It’s a challenging predicament that sooner or later all the greats must stare down. How do you live up to the grandiose, groundbreaking achievements of your past? If you’re Outkast’s Big Boi, you stick to your guns through label battles, industry doubt and ever-evolving musical tastes and release one of 2010’s most intriguing works. The fact that the sonically and lyrically rich Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty can be mentioned with the classic likes of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Aquemeni, Stankonia and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below without a hint of sarcasm is an achievement within itself. Big Boi proves that he can more than carry the artistic load without his universally lauded partner Andre 3000. But the long journey to his surprising coup still must be told. Big Boi takes you behind the Outkast curtain and beyond. —Keith Murphy
This was boot camp for myself and Dre. On our first record we were strictly MC’s. All we wanted to do was rap [laughs]. Organized Noize was responsible for all our production, so our whole aim mainly was to let everyone know that we were about lyricism. We just wanted to annihilate every track; destroy every song that was put in front of us. I don’t think we understood how good we were. We were so young. But we knew we had a raw camp and there were niggas who were dead serious about their art.