NEW YORK — Big Boi has been carrying the Outkast banner with pride even though the Atlanta duo's last two projects — 2003's bundled solos offering, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and 2006's soundtrack collection, Idlewild — haven't exactly been the best representations of the group as a unit.
On Monday in New York City, Big Boi once again did his best to make up for his partner in rhyme's absence when he hit Brooklyn Bowl for a Labor Day set.
"[Andre 3000] is in the studio right now," he told the crowd, explaining that after he finishes with his own solo project, the pair will reunite for a new Outkast album.
But as Big Boi performed the group's hits, mixing in tracks from his Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, the usual elephant in the room was that Andre 3000 seemed as distant as the videos projecting Three Stacks' image on the venue's big screens.
Still, Big Boi powered through his Outkast set list, running through his verses from "Miss Jackson," "Player's Ball" and "Elevators" all sans an audio peep from Dre. Big Boi was efficient in his performance, moving nimbly from song to song; no complaints from the audience about the one-man show.
"It's so many f---ing songs," Big Boi told his DJ, Swift. "I don't care what you play." "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" boomed through the house speakers, but Big Boi quickly moved onto material from his proper solo debut.
"I know it's been a minute," Big said, in reference to the time between Idlewild and Sir Lucious Left Foot, which was released earlier this year after being stuck in limbo for a few years. "So just to give you some insight, we working," he continued. "Everything is all Gucci. My thing is, I didn't need to put out an album just because. It has to be about the music."
With that, Big kicked off "Shutterbuggg," and the party officially began. "I keep it player while some choose to play it safe," Big Boi rapped over the cascading beat. "Boy, check the résumé, it's risky business in the A."
Big Boi's upcoming tour dates:
» 9/17 - Chicago, IL @ Congress Theater
» 9/18 - Providence, RI @ Brown University
» 9/22 - Arcata, CA @ Arcata Community Center
» 9/24 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Palms Casino
» 9/25 - Fontana, CA @ Epicenter
» 10/01 - Bloomington, IN @ Indiana University
» 10/08 - Columbia, SC @ University of South Carolina
» 10/15 - San Diego, CA @ UC of San Diego
» 10/23 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo
» 10/28 - Charleston, SC @ Charleston Visitors Center
» 10/29 - Asheville, NC @ Asheville Civic Center (Moogfest)
» 10/30 - Houston, TX @ Tom Bass Park Amphitheater
» 11/12 - Chattanooga, TN @ University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
» 11/18 - Sydney, Australia @ Fox Studios
Do you think Big Boi and Andre 3000 will make good on their promise to reunite for an Outkast album? Tell us in the comments!