Published Apr 17, 2009While the prospect of an upcoming Little Brother project seems pretty remote these days, given Phonte's current artistic success as a suit-and-tie soul man, LB's other half wants all to know that he's far from waiting at home with the lights on. Four altered versions of Big Pooh's gritty new joint The Delightful Bars are set to tackle both the world and the Web, and though naysayers can expect a predictably thorough scorching, the husky MC also adds a welcomed share of clarifying introspection to his prickly verses. Gauntlet throwing "The Release" set's much of the record's thematic tone, with Pooh breaking down the behind-the-scenes pitfalls of being a group-first MC, as producer Illmind delivers one of the disc's few melodic turns. The far more trying metropolyptic synth tones and muddy effects that weigh down large portions of the album come from HOJ beatsmith Khrysis (on the iTunes version), though hard-edged verses from Pooh and his Justus League cohorts make the music palatable in moderate doses. The record's most enlightening moment comes on "Rear View Mirror" via a gift soul beat from 9th Wonder, over which Pooh offers touching perspective and back-story to the changes he and his partners have been through since '03. Despite the album's many mixed results, the NC lyricist keeps his game tight throughout, and long-time fans should be pleased.
There's a sense on "Rear View Mirror" that people still demand what they heard from Little Brother back in 2003.
I think sometimes [listeners] forget that we're real people, and they just get caught up in the music and your musical persona. [But] they don't know what went on behind the scenes; they just know what the product of that was. A lot of what happened with Little Brother and the Justus League just ended up being, [but] this wasn't a well-oiled machine. Just for me, Phonte and 9th [Wonder] to be in the group it took a lot because you got three grown men with three different personalities, three different personal goals. Career goals are different, agendas may be different, and that's just with three people. Now, imagine 15!
Why did you decide to deal with those issues over a 9th Wonder beat?
When 9th gave me that track, that was the first time we worked together since the break-up. I mean, that was the first time we actually talked, like really talked. He said he wanted to give me something and he ended up giving it to me and I just sat listening to it and [those verses] are automatically what came to my mind. When we came together to do that track, I wanted it to be like a statement track. People were already gonna be like, "oh, wow, Pooh and 9th did another joint together - that's dope!" I knew it was gonna garner attention, so I wanted it to really get attention, and that's why I decided to do what I did with it. (Hall Of Justus)