Together, the Atlanta duo OutKast is to rap what Jimi Hendrix was to the guitar. Big Boi alone — as he performs and records since Andre 3000 decided to withhold his considerable musical talents from the world — is still more skilled and creative than most in mainstream or underground rap. It's a wonder he doesn't carry a chip on his shoulder, given Andre's retreat from the spotlight and label troubles that kept his long-awaited solo album Sir Lucious Left Foot ... The Son of Chico Dusty (Island Def Jam) in limbo for years. In the end, Big Boi switched labels to release it, but he was legally barred from sharing any tracks created with Andre, with whom he had worked since high school. Nonetheless, while solo Big Boi often builds songs around catchy choruses that have little do with the verses, his verses meet the high standard set by the Grammy-winning Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (La Face), and five other official OutKast albums.
Big Boi made two surprise local appearances last summer, both times performing a stripped-down show with a DJ and a dancer. But Big Boi doesn't need much more than his patented super-fast but easily discernible flow. He also distinguishes himself by addressing subjects well beyond the genre's overworked focus on materialism and violence. Tickets $41.35 (includes fees). — Michael Patrick Welch
10 p.m. Friday
Harrah's New Orleans Casino, 8 Canal St., (800) 745-3000; www.harrahsneworleans.com