OutKast’s Outcast – Why Won’t Y’all Let Big Boi Be Great?

In the past, I’ve been pretty vocal about my feelings towards Andre 3000 and all the Stannery he’s received. Dude has been super-ill since Southernplayalistic…, and while I would’ve entertained a Top 5 debate back when he was an active rapper, it’s hard for me to take such claims seriously since he now only puts out about two verses a year.

Rap’s Top 5 debate is like the lotto, you gotta be in it to win it. And that brings me to something that has been on my mind for a few years now; what about 3 Stacks’ OutKast partner, Big Boi?

Is he a Top 5 lyricist?

No, but Sir Luscious Left Foot has certainly put in enough work to get his name mentioned a bit more. I mean, at what point did hip-hop decide that Andre 3000 would take the OutKast lyrical crown? Because to me they started out neck and neck [Insert required denouncement of any homosexual activity here]. I’d say it was when Andre Benjamin started dressing all kinds of crazy with the Aquemini album that he became the group’s standout.

That being said, yes, at some point over the course of OutKast’s six-album career, Dre surpassed Big Boi as an MC. My argument, though, is that he hasn’t surpassed him by THAT much to the point where Daddy Fat Sacks [Insert an affirmation of my heterosexuality here] doesn’t even get a mention.

Regardless of who’s better, Big Boi is still superior to about 90-percent of rappers out and shouldn’t that count for something? Take his latest single “Shutterbug” for instance; dude goes in. There are references to Gomer Pyle, Sgt. Slaughter and that “ese” line was clever. Big Boi is an MC that clearly cares about lyrics, because he could’ve just gotten by on the beat and hook alone. Still “Shutterbug” is a pretty dope song and he went the extra mile as any self-respecting MC should. So why doesn’t Big Boi get more respect? —Rob Markman a.k.a The Deputy!

  • romil

    If Big Boi was a solo rapper instead of in a group he would get more shine. Thats how it is when you decide to be in a group. I think Big Bois problem was he wasnt dressing crazy and doing extra stuff to gain more attention. LIke when Andre had the Tiger baggy pants on he knew what he was doing. Outkast wont be Outkast without Big Boi whose more down to earth, then his partner is Extra which makes them a great combination. I think He derserves to be mentioned in the top 5 after he drops this album.

    • AZ40

      Totally agree the fact that he’s in a group with 3 stacks is the main reason he doesn’t get the credit he deserves and a lot of people don’t really pay attention it they just listen they’d see how dope he is

    • romil

      True thats not what were referring to. I think Andre gets more attention because of his personality style,lyrics etc, not hes a better rapper because of that. He is clearly the STAR of the group. After SouthernPlayalistic dropped they were the best group in the south period. Now when Atliens dropped Dre went in a different direction while Big Boi kept that Southernplayalistic flow for us dudes that fell in love with that era. He also wanted to drop and album just like spltc If you Listen Big Boi is more Hood, Dre is the real Atlien. Thats what makes them the perfect combo. Now Big Boi needs to drop that Solos, and do some more features to let the world know they been sleeping and that him and dre are Equal, but just that they are totally in different directions. It took a couple of listens for alot of cats in the south to connect with Atliens because alot of people wasnt feeling that direction, and I think if it wasnt for Big Boi in that group Andre wouldnt be as big as he is. They are the best group ever!!

      • SUPRVILLEN

        I DONT THINK THAT THEY R EQUAL, LIKE COMPARING RAKIM TO BUSTA, BOTH RAW, BUT RAW 4 THERE OWN INDIVIDUAL REASONS, 3 STAX- DUDE IS A LYRICAL DYNAMO, PEOPLE THAT SAY HE BECAME THE GROUP STANDOUT FOR DRESSIN WEIRD CANT SEE PAST THAT, OR “HEAR” PAST THAT….WHAT ROB MARKMAN FAILED TO MENTION WAS THAT ANDRE WROTE THE MAJORITY OF THE GROUPS LYRICS FOR SOUTHERPLAYA.MUZIK…WHY PEOPLE KNOCK OTHER PEOPLE FOR DOIN THEM? FUK IT, I LIKE EM BOTH, BUT I LIKE DRE BETTER..IMA CRITIC AND TO ME, DRE IS THE MORE OF THE CRITICS CHOICE…I ALSO LIKE THAT NEITHER OF THEM TOOK THE LOW ROAD, LIKE SO MANY GROUPS B4 THEM BY SPEAKIN ILL ON THEIR FRIENDS…RESPECT

  • HU

    I can’t stand reading “hip-hop writing”. What does this sentence mean, “Big Boi is an MC that clearly cares about lyrics, because he could’ve just gotten by on the beat and lyrics alone.”

