What the hell was that? There aren’t too many gigs where you leave afterwards and ask yourself, ‘Did I just witness that?”. As a long-loving Outkast and hip-hop fan, getting a chance to see one half of the genre and period defining duo was almost too much to think about. Given the amount of times I had to tell friends and coworkers in the build up who Big Boi was, lends me to think that Andre 3000 may have overshadowed him a little bit. But don’t let their ignorance lead you into thinking that Big Boi isn’t anywhere nearly as talented or important to the success of Outkast. He is a legend, pure and simple.
Local MC Baro, hot out of Melbourne, was on the warm up for the swelling Metro Theatre crowd, with Sydney hip-hop stalwart Joyride mixing his beats. He has a laid back quiet stage presence, moving effortlessly between dancing to pouring his soul out through his tight flow. Some of the lyrics are really heartfelt, and you can see that in his performance, at one point even apologising for wanting to play one more ‘depressing’ song. The beats are the real highlight for me, with well constructed jazz cuts thrown into off beat snares and a driving bass that makes for some great listening. I was super impressed and would definitely go catch him again. Baro even ran off stage at the end, looking a bit sheepish to the crowd’s applause.
We went from sheepish to wolfish, as Big Boi, strolling on stage with Sleepy Brown on hype duties, and DJ Swoop spinning and cutting tracks, opened up with some absolute fire. ‘Da Next Day’ from his 2017 ‘BOOMIVERSE’ album, into ‘Atliens’, into ‘Rosa Parks’. That’s right. He was dropping Outkast. Seeing Big Boi rap ‘Atliens’ live has got to be bucket list stuff. Pounding bass, tight flow, energy dripping straight from the off, epic stuff. Wearing an olive green army jacket, thick, and I mean THICK, gold chain, red baseball cap and a pair of sunnies, you can just feel the class and fame oozing from him. The way he and Sleepy Brown prowl the stage, side to side, working the crowd, vibing off each other’s energy, you can tell he is used to playing in front of tens of thousands, rather than the relatively intimate Metro Theatre.
I can already hear the questions, who rapped Andre 3000’s parts? Sleepy Brown?! No, the man himself Big Boi did it, crushing every verse, tight as. If someone is going to be a substitute for Andre 3000, then who better than Big Boi himself. Also tearing up the theatre and my brain, Big Boi dropped ‘So Fresh and So Clean’, ‘Ms Jackson’, ‘B.O.B’, ‘GhettoMusick’, ‘The Whole World’, and ‘The Way You Move’. Bomb, after bomb, after bomb.
His solo tracks definitely don’t have the same power as the Outkast duo, with the beats more hard EDM than funk. ‘Shutterbug’ is an absolute classic with powerful bass lines, and a tight flow. He killed it. From his new album ‘BOOMIVERSE’, ‘Da Next Day’, ‘Kill Jill’, and ‘Mic Jack’ are the standout tracks. ‘BOOMIVERSE’ sounds very much like the modern US based rap world; hard hitting electro beats, high snare use, and a driving bass.
The only downside? The Metro Theatre definitely wasn’t the right venue for this. Their sound system just isn’t suited for rap and hip-hop. Big Boi’s flow was often drowned out by compressed bass and snare. Often, particularly for his new, harder album tracks, you see Big Boi rapping but only hear bass and snare. Luckily it wasn’t the case for the whole show, and we got to witness a master, still in his prime, perform some of the greatest hip-hop tracks ever written. His energy and flow grabbed the whole crowd and didn’t let it go until it was in a sweaty mess.
“Did I just witness that?”
Please Note: The Daddy Fat Saxxx Tour “Down Under” only toured to Melbourne and Sydney.