Big Boi is a staunch defender of the Outkast legacy, but the slick Atlanta MC is also quick to clarify his own stature within the confines of the partnership.
"Outkast is a supergroup," he told MTV News on Tuesday (July 6), stressing that even when the duo aren't together, they're equally capable of delivering quality music.
And right now, Big Boi is basking in the critical acclaim of his long-in-the-works proper solo debut, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. The project, which was originally slated to be released on Jive Records two years ago, came out this week on Def Jam Records.
"It's basically the same album. I could have been done, like, a year ago," Big Boi said. "But being that we were having creative differences — you know, every time they rejected what I was doing, I would go back in the studio and work on more stuff. The last two songs, 'You Ain't No DJ' and 'Be Still,' were the last two records, but everything else was already on there."
For Sir Lucious Left Foot, Big Boi assembled a ragtag collection of artists, from established talents like T.I. and Gucci Mane to upstarts YelaWolf and his own artist Janelle Monae. The result, however, is a cohesive collection that hinges on the Outkast sound but is still wily enough to venture into new terrain, as evidenced on the slinky track "Shutterbugg."
Big Boi said the set showcases his talent, which he feels is at its peak at the moment thanks to his solo effort.
"It's good. I started off 16 years old, I'm 35 now, I'm in my prime," he said. "The whole Sir Lucious Left Foot thing, the simple way I can put it is like when Luke Skywalker became a Jedi. So I'm a master of my craft. As a producer and MC, I take the craft very seriously. We might be lurking in the shadows for a minute, but when we lurking we working."