"I had to sit and assess / why all my favorite groups is a mess / then I'm like 'they probably split for the best' / they had to make room for the rest / now we on the brink of success / ni****s gettin' praised in the press"
Most up-and-coming artists' strive to work with well known producers and sign major label deals. Apparently Durham, NC based Little Brother believes otherwise, and their risk-taking has paid off big time.
In 2003 Little Brother released The Listening to critical praise. Jay-Z recruited 9th Wonder to be the group's DJ/producer. In 2004 Little Brother signed a major label deal with Atlantic records.
Here's where things might seem to move backwards:
In 2006 Little Brother and 9th Wonder split amicably (a move P4K writer Peter Macia suggested months earlier). In 2007 Little Brother announced that they would be leaving Atlantic records due to differences in philosohpy.
So after all the hoopla, the record deals, the publicity, Little Brother is essentially back where they started, and they're stronger for it.
Little Brother's new album, Get Back, is a tight combination of soulful beats and poignant lyrics. Phonte and Big Pooh achieve a perfect balance between fun hip-hop and social politics (something they were over-concerned with on their 2005 album The Minstral Show). The duo frequently inserts interludes at the end of tracks that carefully avoid becoming skits and are in fact very humorous: "Prada jeans...$300. Gucci slippers...$500. Spending all your money to make these white folks rich...priceless."
Frequent collaborator Carlitta Durrand appears on two tracks: the album's catchy opener "Sirens" and "After the Party." The album's single, "Good Clothes," a commentary on urban fashion, has been available for a few months and is streaming on Little Brother's myspace page. "Two Step Blues" uses the same sample as Snoop Dogg's dexterious "Think About It" from last year's fantastic Blue Carpet Treatment.
"Breakin My Heart" feat Lil' Wayne, from Get Back available tuesday:
"Life of the Party" with Carlitta Durand, single from 2005: