Having friends is tremendous…
W.B. Swygart: Rappers: STOP HANGING OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO SOUND LIKE STING.
Martin Skidmore: Big Boi is on excellent form, inventive and lively, referential and punchy, flowing with the music or hitting the beats, and the funky music is excellent. I wish I didn’t hate the chorus.
Al Shipley: It feels a little too easy to hate every time a random nasal indie guy drops a hook on a rap track, but do they all have to suck so goddamn bad?
Jonathan Bogart: Not even Big Boi, apparently, is immune to the schlocky charms of having whiny white dudes sing his chorus (see also: Lupe Fiasco ft. Matthew Santos, Jay-Z ft. Mr. Hudson, B.o.B. ft. Rivers Cuomo). Big Boi being Big Boi, he very nearly pulls it off thanks to his quick wit, charm, and Salaam Remi’s sharp-as-a-tack production. But still: whiny white dudes.
Alfred Soto: The superbly named Vonnegutt does his best Rob Thomas imitation while Big Boi slings self-empowerment rhymes over a guitar lick that shakes like a Polaroid picture. This is neither album nor single material but it doesn’t linger a second longer than necessary.
David Raposa: Thought the rinky-dink backing track was something Pharrell scraped up off the floor (and given how long this album was in the works, I wouldn’t be surprised if Salaam Remi’s work on this “Made Ya Look”), and god bless Big Boi for giving local boys Vonnegutt a leg up, but letting these dudes pistol-whip this track with some weak hook work is ATL pride run amok. BB sounds fantastic, of course, but he can only do so much. Tho I just saw the clip of Big Boi performing this on David Letterman, and it sounds 100x better — must be the horns?
Anthony Easton: This is enjoyable, if (maybe because) it’s a bit prickly.
Mallory O’Donnell: At this point, Big Boi should be resting on his laurels. And if he were another man, perhaps another man named Andre, he would. Instead, we get this weird little scatter-beat shot in the future funk canon. The Vonnegut vocal gives it a 90’s hip-hop/rock crossover feel that I can’t quite get behind, but the remainder is totally beyond any aesthetic reproach. The Wendy/Walter Carlos fugue that underpins this beat serves as well as anything else to illustrate Big Boi’s admirable perversity–OutKast were never interested in how current anything sounded, just how good. This, whether it translates perfectly as a single or not, sounds really, really good right now.
Michaelangelo Matos: I like pretty much everything about this except hearing it in isolation — it’s an album track that works on the radio, rather than a single. I realize this is poppycock coming from someone who fetishizes tracks no one else cares about, but that’s how it strikes me.