Last night at Electric Lady Studios, Big Boi officiated over a listening party for his new single, “Shutterbugg,” and mentioned he started working on his chronically delayed solo album Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty on Martin Luther King Day three years ago. We almost got wrapped up in the iniquity of it all before remembering the delays may have been the best thing for Big. Even demand for another full Outkast album was muted after 2006’s tepidly received Idlewild, so a solo project from the duo’s less-popular half (that’s up for debate, we suppose) wasn’t always highly anticipated. But the label drama — Big Boi jumped to Def Jam just last month — that has allowed him to adopt the familiar “put-upon artist versus heartless industry” story arc, plus the album’s many, many sterling leaks (see here, here, here, and here), have created an unanticipated groundswell for Sir Luscious. That means the album’s just announced May 4 release date is looking right. So, what can we expect?
After a dapper L.A. Reid introduced him, Big Boi was nice enough to run through not only “Shutterbugg” — multiple times and, despite volumes that made us fear our sternum would give, to repeated pleas to turn it up — but also a few other Luscious tracks. They sound good! There was the T.I.-featuring “Tangerine” (which already leaked in part, but Big Boi said he went in afterward to “kill some shit”), the Organized Noise–produced “Turn Me On,” the unexpectedly, compellingly dour Jamie Foxx collaboration “Hustle Blood,” and the non-J.Lo referencing “Back Up Plan.” He’s eyeing fourteen tracks for the album’s regular edition and eighteen for the enhanced package. Also, he is disappointed that no one was smoking weed last night. “Electric Lady, clear skies, no smoke,” Big Boi pointed out. “What would Jimi say about this shit?”