By purest of coincidences, both former members of the ATLien mothership known as OutKast appeared on new tracks released this week. Both have a lot going on right now—André 3000 with directing Rick Ross’ upcoming video for "Sixteen" (another track on which he features) and finished shooting the Janie Jimplin/Jackie Jormp-Jomp-reminiscent Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, due out in 2013. Big Boi has released a number of tracks for his upcoming album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, including the goofy boner jam "She Said Okay" featuring Theophilus London and Tre Luce and the catchy "Gossip," featuring Big K.R.I.T. and UGK. Who wore their new single better?
“Play The Guitar”
Yesterday, B.o.B. released a new track with a little help from fellow Georgian André 3000. This feels like an attempt at a late-in-the-game entry for Song of the Summer 2012, to which Carly Rae Jepsen would probably respond with a resounding "uh-uh." B.o.B. offers the classic couplets about "I’m a star / so when I hit the bar / like cheers, everybody knows who we are / whoever thought I woulda took it this far?" amid some casual guitar play. André 3000’s verse is what you’d expect—fast-paced, interesting, peppered with some offbeat images (the verse starts with him having a vision of playing guitar outside of Church’s Chicken), but it’s mostly B.o.B. imploring himself to play the guitar. The video’s rather interesting, though, where everything is animated to look like those "Pinpressions" office toys that mold to your face.
“Mama Told Me”
Unlike “Play the Guitar,” this isn’t an official, studio release. Much to the delight of some rather ecstatic fans, Big Boi joined oh-so-smooth Swedish electronic ensemble Little Dragon for a surprise onstage appearance at the vitaminwater/FADER “Uncapped” show Tuesday night in Austin. (Get it? It’s "Big" and "Little" together! Ha!)
Not only is Big Boi comfortable rapping through and around Little Dragon’s chirping synths, but together on stage, he and the band seem to have pretty good chemistry and are enjoying the process. The jam is the sort of smooth, listenable project you’d expect from this combination, with Big Boi verses and Yukimi Nagano’s chorus and later call-and-response all flowing together nicely. Of the two, this is the better song, and Big Boi sounds like he’s wearing it better, but a live performance of "Play the Guitar" / a studio version of "Mama Told Me" would really be the only way to properly test this hypothesis.