    Anyway, Big Boi is nice on the mic and I look forward to the album.

    • Amplified Sample

      You read the sentence wrong. what he wrote is, “Big Boi is an MC that clearly cares about lyrics, because he could’ve just gotten by on the beat and HOOK alone.”

      He said hook, not lyrics.

  • http://xxlmag.com billi cobbas

    hip hop bloggers are responsible for Big Boi not being considered great.

    If you read the comments from fans about Big Boi, no one has a bad word to say.

    He is great, the fans know it, they buy the records, arguement over.

  • http://xxlmag.com billi cobbas

    hip hop bloggers are responsible for Big Boi not being considered great.

    If you read the comments from fans about Big Boi, no one has a bad word to say.

    He is great, the fans know it, they buy the records, arguement over.

  • Pingback: A Kid Named B » Blog Archive » OutKast’s Outcast – Why Won’t Y’all Let Big Boi Be Great?

  • katt

    ummmm. Dre being better than Big Boi didnt happen over night, nor did it have anything to do with he clothing choices… Andre’s verses have always been more “quoteworthy” and Outkasts best songs have always been brainchilds of Andre

    (i.e. “hootie hoo”, “Mrs. Jackson”, “BoB”,…etc, etc,).

  • yoprince

    lol, yea right. Andre was always nicer than Big Boi by a substantial margin. it was always noticeable and it was never close.

    • yoprince

      c/s myself.

      who are ya’ll fooling? Andre was always nicer. He was so much nicer that when Big Boi stepped his game up around when aquemini came out, there were whispers that Andre had started writing for him.

      don’t get me wrong, they’re both killer, but it was always obvious that andre had that extra.

      • Master CHeef

        that was slick, yoprince. cosigning yourself is a big look in ’010.

        • macdatruest

          yo yo yo “that’s a big look in 010″ this is the type of shit I hate. What the hell do that mean?? nothing the fuck at all. A big look….u know what else is “a big look?” congratulating niggas for co-signing themselves. U a homo….

  • DJ_FunkDragon

    The number one spot in my “top 5″ belongs to not one rapper, but one group: OutKast. Dre’s verses will take you one way, and then Big’s verse will come smack you in the mouth and take you in an opposite direction, but some how you end up at the same destination. Two amazing lyricist. Individually, Andre 3000 seems to resonate with the general public more effectively but Big Boi is just as good. They are like Superman and Batman. Different methods, but at the end of the day you still get yo lyrical ass whoopin’. Yes, Big Boi deserves more shine, but the cool thing about it is, I don’t think he really cares. He continues to put out great music regardless of what the blogs are, or are not saying.

    • The D.A.

      I couldnt agree more. I honestly believe that a true Outkast fan would at least recognize that, but many rarely do. I’m not lying to you, I totally dig 3 stacks style, but the reason for that is because I found his style more appealing, thats not to say that Sir Lucius didnt bring it, I totally respect the other half. If people really listened to tracks like “Mighty O” and “I choose you” with UGK they would know that They both killed it with no BS.

  • Justice4All

    Big Boi is king.

  • M. Baby!

    I agree with the dude Katt. 3000 always had the chorus & lyrical game on lock. It’s hard to say what really makes him stand out…he just has that thing. Sometimes it could be a person’s look, voice, ad libs, how they sound on tracks/hooks, lyrical skills and etc. 3000 had all of that. Big Boi is my dog too, great lyrical ability as well, they’re just a great group together, but 3000 always stood out more. Just like Cee-Lo started to stand out with Goodie M.O.B. It’s just that thing certain artist have sometimes.

