Big Boi at North Coast Music Festival | Photos and music review
Filling a similar position to that helmed by hometown rapper Common at last year's fest, OutKast's Big Boi helmed the time slot that was the runner-up to last night's grand finale. It's a spotlight showcase for the hip-hop star, but competing dance acts Chuckie and Steve Aoki proved stiff competition. Making my way to the main field after taking in some of Maya Jane Coles set, I was amazed to find a crowd in transition. Most seemed largely uninterested in what Sir Luscious Leftfoot had to say.
That didn't stop the performance vet from making the best of it. In proper Big Boi style, it was a party onstage. Beyond the DJ, live drummer and hype man joining him, Daddy Fat Stax also had about two dozen friends with him, filling out the stage with bouncing bodies. The great thing about a set from Big Boi is that it's a hit-fest. In a similar style to his Pitchfork set from last year, a music video medley played out on the jumbotron as familiar cuts like "I Like the Way You Move" rubbed elbows with classic OutKast faves like "Player's Ball," "Elevator (Me & You)" and newer Big Boi hits like "Shine Blockas," his George Clinton collabo "For Your Sorrows" and "Shutterbug."
The millennial crowd that dominates North Coast has helped bring about a sea change in popular music, one that's seen hip-hop overshadowed in favor throbbing dance beats. North Coast's entire existence stands as a testament to this. No matter how impressive Big Boi might be as major player in hip-hop and pop, I couldn't help but wonder if this music just doesn't hold sway over a crowd like this one anymore. Maybe, but it's just as likely that these sun-soaked and fucked-up kiddies had nothing left in them but to rave away for a couple more hours with Steve Angello and Pretty Lights, the fest's two final acts, and the ones that they were likely in the process of finding a good spot for.