Big Grams

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Big Grams
Big Grams.jpg
EP by
Big Grams (Big Boi & Phantogram)
ReleasedSeptember 25, 2015
GenreExperimental hip hop
LabelEpic Records
Big Boi chronology
Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
Big Grams
Phantogram chronology
Big Grams

Big Grams is the self-titled debut EP by American hip hop trio Big Grams, which consists of rapper Big Boi and electronic rock duo Phantogram. The EP was released on September 25, 2015, by Epic Records.[1][2]

Background and recording[edit]

In December 2010, Big Boi, one half of famed hip hop duo Outkast, accidentally discovered Phantogram, an electronic rock duo consisting of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, when hearing their single "Mouthful of Diamonds" in a pop-up ad. Big Boi shared the song on his website as the "Jam of the Week". Barthel saw the post and contacted Big Boi, which led to future collaborations. Big Boi's 2012 studio album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, included three tracks featuring Phantogram: "Objectum Sexuality", "CPU" and "Lines", and in an interview days before its December 11 release, Big Boi revealed that he and Phantogram were planning to record a "one-off EP type of thing" titled Big Grams.[3]

Carter described the project's sound as "sort of" "psyched-out hip-hop". Barthel and Big Boi provided sung vocals and rapped vocals respectively, while Carter only occasionally provided vocals and was the project's primary producer.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[6]
Consequence of SoundB[7]
The Guardian3/5 stars[8]
HipHopDX3/5 stars[9]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[11]

Big Grams received generally mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 61 based on 8 reviews, which indicates "generally positive reviews".[5] David Jeffries of AllMusic said, "The MC's copious sex talk makes Phantogram seem like Catherine Deneuve and Bowie in The Hunger, a stoic and sexy duo who let others to do the "dirty work," and just like those vampires, this EP dazzles and then disappears before the sun comes up, leaving listeners with the exhilarating feeling of "wow," and the less-pleasing feeling of "what happened?"[6] Lyndsey Havens of Consequence of Sound said, "Throughout Big Grams, Big Boi, Carter, and Barthel demonstrate their ability and willingness to take risks, even if some don't work as well as others ("Goldmine Junkie" features Barthel's futile attempt at rapping). But the downfalls of the LP are more or less overshadowed by the gambles that do pay off. And the biggest gamble of all? Tossing any and all expectations out the window."[7] David Turner of Rolling Stone stated, "Even guest turns from Run the Jewels and Skrillex can't add enough energy to make Big Grams feel like anything more than an attempt at landing a better festival slot."[11] Sheldon Pearce of HipHopDX said, "There's no creative expansion, just two acts trying to exist in their own worlds simultaneously instead of finding a new and interesting middle ground. Mixing classic Big Boi verses over old Phantogram songs would've probably been just as effective."[9]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 38 on the Billboard 200, selling 9,626 copies in the United States.[13]

Track listing[edit]

1."Run for Your Life"Phantogram3:56
2."Lights On"Phantogram4:20
3."Fell in the Sun"Phantogram3:47
4."Put It on Her"9th Wonder2:51
5."Goldmine Junkie"Phantogram3:42
6."Born to Shine" (featuring Run the Jewels)Phantogram4:12
7."Drum Machine" (featuring Skrillex)Skrillex3:47


Chart (2015) Peak
US Billboard 200[14] 38
US Top Rap Albums (Billboard)[15] 5
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[16] 9


  1. ^ "Big Grams – EP by Big Grams on iTunes". Retrieved 2015-09-21.
  2. ^ Newman, Jason (2015-09-11). "Big Boi, Phantogram Talk 'Best Friend S-t' That Led to 'Big Grams' EP". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
  3. ^ Christina Lee. "Big Boi On Working With Phantogram and Why He Muted You On Twitter". MTV Hive. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  4. ^ Moses, Jeff (2015-03-26). "Phantogram's Josh Carter Reveals Details on Collaboration with Outkast's Big Boi". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  5. ^ a b "Reviews for Big Grams [EP] by Big Grams". Metacritic. 2015-09-29. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  6. ^ a b David Jeffries (2015-09-25). "Big Grams – Big Grams | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  7. ^ a b Geslani, Michelle (2015-09-29). "Big Grams – Big Grams". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  8. ^ Dave Simpson (2015-09-24). "Big Boi and Phantogram: Big Grams review – joyous synthpop-rap collision". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  9. ^ a b Pearce, Sheldon (2015-10-06). "Big Grams – Big Grams". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  10. ^ "Big Grams: Big Grams". Pitchfork. 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  11. ^ a b Turner, David (2015-09-25). "Big Grams's New Album: Big Grams". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  12. ^ Taylor, Patrick (2015-12-08). "Big Grams :: Big Grams :: Epic Records". Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  13. ^ Hernandez, Victoria (2015-10-05). "Hip Hop Album Sales: Fetty Wap, Drake & Future". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015-10-10.
  14. ^ "Big Grams Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "Big Grams Chart History (Top Rap Albums)". Billboard.
  16. ^ "Big Grams Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard.