Song of The Year-Born To Shine by Big Boi & Phantogram featuring Run The Jewels produced by Phantogram
Run The Jewels might be the most exciting thing happening in rap music right now and it’s probably, at some level, Big Boi’s fault. El-P’s flow going back to the Rawkus Records days was always fast and hard to hear. I remember looking up lyrics and being blown away at the stuff he was saying (that I just couldn’t understand). Working with Killer Mike has taught him when to stamp down on the right word or accentuate a phrase. El now has gears and can shift down or up. Who is the most likely person to who have taught Killer Mike that?
em>Big Grams (the seven song collaboration between Phantogram and Big Boi) needs to be heard by anyone with any positive Outkast history. Big Boi is in a really interesting lyrical place. The first words he speaks on Big Grams are “I need another lover…like I need another hole in the side of my temple.” As he’s gotten older the player lifestyle weighs heavier with more worry than pay off. So while his flow still coils up and explodes, the words are pregnant with a lot of evolving personal gender philosophy.
Killer Mike’s first line of his first verse on Born To Shine will go down in the books as one of 2015’s very best greetings “I walk in Ric Flairin’ long fur coat wearin’ rolex rockin’ silk shirt wearin’ silk socks an’ balls need to breathe so bitch the drawers cotton…” talk about painting a picture. By the end of a Killer Mike verse your adrenaline levels have changed. El-P is having so much fun he actually says “without coins I’m a magical bloke…” which makes me laugh every time I hear it.
Any precious hipster making the argument that Big Boi sounds “weird” with Run The Jewels and they shouldn’t have features with him sucks and shouldn’t own headphones. Run The Jewels wouldn’t exist without the love Big Boi has for Mike as well as the love he’s always fostered in everyone he knows for any kind of music that’s dope. Big Boi has the highest Rock IQ of any rapper alive. Everyone is better around him.