  • that nigga

    Big Boy always got my respect, regardless. He puts his work in every verse. I just think Dre 3000 is on another level lyrically and spiritually. Literally.

  • big meat

    Big Boi and Ludacris are very underrated that’s just how it is.

  • romil

    Katt, thats the problem how can Andre be the brainchild.. See you have to understand that the reason it takes so long for them to do an album is because of creative differences. I think Big Boi agrees to go along with it because hes more of a supporter. But my opinion is Dre needs to let Big Boi use his creative patterns more on the new joint because his latest tracks are off the chain. And it would give the fans something different, similar to Eminem working away from Dr Dre. Just imagine if Big BOi did another solo, produced by Toomp, Fresh, and Dungeon Family. I dont know one MC in the South that would be ranked higher than him besides Scarface…….. Andre will always be one of my favorites, and even meeting him has been a blessing. But you cant outweigh one over the other THey are TOp 5, together! no one man bigger than the group.

  • El Tico Loco

    Big Boi is nice the fact that he came in the game with Andre takes away from that, the difference besides the image is that Andre seems more of a natural at rhyming than Big Boi, but Big Boi obviously has the better work ethic out of the two otherwise this album would be an Outkast instead of just a Big Boi solo album.

  • http://www.twitter.com/soulfullyreal butta

    big boi is great, but i own all of OutKast’s albums, and while he for sure has quotables, IMO Dre honestly has more. It’s not a slight to him, he is clearly underrated by anyone who listens to his music, but compared to dre, he’s just a lil behind. that being said, he far surpasses 90% of todays MC’s. His whole aura is a lil less eccentric and showy (compared to 3000 anyway), which may be part of the reason he isn’t as noticed and acclaimed, but hip hop heads know what it is. Just like Nas is a bit more low key than Jay-Z, and pop fans, or causual listeners of hip hop would automatically place Jay at the top of the heap, as where hip hop heads know the history and skill of nas and place them as equals, or maybe even above…

    and also, while dre does only release like 2 or three verses a year, they are always incredibly clever and quotable. Ppl talked about his verse on that UGK record (i think it was called “I Choose You”) for MONTHS! same with “walk it out” remix, he made a song about nothing worth really listening to. and while it wasn’t a single, 3000 verse on “da art of storytellin’ part 4″ off of drama’s gangsta grills vol 1 had me rewindin’ that shit for like 40 minutes the first time i heard it. He just seems more consistant with dropping bombs than big boi

  • http://j-mace.deviantart.com Shawty J

    Big Boi’s a performer and Andre’s a technician. When you’re listening to a song on the radio, stereo, mp3 player, etc… the technician’s lyrics are gonna resonate more.

    Big Boi’s verses are the ones that I bob my head to, and Andre’s verses are the ones where I pay more attention to the wording. While I may get a great degree of enjoyment from Big’s verses, Andre’s verse have the more memorable quotables.

  • jOE

    Well damn at this point its like letting 120 teams get into the NCAA tournament. You let so many guys into the discussion it waters it down.

    Big Boi is a nice guy. Funny stories. But if he and Jay, Big, Kane, Nas, etc. are in the same sentence then what is the point of rating music. You have to draw the line somewhere

    Longevity does NOT equal greatness!!!!

    • El Tico Loco

      Longevity may not equal greatness but it must be respected.

  • ATLIEN

    BIG BOI DOESNT HAVE A ENOUGH QOUTABLES WAT YALL BEEN LISTENIN TO.. IM COOLER THAN A POLAR BEARS TOENAILS..BENDIN CORNERS LIKE I WAS A CURB..U GOT ME BENT LIKE ELBOWS.. AND THATS 3 JUST FROM ONE SONG I CAN NAME PLENTY MORE BUT ITS TOO MANY TO COUNT ANDRE ALWAYS BEEN A LIL BETTER LYRICALLY AND LIKE DUDE SAID ANDRE WENT INA DIFFERENT DIRECTION WITH HIS LYRICS ON DA ATLIEN ALBUM BUT NOT MUCH BIG BOI KEPT IT STREET AQUEMINI IS WEN U ANDRE GOT REALLY DIFFERENT WHICH IS Y HE ADDRESSES IT ON RETURN OF DA G.. ALL THINGS SAID ON A SCALE FROM ONE TO TEN BIG BOI IS A 8 AND ANDRE IS A 10 NUFF SAID

  • Joe

    Longevity gets respect, yes…But the second you utter Big Boi and greatest rappers ever in the same sentence you have crossed the line.

