Brooklyn Bowl is a sell-out long before Big Boi’s Labor Day arrival. Familiar to audiences as one half of 25 million album-selling, Grammy award-winning, hip hop trailblazers Outkast, the Georgina MC’s first solo tour in support of his well received Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty aims to position him as more than Andre 3000’s less fancied comrade.
It’s telling that the audience is a grab-bag of indie kids, hip hop holiday-makers and media, alongside old skool fans. Yes it’s Brooklyn Bowl, yes it’s Williamsburg, but this is no ordinary artist and no ordinary performance. Big Boi came to the Bowl tonight with one objective in mind which he dutifully spells out over a Broadway-shattering Queen sample: “Big Boi, Big Boi, Will Rock You, Rock You, Rock You, Rock You!”
Tonight is an eclectic journey through G-funk era grooves, through dirty south, it is funk, it is soul, it is a collision of Timbaland double-time beats, ‘80’s scratching and sample-delic pleasures. Between Outkast classics and Sir Lucious’s later offerings, Big Boi’s breadth allows him to find a rhythm for any dancer, from the soulful grooves of “I Like the Way You Move” to the distorted Cali-funk of “Shutterbugg”, from the fast-paced “B.O.B” to sing-along “Ms. Jackson”.
So immersed is Big Boi in getting the Bowl bouncing that he takes his time to visit his latest offering. Big Boi works the room like a Hamptons native, when he issues instructions the audience responds instantly. When Big Boi says get your hands in the air, you get your muthafuckin hands in the air. When George Clinton featuring “Fo Yo Sorrows” goes live the air above the dance floor thickens with smoke. When “Shine Blockas” plays the ‘ho’s’ in the audience jubilantly identify themselves.
The set is not just a greatest hits, not just a how-to of hip hop, it is an energetic exploration of beats and rhythms. When special guest Yelawolf closes the set with an ear-drum shattering “Outkast for life, Outkast for Life” the audience, Andre 3000, Big Boi, and everyone in the tri-state area clearly agrees.