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by Eric on October 13, 2007

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”
Trav: “Cool”
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)
Trav: Zzzzzz=L.B.
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.

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elgringocolombiano October 13, 2007 at 3:57 pm

“Getback” is good, but “And Justus For All” is best 2007 Little Brother Album. All should check that if they haven’t already, + it’s a legally free album-quality mixtape.

Agree Eric that the quantity of good releases in 2006 or 2007 is great. 1994 had more classics, but this era has more sheer quantity of good albums, thanks to the all the underground cats.

Props to WTR & WYDU for focusing on propping new good underground album. It seems most rap blogs focus on crying that “hip hop is dead”, or chronicle a few rap stars’, like Jay-Z, every move.

Have a good drive to PA. If your car has a cassette player, connect a tape adapter to the Ipod, will def make the long hours more enjoyable.

David October 13, 2007 at 4:06 pm

First, hope all is well w/ your family, just had a family member pass this week as well. Hold ya head…

Now to the important ish. I feel what you’re sayin about the LB. However, I don’t feel it sounds anything like 9th. 9th is gettin lazy with his beats, and Dream Merchant really didn’t impress me overall (why does he start all his songs the same? That turns me off).

Obviously, no album they put out will compare to “The Listening,” because there’s no way to recapture that time in hip hop. However, like I said before, we are in a “time” of hip hop as we speak, and don’t look at the past ta judge it. We’re in the best year of hiphop since the golden 93-96 era! I honestly believe that. Live in the time.

I love every joint on here. I judge joints by how my forehead crinkles when I hear it. Here’s the list:

“Sirens” – a good crinkle due ta content, and beat selection. Love ta hear LB w/ a different sound.

“Can’t Win for Losing” – wow. I was crinkled from beginning to end. The drums hit, and I’m not a music major, but the does a triple instead of a double on the break (help me here?!). Anyway, most expect a double there, instant dope shit.

“After the Party” – clownin intro, and Poohbie rips the first verse. “Dikemebe Mutombo/blockin all attempts.” The bassline is hypnotic.

“Step it Up” – Hi Tek does it again. I couldn’t wait ta hear this since the sampler. One of my favorite joints this year.

“Dreams” – I’m tired. I leave the reviewing to Eric. The intro says it all…

The pattern here is I enjoy LB when they’re aren’t on some 9th ish. It’s refreshing. Dope album though. Will be in my rotation for a long time. Moreso than the Minstrel Show. Give it some time, it will grow on ya.

Thadeacon October 13, 2007 at 4:09 pm

^^ That’s me.

BTW, I wouldn’t like the album either if I went to work out and listened to it! There’s a few joints, but I’m in a different mindstate workin out. That’s just me though.


Fifteen October 14, 2007 at 1:42 pm

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.

YES! I completely agree with you. It’s such a beautiful thing to see hip hop heal its wounds. i keep viewing the success of all of these “underground” (so-called b/c the masses are clearly buying, which means they’re only buried underground b/c of radio cats) classics as a sign of resistence in a larger cultural movement to take back hip hop. I’m gonna go bump that LB. thanks for keeping it up.

Fifteen October 14, 2007 at 2:45 pm

oh btw, Fatbeats has some production credits up for the album:

Jaz October 15, 2007 at 6:35 am

I still like the first album, and most of the last one, but I have heard this twice and found it on the whole boring, yes there are some good cuts on it and I have always liked “Good Clothes.

I hope all is well with your Dad and your other half Eric and don’t worry about The Deacon, he can have his opinion…the odd thing is, I thought backpackers liked LB?

Pete(r) October 15, 2007 at 9:26 pm

I agree with you and the post above RE bloggers (all of us) tending to jump the gun – perhaps a byproduct of the fast pace world (thanks internet leaks) that music has become; you know, the idea that we need “this” now, then we need the next “thing” tomorrow. Admittedly it took me a few listens to adjust to the “new” sound/direction of LB, but I think this album play pretty nicely from start to stop. Right now, “That Ain’t Love” is my joint.

Peace & keep well,

John Dawson October 16, 2007 at 12:03 am

I really dislike the LB album and that is after listening to it no less than 10 times. I love LB, but I don’t get it. When I heard the Seperate But Equal mixtape with DJ Drama I was so hyped. I hoped THIS was LB’s new sound. But songs about clothes and parties? If this is the new sound, than I will keep the older shit on replay and forget this album ever happened.

Anonymous October 16, 2007 at 3:36 am

that after the party intro is actually a parody of jamie foxx.. at a roast, some no-name comic tried to clown jamie, and jamie started playin like he was the guys conscience.. funny as fuck, search youtube for it.

Nonchalant Misfit October 21, 2007 at 6:16 am

First, this is a great blog! Even if it’s not updated frequently or regularly, what’s already here is good stuff to reference, so keep it up!

Secondly, in regards to “Getback” and those who dislike it, it’s really this simple: It ain’t meant for you. Phonte and Pooh have already proven on their prior 2 albums, 3-4 mixtapes and countless guestspots how nice they are on the mic. They don’t need to rap about how good they can rap repeatedly. They’ve earned the right to venture off and explore and/or elaborate on different subject matter. Stuff that the average joe can relate to. If you can’t personally connect to the shit Tay & Pooh talk about on “Getback”, don’t proceed to trash it, ’cause like I said, it ain’t meant for you. You might wanna listen to Canibus or Jedi Mind Tricks, or 7L & Esoteric if you wanna hear rappers talk about how good they can rap. Little Brother is for hardworking folk who struggle through everyday shit and aren’t necessarily guaranteed a great future, but try to make the best of it. The music on “Getback” touches upon the different aspects of day-to-day living for us blue-collar types, and even provides an outlet for us to laugh at the absurdity of the activities we partake in in the pursuit of happiness. I found myself laughing more than a few times listening to the situations portrayed in “Getback”. Humor, and not taking yourself seriously, is what’s lacking in hip-hop nowadays…

If you can’t laugh with, or even at least AT, ‘Tay and Pooh, then maybe the shit ain’t for you.

I got the leak, and I am most definitely coppin’ it on Tuesday.

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