Last Friday, Big Grams -- the group comprised of Atlanta rapper Big Boi and New York electronic duo Phantogram -- released their collaborative self-titled EP. The release is Big Boi's first album since his 2012's Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, and Phantogram's first since 2014's Voices.
Sonically and content-wise, Big Grams is an extension of the Big Boi-Phantogram collaborations on Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, on which Phantogram contributed to three songs. Throughout the EP, Big Boi dishes out smooth sex rhymes in the uniquely dexterous flow that has become his trademark over 20+ years. Phantogram also continue doing what they do best on Big Grams, with consistently hooky electro-pop beats.
Neither artist is operating far outside their respective wheelhouses, but the combination of their disparate styles works well. It's a testament to how distinct the Big Grams aesthetic is that when idiosyncratic guests like Run the Jewels and Skrillex appear, they fit comfortably within the EP's overall framework. While Big Grams won't make anyone forget about Big Boi's other group, the seminal duo OutKast, it's a worthwhile vehicle for one of rap's most inimitable voices. Highlights include "Goldmine Junkie," "Born to Shine" (featuring Run the Jewels), and "Drum Machine" (featuring Skrillex).