    Like, are u serious?!

    XXL staff, really?

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    A lot of good points, but this is not “the obvious” situation. Big Boi has a bad attitude. I met him before and before i met him my friends said he is mad disrespetful ( on the allen iverson level) Andre, is cool even tho he maybe considred weird he still speaks to fans. His personality carries over in his music. Big boi is very talented and nicer than 3 stacks in some ways, but his attitude makes him looses a few notches. Talents alone don’t propell you to the top, you gotta campaign too.

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    3 Stacks-worldwide appeal

    Sir Lucious-hood appeal

    OutKast 2gether=LEGENDS

    I love the hell outta that ‘Got Purp? Vol. 2′

    “I I I be on it all night…”

  • http://www.elitesource1.com Dollaz

    YO THIS IS ONE OF THEM ARGUMENTS U CANNOT ANSWER…. THEY BOTH EQUAL ESPECIALLY ON SOUTHERNPLAYALISTIC ! THIS SHUTTERBUG IS DUMB TIGHT!

  • Love is…

    I completely agree. Big Boi is sick with the rhymes. But like you said, Andre passed him in Aquemini, and as an OutKast fan I love them both the same, but a person just getting into Kast via Stankonia will automatically say that Dre>>>. But not the case. Big Boi is the only one with a real “solo” rap album out, and the only one with real solo material out, so…

  • Love is…

    I completely agree. Big Boi is sick with the rhymes. But like you said, Andre passed him in Aquemini, and as an OutKast fan I love them both the same, but a person just getting into Kast via Stankonia will automatically say that Dre>>>. But not the case. Big Boi is the only one with a real “solo” rap album out, and the only one with real solo material out, so…

  • Love is…

    I completely agree. Big Boi is sick with the rhymes. But like you said, Andre passed him in Aquemini, and as an OutKast fan I love them both the same, but a person just getting into Kast via Stankonia will automatically say that Dre>>>. But not the case. Big Boi is the only one with a real “solo” rap album out, and the only one with real solo material out, so…

  • avenger xl

    This is not a matter of fans not giving Big Boi a chance. It is the fact that each character in outkast comes with a different feel and energy. 3Stacks picked up a universal interest by speaking to larger topics in a uber creative manor. This garnerd him love from everyone from the art snobs to the purist hip-hop heads. Big Boi is lyrically ill but his sound stays closer to the southern hood lense. His whole perspective from whats happening in the world to pimping boppers in the world is mentioned through the hood lense. Some folks don’t catch on as quickly to how dope he is because he wraps most of his lyrics up in his native ATL hood speak where as 3 stacks uses the same speak mixed with a slower conversational cadance/ill creative flair and bam! he connects a little easier

    You really can’t take anything from Big Boi he is dope but cats who dislike hood driven southern rap of any kind may discredit big boi.

  • No Name

    Big Boi is hella underrated. Just ’cause he can’t play guitar or sing very well and has a more mainstream friendly persona doesn’t mean he’s beneath Dre. There are plenty of song where Big Boi outshines Dre, but most are too chicken shit or desperate to look cool to give him credit.

  • http://XXLmag.com LeroyLove

    Quick, name the top three songs from the Speaker Box album, besides “I Like the Way You Move”. No, disrespect to Big Boi, but that album wasn’t all that good. It seemed like a Pre-quel to the Idlewild CD. I think Big BOi is a good MC, but like Nas, his beat selection is suspect, which can make the greatest MC in world subpar. The same happended to Snoop after DoggyStyle. It brought down Big Daddy Kane and so on. A great beat can make a bad rapper good, but the same is not true vice versa.

    • kedordu

      RESET IS THE BEST SONG ON THE WHOLE ALBUM . WHAT ARE U TALKING ABOUT ?

