Big Boi’s 10 Best Guest Verses of the 2000s, Ranked
At this point, it's cliche to talk about Big Boi's skills being overshadowed by his partner in rhyme, Andre 3000. Rap lovers should know without any doubts by now that Big Boi is one of the most underrated lyricists in rap history, wholly capable of holding his own alongside the best game.
For 20 plus years, Big's been consistent, lyrically remaining true to the homegrown, futuristic realism that made OutKast so dope. While Dre's lyrics often ran left, capitalizing on his ability to poetically paint vivid pictures about life and his place in the world, Big's lyricism was often more straightforward and relatable, though still complex and in-depth.
“Big Boi can rap better than me — I always said that," Andre told GQ in 2017. “We went to the same high school. I dropped out in 11th grade. Big Boi graduated with honors. When you watch early Outkast videos, Big Boi’s the leader. He always had the confidence, where I was kind of like the shy one. Big Boi can rap better than me — I always said that. If somebody said, ‘Pick who you want from Outkast to go to battle with you,’ it wouldn’t be me. ’Cause like, what I’ma do? Say some mind shit? You can’t have thoughts in a battle — nobody gives a shit about that.”
After his run with OutKast (who knows if they'll ever drop another record), it's Big Boi who's played an enormous role in keeping the group's legacy alive. Since 2003, he's dropped three critically acclaimed solo albums (Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, 2010; Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, 2012; Boomiverse, 2017), toured regularly, and propped up other artists to shine, including Killer Mike and Janelle Monae, who were both previously signed to his Purple Ribbon imprint.
Since the early 2000s, after the last 'Kast album dropped, Big hasn't done a boatload of features, seeming more content to release his own projects, and shine on tracks like one of 2017's best rap records, "Kill Jill," featuring fellow ATLiens, Killer Mike and Jeezy.
Still, we've scoured some of his best guest verses, and came away with his top 10 of the 2000s, showcasing why Big should be considered one of hip-hop's lyrical titans.
A standout on a track full of lyrical rappers, Big's 2011 appearance on Trae's "I'm On" is among his dopest guest spots of the past decade.
"Never letting go, although sometimes I slip/Like banana peels for heels, my spill is so legit/Notice it every time I pick up the microphone and spit/Eyes wide, ears open like you on a doctor's visit/But this ain't physics or rocket science/This a little tune to keep you motivated and inspired/I am not a motivational speaker/But people get easily motivated when they hear B-I-G reeking..."
The remix featured on Mike’s fourth solo album, Pl3DGE, features a lot of bragging from Big Boi, who goes toe-to-toe lyrically with his mentee.
"N-gga, how it's gonna bet bigger?/With that nigga the B-I-G and the microphone killer/Jack The Ripper all thriller, no filler/'Less I'm filling your broad up with nigga/I drill her while you finger prick her/That means she barely feel a thang when you hit her/Boy, drop this thangs like a sabre-tooth tigger, or tiger/The prehistoric rap writer/And I'm a keep my foot on the neck on all these non-rhyming sack biters..."
At one point in the mid-2000s, Big had one of the illest rosters around– Scar, Killer Mike and Janelle Monae all called the label home. And Big Boi’s feature on her breakout, James Brown-inspired hit, "Tightrope," was right in line with the vibe.
"You gotta keep your balance/Or you fall into the gap/ It's a challenge but I manage/Cause I'm cautious with the strap/Do damage to your cabbage?/Damn, a thought that cannot pass/See, why you don't want no friction/Like the back of a matchbook?/Daddy Fat Sax will fold you/And your MacBook/Close shows, shut you down/Before we go broke backwards/Act up, and whether we high or low/We gonna get back-up/Like the Dow Jones and NASDAQ/Sorta like a thong in an ass crack/Come on..."
Trick Daddy delivered one of the best jams of his career with his summertime ditty, uplifted by a catchy hook and verse from Big’s DF cohort, CeeLo. Big tackles the last verse, and when the drums drop, amplifying his verse, he adds a proper stamp to the track with some creative metaphors and storytelling.
"Movin through the dirty at a slow pimps pace/Kinda like the turtle and the rabbit in the race/To the finish line, I jumped a pair of Reeboks/So bright, so fresh, snow white but no socks/Then I slip on some of that O with the wings/I bust it straight out the pack like a three piece/Prophylactic, before you splack it/You gotta prepare it and mack it, wear your jacket or it's tragic/Not intended for any illegal purposes/It's like anthrax and small pox in surplus to murderous..."
Big came through with the mellow delivery, matching the cadence of Killer Mike and El-P on the grinding track, which was the lead single to the car action flick (which was filmed in Atlanta) Baby Driver.
"Real grippers, pimp niggas with Gucci slippers/Coochie tippers, Magic City got groupie strippers/A crew of killers and dealers, we got this newbie with us/We turn Pirellis to jellies, ex cons and former cellies/Stay on ready, foot on that very heavy/Good on deck, smelly smelly/Show some respect or you'll get showered like parade confetti/Made man, I'm made already, nobody safe from petty/450 horse up in the Porsche, 600 in the Chevy/Buddy, I'm nutty, I've got some screws loose/And if your bitch wants some cutty, baby, I choose you/Underground kings, speed and sound things/Run the sacks..."
While Dre came away with a hip-hop quotable when two of the best groups in rap collaborated, Big's verse was a standout on the hit song.
"Eeny meeny decisions, with precision I pick/or make my selection on who I choose to be wit', girl/Don't touch my protection, I know you want it to slip/But slippin' is somethin' I don't do, tippin' for life/That's like makin' it rain every month on schedule/Let me tell you, get your parasol umbrella/'Cause it's gonna get wetter/Better prepare ya for the C support/She supposed to spend it on that baby, but we see she don't/"Ask-ask Paul McCartney, the lawyers couldn't stop it/Slaughter-slaughterin' of them pockets/Had to tie her to a rocket"
Another Atlanta classic, YoungBloodz’s “85” featured a coveted, validating verse from Big. Released in 2000 as the second single from their 1999 debut album, Against da Grain, Big (who co-produced the song) kicks a short story, utilizing his signature quick-spitting flow, bouncing around the track with the ease.
"I'm slick as a curl, smooth as a pearl/Don't, don't be givin no gifts boi/On the first date or the worst date/I'm goin all the way on the first play/Like Hail Mary's to field goals/I think I was put here to drill hoes/For real doe; and while you blowin up my, bar I'm off in your purse to get my gas money then/I'm back on the 'spressway/And I'm out this verse..."
Big Boi linked up with Killer Mike and El-P on one of their signature songs, snapping on El’s busy, booming track, closing it out properly after Mike and Jamie’s tag-teaming.
"We the old Atlanta, new Atlanta, future of the city/Daddy Fat Saxx don't give a damn 'cause can't nann new niggas get with me/Now it's true, niggas are simply simple minded simple Simons/Being dumbed down by the local radio stations by designing/But what I be rhyming, no payola is required/My bank account obese as fuck while yours sits on a diet/Nigga your lease is up, you're fired/Quiet, that's how the boss talk/Retain ownership on everything, every car bought/And paid for, no neighbors 'cause I'm sitting on acres/Went to Vegas, jumped the broom 'cause I wasn't trippin' on papers/Or no prenuptial agreement for mama/If we broke up and she took half I'd still be sitting on commas/Eight figures nigga..."
The official anthem of Atlanta has to be “Kryptonite”—even if you’re not a smoker. Turn this on anytime, anywhere in Atlanta and see if people don’t immediately start jumping and throwing up the “A.” A lot of that has to do with Big’s killer verse, which comes in the middle of the hyper song and amps it up to a fever pitch, as he chastises the homie for riding around with weed in the car.
"Time and time again, I gotta turn back round and tell C-Bone/Grab that cologne on out my book bag, I smell 'dro all on you, homes/Suppose the po-po's get whiff of the spliff that you just smoked, them folks gon' trip/Probable cause, call the canine unit to the side of the road, let's take a sniff/Shit, the only thing we ridin' dirty is this UGK CD..."
There are no slouches on this banger (E-40 kills it), but Big Boi murdered his guest appearance, making it one of his best outings of the 2000s.
"I skip to the lou, my darling bring the thunder, I'm the lightning that strikes twice/Motherfucker, call me massa/Cause I runs the plantation and I'm whooping niggas asses if they disrespect the presentation/Below the Mason-Dixon, we facin' the basis, never missin' pimpin'/You can embrace it or come face to face with total devastation/My mojo is never fadin', I'm in my Optimus Prime transform/Switch it up, heat it up, speed it up, that means I'm gone..."