The anticipation of Little Brother’s final album, Left Back was pretty crazy. A lot of people were sad about it, curious about it and looking forward to it. Websites and bloggers are paying their tributes, doing write ups on their history and accomplishments and I know that there was no way of me NOT doing a piece on them. Instead of stating what they’ve done because I assume we’re all fans and I don’t need to tell you what you already know, I’m just going to post my personal experience of LB. This is my attempt of a tribute and a bit of a review of their album, Left Back which was released on April 20th.
It was February 2006, my cousin asked me to go to see Fort Minor live. She had a habit of doing that…taking me to concerts where I had no clue who I was seeing. I didn’t mind because if you know me, you know I LOVE live music. Little Brother opened that night and caught my attention. Their music, the lyrics, the production spoke to me. It made me restore my love for hip hop. Since then, I’ve gotten to know Phonte, Pooh and a number of Justus League/Hall of Justus artists and affiliates, developing close friendships with Darien Brockington, 9th Wonder and Kam Moye AKA Supastition. I also started getting known for my concert videos of them on youtube. I owe a good percentage of where I am today as far as online presence etc to Little Brother which is why I decided to write this. It’s like six degrees of separation with a lot of people I know and LB is the link.
I’ve seen them a total of 5 times…I think! I may have seen them more, I can’t remember! LOL! My favorite show was in Oct 2007 when they performed at Revival on the day their album, Get Back was released. Evidence of Dilated Peoples was on tour with them too. Here’s a video of LB performing "Good Clothes" from that show and a few pictures that I’ve collected throughout the years.
Numerous people have wondered about how I feel about the end of Little Brother. While I’ve enjoyed LB’s music, I’m looking forward to what’s next for Phonte and Pooh. Most recently, a lot of folks have asked me about the split between 9th Wonder and LB. I’m often asked who’s side I’m on. As fans, all the parties involved continue to put great music out so why can’t we just enjoy it? What went on between them has to do with them, not the fans. Personally, I refuse to choose and feel that there’s no need to. I’ve heard things, been told things and read other things as well. I know all of these guys and as long as they know where I stand with them, it doesn’t really matter to me.
Left Back…there’s been lots of hype about Little Brother’s final album. I went around to numerous sites/blogs, reading about the anticipation before it came out and what folks thought about the album when it finally was released. Most of the stuff I read was before Left Back came out and the track listing was announced. Folks complained about the lack of “better” producers, the fact that they feel that it’s not “full” album because there are 2 remixes and of course, folks complained that they felt 9th Wonder should’ve been somehow involved. To me, it’s crazy that people felt that they could complain about these things. As fans, we should feel fortunate that Little Brother even released their final album. They even have a bunch of final shows coming up in various cites. Phonte and Pooh could’ve easily just announced the end, said thanks for the support, look out for our individual projects and done!
- Curtain Call
- Table For Two Featuring Jozeemo and YahZarah
- Tigallo For Dolo
- Revenge Featuring Truck North and Median
- So Cold Featuring Chaundon
- Second Chances Featuring Bilal and Darien Brockington
- Go Off Go On
- What We Are Featuring Quiana
- After The Party featuring Carlitta Durand (S1 and Caleb's Who Shot JR Ewing remix)
- Two Step Blues featuring Darien Brockington (Zo's Purple Suit With The Matching Gators remix)
- Get Enough Part 2 Featuring Khrysis
- Before The Night Is Over
- 24 Featuring Torae
Left Back is produced mostly by Khrysis but also has beats by King Karnov, Denaun Porter, Young RJ, Zo!, S1 and Caleb. Featured artists include Jozeemo, Yahzarah, Median, Chaundon, Darien Brockington, Bilal and a few more. While I felt that this album is good, to me it comes up short as a final album. On the other hand, I love their albums, The Listening and The Minstrel Show soooo much that I don’t think any album after that could ever compare!
My 2 Fave Joints:
Second Chances Featuring Bilal and Darien Brockington – First of all, how could you not love a track that brings Bilal and long time Little Brother collaborator, Darien Brockington together? Second Chances is an R&B laced track produced by Denaun Porter of D12 with lyrics that talk about giving second chances and has D-Brock singing, “Everybody’s telling me that I should be the one to up and walk away from what we have together. Tried to replace you, babe but I just can’t leave it alone. So many will try, try to be next to me but ain’t nobody who can love me quite like you”. To me, the song is reminiscent of what Slow It Down was to The Minstrel Show.
What We Are Featuring Qiana – Both Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh had solo tracks on Left Back and this one is Pooh’s joint. In this song, Pooh talks about what kind of relationship he’s willing to have with someone who clearly wants more saying, “It’s not you, it’s me, baby, please understand. I dig you a little bit; not enough to be your man. And I hope somebody’s treatin’ you fair, if only you understand that I really do care.” With production by Young RJ and a catchy hook by Qiana, it’s a really good listen.
I wish both Phonte and Pooh the best in all they have coming up in the future. Thanks for the music and for the good times we’ve shared. Much Love…