they were hearing was just a rough version of the finished product. The rapper added that he doesn't "gotta turn it in 'til the end of September," but expects to be fully finished with the album in mid-August.
Released to critical acclaim in July 2010, "Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty" was Big Boi's debut solo effort after six albums alongside Andre 3000 in Outkast. Andre did not appear on that album, and there is no indication that he guests on "Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors." "Sir Lucious Left Foot" has moved 239,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.