Finally! The long-awaited follow up from Little Brother minus 9th Wonder hits the net’. What I find most interesting about the “leak” is that (thanks to Trav @ WYDU for the info) Phonte leaked it himself. After rising bright and early at 6 a.m. this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see the “links” to “Get Back” posted in my C-Box. Now, I know that it’s only been less than 24 hours since this album “leaked” and you may say “how can you have an accurate opinion when the album just dropped?”. I didn’t work today, so I pretty much just spent my time working out, getting my oil changed, washing the car & mowing the yard. Needless to say I must’ve listened to “Get Back” at least 10 times from start to finito, I’ve had plenty of time to take it all in. Talk about a whirlwind of emotions! Just for “shits & giggles” here’s the following text convo between myself that transpired off & on between the hours of 8-12 a.m. that contains our initial impressions of “Get Back”. Ironically, it’s a pretty accurate depiction of the “roller coaster ride”of emotions that I experienced today while trying to capture a true feel for “Get Back”:
Me: (to Trav) “You get the L.B. leak yet?
Trav: “No, I didn’t see it last nite“
Me: “It’s up..not that impressed”
Trav: (is it on) H.H.B.?
Me: “Go to my C-Box for the link”
Me: (about 2 hours later) “Man, I just listened to that L.B. joint twice through while at the gym…man, that shit’s disappointing!”
Trav: “I’ll give it a listen”
(2 more hours have passed)
Eric: “I don’t know homie this L.B. shit is kinda’ growing on me. I’m lovin‘ “Party’s Over”. Also, isn’t that the dude that was on (Prince Paul’s) “A Prince Among Thieves” (not Breezly, but the other emcee)? (turns out it’s not, it’s just new L.B. upstart JozzeeMo)
Trav: “Too much singing”….that song? I hate that song, it gives me a headache.”
While you may not give two shits about the text that went on between Trav & I, I found it interesting as with each passing listen the album seem to improve more & more. I’ll admit, after the first listen to “Get Back” I was like “aww hell no, bring 9th back…this shit’s garbage! If this wasn’t Little Brother it would’ve slid into obscurity forever lost amongst the endless downloads that occupy my Ipod and take up too much space on my spare hard drive. If it were say….Blue Scholars, Buff 1, Jazz Addixx or Ill Poetic it might not have made it to the Second Round (all of those albums grabbed me upon the first listen). The second go round’ for “Get Back” was ehhhh…..the first track that caught my attention was “Step It Up” f. Dion (the R & B dude appeared on a few tracks on Hi Tek’s “The Chip”, I like this cat…nice vocals), on this track Big Pooh & Phonte find themselves fallin‘ for honeys that just want a little bit more when “chillin‘ on the couch” just ain’t kosher no more. “Step It Up” is just one of many cuts that focus on discussion of the female species and relationships. While it isn’t too “left field” for this N.C. duo, for some I can sense that it may not be a welcome change to the format that Little Brother has followed. Another track that is also in the same vein as “Step It Up” is my favorite “After The Party”. I haven’t found the production credits for “Get Back” anywhere on the net but the production on this cut is most reminiscent of 9th Wonder….hell, it honestly sounds like a mixture of 9th & Nicolay. The intro to “After The Party” finds Phonte spittin‘ game to a fly skimmie while analyzing his conversation in his conscience, the dialogue between man & mind is fuckin‘ hilarious! The album’s most definitely not lacking in comedy as Phonte & Big Pooh are both some funny ass dudes. Clever one-liners and mini-skits are abound throughout the album which keep things interesting. Also, on “After The Party” the lyrical content really parallels that of Kanye West’s on “All Falls Down”….kind of a self-analysis joint, but not just too deep. “Extra Hard” & “Two Step Blues” are two prominent examples of feel good music that is aimed at taking all your worries away, suggested that rather than drown in your sea of tears…go and get your “two piece suit” (at the suggestion of Phonte’s old man) and work up a sweat on the dance floor. I just love how Phonte usually finds himself in the “pay the light bill with my pay check or blow it all away on some expensive liquor” dilema more than once on “Get Back”, can’t say I’ve never been there! Another cut that I tend to favor is the Jozeemo featured “That Ain’t Love” which finds Little Brother in familiar territory spittin‘ about the “ills” of the rap game and all it’s traps, “Dreams” doesn’t stray too far from the exact same formula exhibited on “That Ain’t Love” as well. The only track that I skipped over after about the seventh or eighth listen is “Good Clothes”, whether it’s the fact that this is the one track that I’ve heard before the album dropped or that it’s just simply not up to par with the album remains to be seen. However, “Good Clothes” is just plain annoying to me right now and the beat is the most simplistic production on the album, and where the hell is the Nottz banger “Life Of The Party”?. I can’t believe they left that off the album, what a travesty!
I “get” what Little Brother is trying to accomplish with “Get Back”, too often we as listeners are overexposed to emcees “tearing down imaginary emcees” with excessive verbal jabs or “flaunting all their riches and material things” by rapping about what size rims their sittin‘ on. With “Get Back” Little Brother has dropped a feel good, worry free album that truly puts the listener at ease with it’s clever lyricism (thanks
Phonte) and solid if not superb production. I swear, this morning I wanted to prop my ass down in front of the HP and tear this shit (“Get Back”) down from start to finish. The first jab was gonna’ be “hell, Little Brother wanted to be different on this album and walk on their own two without 9th’s production, so just why in the hell does each and every beat on the album sound eerily similar to his? I just couldn’t do it. Am I biased to Little Brother? Maybe. I’ll promise you, that if given the time and patience “Get Back” will take you to the place it took me today. With all the shit that’s been surrounding me lately, today I felt completely ease and I thank Little Brother for giving me that “warm & fuzzy” feeling. Don’t write these cats off just yet, they’ve released a classic, a flop, switched labels, stepped out on there own and hell….they swear they don’t even get love in their own state! So what’s the verdict. I love this shit! I’ve got a long drive to PA (13 hours) to spend some time with my Dad coming up on Monday, I’m gonna’ be driving solo as the wife & girls are holding the fort down in AR. I’m just thankful that “Get Back” leaked before my “road trip” because this album truly takes my mind off everything else and allows me to truly appreciate the music. Us bloggers (myself included) tend to jump the gun and bash an album rather than bless it…hell, “Graduation” even gets regular spins from me now..but, we need to be appreciative of what’s taking place this year. I can’t even recall the last year in which I felt this good about Hip Hop, while the radio is over saturated with the “T-Pains” of the world the underground has been holding it down with countless offerings that are sure to be deemed classics when we look back 10 years from now. Little Brother’s “Get Back” is yet another album you can add to the long list of quality albums that have dropped this year.