  • BIGNAT

    big boi makes feel good music and stays in his lane. i didn’t realize how good he actually was until he did speakerboxx. he crafts anthems and looks at the world of just trying to have a good life view. case in point shine blockas is a crazy fucking single. it’s mostly positive the stuff big boi is saying. ” trying lead not follow/ thats hard pill to swallow/ i’m trying to get mines today/ cause we might not tomorrow. something like that homie had that pimp shit clicking on idlewild. Crocodile on my feet/Fox fur on my back/Bow tie round my neck/That’s why they call me a gangsta mack/In the Cadillac. man i’m about to go bump some outkast

  • http://xxlmag.com the brown

    Yo! I wish I would have beemn “First!” on this one! Outkast, undoubtedly holds the crown on music production. They do, what seems effortlessly, the tightest, pinpoint-accuracy, surgical-type stuff with their music, ever since the get go. 1st to last album. Andre, has always been sweeter tho, IMO. Big Boi, is def unique with his and is way more mentally stimulating than almost EVERYother radio bullshit song out there. So yeah, he deserves his name in the discussion. 1.OUTKAST 2.Tribe 3.Everyone else.

  • Chris S

    because he is exactly the same as 3 stacks. just a level below

  • dusty

    Both are tight but the difference is Dre. grew up and Big Boi still wants to talk about pimp shit.On the Speakerbox the Love Below Dre side of the album is why the sold so many not Big Boi.I think 3000 going to drop a solo soon.When hip hop get back to lyrics and not gimmicks like now.Midwest 2010

  • George Clooney

    3 Stack’s 2 verses a year >>>>>> 95% of the verses in hip hop, period.

    Don’t even fool yourself with this shit. Saying Big Boi is anywhere near Dre’s level is like suggesting Chamillionaire, T.I., or any other talented but nevertheless un-genius Southern rapper is on Andre’s level. Dre’s a rarity in hip hop.

    In any duo, there’s always the one dude that is clearly more talented than the other, as a rapper. Word to PMD, Prodigy, Kurupt, Pusha, and Q-Tip. This isn’t to say the other dude has to be wack, but let’s be real here.
    Maybe Big Boi should have tried to get his individual shine on by means of beat-making.

    Sidenote: Andre wrote all of Big Boi’s lyrics when they started. No need to speculate on the “what if”s in that area.

    • marz

      Andre did not write Big Boi’s Lyrics. Big boi was the star of Southernplayerlisticcaddilacmusic.

      Dre was the star of Atliens.

    • Intellect

      Big Boi is on record saying: “Dre has never written a line of my shit!”

  • Nu Drenaline

    been saying this for years, big boi is overlooked

  • SO 252(NC)

    O.k. I have been a outkast fan since I was like 11 0r 12.. I’m 23 now and I feel big boi and 3 stacks are on the same level depending on what you like!! For that space age next level shit you go to Dre; for that pimped out funk shit you turn to Daddy fat sacks!! Outkast is without a doubt one of the best groups to ever grace a mic!! I think Dre is retarded and Big Boi is stupid!! Regardless of what goes on Outkast is on some other shit; even if it’s two dope boys in a cadillac or its a nigga still smokin trees and a nigga eating tofu!! Stop comparing two completley different styles.. I got Dre in my top 5 and outkast in my top 2 as far as groups go!! Big Boi be spittin but Andre is a fool wit all his verses!! Just my opinion they balance each other out!! No matter what he and dre have both said outkast will never end and that’s all that matters!! Far as a better MC it depends on what you want and as I say for every OUTKAST POST!! DUNEGON FAMILY FOREVER…. FUCK WHAT YOU HEARD.. THIS IS THE REAL FIRST FAMILY OF THE SOUTH…

  • Ilog

    His “two verses a year” are all he needs. That’s like sayin a Kia is a better car than a BMW cuz we see more of them on the road.

    If 3000 has to be shit on in order to make a point for Big Boi, then Big STILL needs Andre.

    I do appreciate where this person is coming from, it’s a good place. Cuz Big Boi is a legend, innovator, and one of the true greats. But if Big Boi is the master, then his body of work should speak for itself. It shouldn’t have to be contrasted with 3000.

