Big Boi is back! The Outkast rapper brought the Boomiverse to San Francisco SoMa venue 1015 Folsom in the second leg of the “Daddy Fat Saxxx Tour” on Friday, January 12th. Opening his set in the main room were Bay Area DJs Ren the Archaeologist and Sake One.
The ATLien’s return to the Bay Area came soon after his special guest performance at the 2017 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park back in August. The new album came after the rapper’s last project Big Grams, a collaborative effort with alternative duo Phantogram back in 2015.
As the name Boomiverse suggests, Big Boi shows he can and has done it all with this most recent project, which dropped in June under Epic Records. The album is full of power anthems that deserve no less than to be blasted at full volume. With sounds that span resonance with veteran Outkast fans to teens who flaunt over Atlanta’s sound, each track tells a different story with unique twists and nuances. There’s something for all hip-hop fans, with features including Adam Levine, Killer Mike, and Snoop Dogg.
What’s special about Boomiverse is that Big Boi plants his feet in his Atlanta roots and embraces his authenticity, without trying to compete with his hometown’s commercial success in recent years from artists like Migos and 21 Savage. This rang true in the wide age range of the audience that turned out at 1015 Folsom.
I showed up to the venue around 10:30, a little discouraged to find out Big Boi wouldn’t take to the stage until nearly two hours later. Being my first time at 1015 Folsom, I spent that time exploring the multi-room space and as a result, I quickly let go of my regret from arriving early.
It was eye-opening to take note of the array of walks of life that occupied this show. Mega-fans anxiously waited in front of the barricade for hours, folks danced the night away to a mix of DJs in a separate front room, and patient concert-goers got social in a lounge-type atmosphere upstairs.
Gradually the various rooms emptied out as everyone made their way toward the main stage, and I was reminded that we all came for the same reason. While his 12:40 am – 2:00 am set was primarily a showcase of the new album, Big Boi did not neglect to pay tribute to Outkast favorites, from “Ms. Jackson” to “The Whole World.” Backed by a flashing, colorful display, he mastered bringing the energy and unifying the crowd, which reflected followers from every point of his musical timeline.
The show proved that Big Boi has seamlessly achieved timelessness. Boomiverse encompasses all of the power he has accumulated over the course of his career and has now unleashed onto his devoted fan base. Tracks like “In the South” featuring Gucci Mane sum up Big Boi’s ability to unite old-school truth with modern genre trends. Being in such an intimate space with a hip-hop legend, this felt like anything but a usual gig. It was a celebration.