Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"The Anticipation Arose As Time Froze..."

Right now I'm anxiously awaiting April 20th...the release date for Leftback, the "final" Little Brother album. Most of those reading this may not know who Little Brother is, but true fans understand and realize they are one of the most slept-on groups in hip hop history, in my humble opinion. Little Brother proudly carried the torch for the post-Native Tongues music collective. I credit Quest (shout out Okayplayer) for turning my ear in the direction of NC, aka North Cakalaka. Phonte, Rapper Big Pooh, and producer 9th Wonder tapped into something that I felt was missing in hip hop, and music for that matter...SOUL...9th manipulated Fruity Loops production into a soulful landscape on which Phonte and Pooh could expose different facets of hip hop, life, love, you name it. Check the discography for proof: The Listening, the Chittlin Circuit 1.5, The Minstrel Show, And Justus For All, Separate But Equal, The Getback. You can also include Connected (Phonte's Foreign Exchange excursion that has opened other doors for his creativity) and Pooh's Sleepers as other extensions of the Little Brother voice. I can even lump in The Dream Merchant series from 9th as Little Brother music. Each album expanded and expounded on previous Little Brother music and topics. I'm not only a fan of each album, but I am someone that can relate to pretty much each topic that these positive brothers have exposed to the masses for consumption. I guess that is why I'm anticipating this Little Brother release, because I want to see what else Phonte and Pooh have to say about their experiences within the industry, what direction they are going in, what Leftback means to them. The only downside for me when it comes to LB is the absence of 9th from the equation. Even though I liked LB expanding their musical soundscape with The Getback, it was missing some of that soul that 9th brought to the table. I hope and pray that whatever differences these musical brothers have can be resolved so at some point we can hear dope music again...until that point, Leftback is what we will have...

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