    And the world can never have enough 3000 “Stanning”. That’s like gettin on someone for stanning Bruce Lee. really? that’s a pretty good role model. if i was into kung fu, i’d probably be okay mimicking his styles.

    • Ilog

      i like any kind of articles about the Dungeon tho. Cuz i’m not shittin on this guy at all. I’m just sayin a simple post about Big Boi didn’t need to include anything about Andre cuz there’s more than enough shit to say about Big Boi and his skills. He IS a motherfuckin animal. And until he truly drops a solo, people probably won’t get it. They will soon tho. 3000 is the cool of DeNiro where Big Boi is Joe Pesci. He was never the star of the movie but people remember him stabbin motherfuckers in the neck with pens. Now he’s the main attraction. and he’s gonna kill it.

  • marz

    BIG BOI IS THE TRUTH.
    NOBODY SPITS LIKE HIM. one of a kind FLOW. his timing, schemes, patterns and slang are unique. one of the best GAME spitters, hands down period. i’m guilty of putting 3 stacks on a pedistal but Big Boi gets just as much respect from me now. those Outkast albums would not have been classics without Big Boi, Dre didnt do it by himself.

    if it wasn’t for Big Boi. Andre would not be as accepted as much.

  • Homieomey

    Big Boi deserves more credit, but I don’t think he should get mentioned when discussing top 5. Andre3000 is barely debatable anymore because of his inactivity the last several years. The fact remains that he has always been more popular and better recieved than Big Boi when the two were on top of their game. For his voice, originality, ability to rap/sing, and style. On top of his game, he just had a lot more going for him than Big Boi ever did.

    Big Boi deserves more attention for what he has done the last 5 years, but don’t go too far and start putting him in the ring for top 5 or even top 10 of all time.

  • NefariousSun

    They are a group, a duo. Probably got G.O.A.T status undisputed with the untimely demise of my Uncle Chad…I always gravitated towards the more deeper content. I do think Dre is deeper than Big Boi..but Big Boi make it plain so ninjas out the hood understand, Dre street talk too, but its almost collegiate how he does it.. but Bid Boi is not going to make top 5 conversation..or 10.. He’s in the top 25 maybe…We talking of all times…The Honorable DJ Kool Herc birthed hip hop what 40 years ago? To make the top 25 is admirable..

  • NefariousSun

    They are a group, a duo. Probably got G.O.A.T status undisputed with the untimely demise of my Uncle Chad…I always gravitated towards the more deeper content. I do think Dre is deeper than Big Boi..but Big Boi make it plain so ninjas out the hood understand, Dre street talk too, but its almost collegiate how he does it.. but Big Boi is not going to make top 5 conversation..or 10.. He’s in the top 25 maybe…We talking of all times…The Honorable DJ Kool Herc birthed hip hop what 40 years ago? To make the top 25 is admirable..

  • gaddic

    To tell the truth i usually wait for 3000 to attack the track before i get interested
    But for real big Boi can rap
    The question is just how good?
    You fools coming with top 5, top 10 comments are either disgusting dickriders or just fuckin ignoramuses
    There are easily 25 to 35 rappers better than Big Boi

  • mac

    yea finally big boi, been my favorite all along cant wait for sir luc

  • breed500

    Big Boi has more of an blue collar approach to his lyrics,he’s good with the wordlplay but he doesn’t challenge you as a listener,3000 challenges you and he knows when to slow down wich is my biggest Big Boi critisism,he needs to switch the tempo up from time to time,his flow gets in the way sometimes of what he’s trying to say..i don’t look at personal dresscodes as a indicator of how nice you are,your ability to connect with your audience and speak to their experiences or dreams makes you a top 5 MC..Big Boi is clever with the words and has good one liners,3000 is clever with how he packages a message inside the words..that fact alone makes him a better MC to me

  • Chris Cool

    i use to be like yaw thought dre was wayyyy better. than i started listening to big more a lot of his verses are better than dres. like mighty o i always thought dre verse was better till recently. big verse flew over my head for years until i realized he was talkin to dre. big boi verses be out there people just overlook em or dickride dre so much that they dont pay attention.

    big boi is up there. dre even says he is better than him. i see em as equal. tho they both my favorite rappers.