Giggs brings star power in the form of features on his surprise drop sixth album, but he simply doesn’t have the versatility to sustain interest on an hour long project. What made his previous album Landlord so enjoyable was the cutting edge deliveries and the big beat consistency; sadly he lacks this far too often on BIG BAD…
I won’t lie, I was delighted to see Giggs drop this album on us out the blue; he has enjoyed huge success over the past couple of years thanks to his Drake nod in 2017 and his simply brilliant 2016 album Landlord. My anticipation and excitement for this album only grew when I saw the feature list, leaving listeners frothing at the mouth at the prospect of hearing Giggs work alongside names as far and wide as Swizz Beats, French Montana, Lil Yachty and Jadakiss. Unfortunately, this album tries far too hard.
Eighteen tracks long, over an hour in length; this just shouldn’t happen. There are only a handful of artists in the commercial side of the industry who have successfully made an album that is excellent while clocking in at over 60 minutes. Albums like Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly defied typical concentration time laws and engaged listeners for the duration, focusing on fine details to craft together a brilliant project from start to finish. Now, try putting Giggs in their field. You just can’t. It’s clear for anyone to see that Giggs has taken influence from the Drake blueprint of dropping albums in recent years; simply release everything you’ve recorded because there’s bound to be hits on there if people sift through it enough.
There’s no real cohesion to BIG BAD… like there was on Landlord, Giggs doesn’t stamp his authority down and never really paints much of a vision other than to document how big time he is now that he’s become a household name. Because this is a Giggs album and he is wonderfully gifted as an MC, there are obvious standout tracks on this thing; the opener GREAT COLLECTIVES for instance has a great beat and a dark, destructive flow on it. 187 has fantastic trap drums and samples, including an utterly hilarious “lets’a go” segment from a Super Mario game; while MIC CHECK has probably my favourite sound to it thanks to that electronic boomblaster of a beat. But with every good track there’s about three naff ones, with SET IT OFF, WHO and TALK ABOUT IT serving as obvious throwaways.
The features, for the most part, do their thing on this, however. Jadakiss sounds necessarily evil, GASHI sounds great on GREAT COLLECTIVES and Wretch 32 polishes off his grime crown on GWOP EXPENSES. The main problem with this is that Giggs gets consistently bodied by these people, hell even Lil Yachty and French Montana steal the limelight on their relevant features; which should tell you all you need to know about Giggs’ performances on those songs. The standout moment of DON’T GO HUNGRY comes courtesy of Labrinth’s hook while Theophilus London keeps it real on TALK ABOUT IT, sadly the same absolutely cannot be said of Giggs there who serves us possibly one of his cringiest performances ever.
The bars can vary from funny to bordering on skin crawlingly bad here, whether that be the wonderfully poetic line “eat up baby keep scoffing” off DON’T GO HUNGRY or the equally awful “sexual gorilla” remark on the very same verse of the very same song. Now I have never once claimed Giggs to be a wordsmith, but I know he has more in his locker than this, it just becomes impossible to listen to when he starts spitting bars as mind-numbing as that.
Honestly, this just sounds rushed and lazy. Giggs has clearly attempted to rest on his laurels and hope that the star power can drag this album through; but that’s the reason for the demise of BIG BAD… I wouldn’t say it’s a reputation damager of an album, as there are bright moments that will carry through this album’s longevity; but in terms of staking his claim as one of the UK’s finest MC’s? You wouldn’t see Skepta dropping something like this, that’s all I’ll say…
Listen to BIG BAD… here and see what you think: