Big Boi answers the phone with an “‘El-low mon,” horsing around in a fake island accent. The time seems right for fun and games, since the rapper, half of mega hip-hop group Outkast, finally released his delayed solo project Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty.


The release comes after an extended period of drama with his former record label. Jive held the album for nearly three years, saying it was too artsy to put out.


So Big Boi went to Def Jam. A creative mix of funk, soul, electro and retro sounds — like nothing you’ve ever heard, and everything you want to dance to — Sir Lucious debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard charts and is receiving tremendous critical acclaim. Hell, notoriously biting Pitchfork even gave the album a 9.2.


So is it time to walk around the Jive offices with an I-told-you-so smirk? “I didn’t have to tell them, I think the world is telling them,” says Big Boi. “You have to leave the music-making to the professionals.”


Even when Jive shelved the project, the Atlanta native says he never considered tweaking his work: “I’d rather not do music if I had to conform to today’s standards. I know what I wanted it to sound like. And I’m definitely not a quitter.”