Phonte was right

Are certain types of hip-hop too smart for poor black people? This seemed like a reasonable enough argument to me when Phonte, the best rapper in Little Brother put it forth the other day.

There was a great article in the Village Voice some time last year about how black hip-hop groups with political content like the Coup and the Perceptionists couldn’t get black people to show up to their concerts. The Roots are notorious for being enjoyed mostly by white people.

I guess the crux of the argument is whether black people aren’t showing up to these shows because the music sucks or because their too dim to understand the content of the the music. I like all of the aforementioned groups, but none of them are so great that you couldn’t justifiably not like them.

XXL’s own Noz, who opened up a jar of ether and spread some on Phonte, put forth Kanye West and OutKast as examples of smart hip-hop groups who would’ve been able to play Fayetteville’s Summer Jam. But I’m not sure if I buy that argument, since I don’t find Kanye West particularly intelligent and OutKast is no longer worth a shit.

Little Brother may not be a particularly great or original group, but I’d still put them as being better than almost anyone on the lineup at Fayetteville’s Summer Jam, which would also give the lie to the theory that the crowd wasn’t feeling Little Brother because they just weren’t good enough.

Three 6 Mafia made arguably the best rap song that came out last year, but I don’t know that there’s anything else in their catalog approaching that level. Some of the rest of the groups they had playing there were pretty shitty even by southern hip-hop standards. (Sorry, I had to go there).

You could argue that acts like Yung Joc, who’s got the most popular rap song out right now, and Dem Franchize Boyz are playing a style of hip-hop that’s just much more popular right now. But popular doesn’t necessarily constitute better. I think we can at least agree that Little Brother is as good, if not better than either of those groups.

So if these other groups and Little Brother are comparable in quality, but the crowd responds much better to the other groups because they’re currently being favored by the Tall Israeli-run media, I think you’d have to conclude that the audience is just dumb, which is the conclusion Phonte arrived at before he started furiously backpedaling.

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    yeah i dunno if i’d call kanye or outkast SMART, but they were able to bring non-ignorant views to light… but then again, so did Jadakiss on “Why”. which is kind of my point… poor black people still care about social issues, and if you find a way to package the shit right, they will listen. juvenile talked about using fema loot to cop coke. it’s all in the packaging… phonte and lb don’t appeal to a pop audience. that’s really the end all. i mean its not like the pop crowd dislikes 9th wonder’s sound, that destiny’s child track “girl” was on mtv and bet all the fucking time… its just that they are not felt.

    can’t really blame the audience… lb IS on a “major”… they should have the means to make a somewhat dent into the larger scheme of things. i still see Slum Village videos on vh1 soul and shit… i’ve seen that one video LB did ONCE on bet… the one with white joe scudda in it. whattupwiththat? don’t put everything on the audience… blame the TIs.

  • http://novaslim.com nOva

    So basically the hip-hop that’s making certain black people rich is the hip-hop that reaches poor blacks? Whereas the hip-hop born of oppression and hard times is too intelligent for them?

    Additionally, are upper-class, so-called upwardly mobile black folks more receptive of groups like Little Brother?

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Hip-Hop fans are getting dumb as shit.

    I normally don’t get all conspiracy-theory with stuff, but I’m sure “The Man” prefers the young people of this country to be more concerned with hooking up & staying inebriated instead of mobilizing to fix what’s wrong with this country.

    I get that it’s part of your bit to not like Kanye, but even you have to see that his music at least encourages originality & thinking for ones-self, even if that same someone chooses to enjoy the superficial materialistic aspects of hip-hop culture.

    My point? When “All Falls Down” & “Jesus Walks” dropped, what were the top 40 stations–the most listened to stations–playing? “Yeah” by Stupid Usher & Stupid Lil’ Jon & Luda “I used to be able to rap until I started pandering to my 13 year old caucasian fan-base” Cris.

    So yeah, the T.I.’s & the corporations and the gov’t would rather see us high & preggers than studying or thinking for ourselves, and that carries over into what kinda music gets made’n'played, and the copycats simply follow suit.

    If people would support intelligent music, or original music, that kind of music would become popular (duh), and more artists would lean towards that (the dick-rider theory, if you will).

    I know. I’m daydreaming.

    PS-I was First, but this took a while to type out.

    UNO.

  • DocZeus

    I’m always sort of amazed when hip hop journalists wanna excuse the worst elements of the culture because its popular right now and call backpack rap boring. I swear if Little Brother were selling like Dem Franchize Boyz and Kweli suddenly sold like Jeezy, they would be singing a different tune. Kanye West, inexplicably became the media’s conscious rap poster boy du jour, and guess what he’s arguably the most popular rapper right now. 50 Cent became the media’s golden boy around GRODT and guess what he became the most popular rapper. Any rap group if you play it enough can be a hit.

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    >So basically the hip-hop that’s making certain black people rich is the hip-hop that reaches poor blacks? Whereas the hip-hop born of oppression and hard times is too intelligent for them?

    Additionally, are upper-class, so-called upwardly mobile black folks more receptive of groups like Little Brother?

    ***

    Never let it be said that gay people can’t read.

  • Definition

    If Dem Franchize boys and Young Joc were opening for a Little Brother concert then they too would have been booed as they don’t have the same fanbase.

    ergo Phonte should quit his bitching.

  • steve

    another phonte post? those dudes should fall back what’d they expect- a roar of approval from the their NC brethren who would clearly rather hear jig gip-pop than a generic group of “where are they from’s?” tho i dig the minstrel show, i agree bol-first reaction is generally the right now. backpedalling pussy.

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    >If Dem Franchize boys and Young Joc were opening for a Little Brother concert then they too would have been booed as they don’t have the same fanbase.

    Dem Franchize Boyz and Yung Joc suck though. What if it was Three 6 Mafia?

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    ^Or UGK, for that matter.

  • http://www.honorablemedia.com/blog Honorable

    I think Phonte was wrong for saying that they are too smart for hip-hop or that crowd because that made him appear pretenious and above hip-hop from the gate.

    Simply put, they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. They might as well had Jessica Simpson in that line up cuz she stands out like a sore thumb just like LB. (Even tho have of those black dudes woulda tried to holla at Jessica Simpson).

    Look at bold (and stupid) their 2nd album, The Minstrel Show, appeared to hip-hop because these were up-and-coming cats that tried to “challenge” hip-hop with their first to bat with a major label. How arrogant is it that Phonte was the ringleader for the Minstrel Show making fun of where hip-hop is at, but they have no place in hip-hop?

    How does it feel that now Phonte makes LB looks like a bunch of complainers instead of just making good music?

  • http://novaslim.com nOva

    Bol, that made me chuckle.

  • http://sexy-results.blogspot.com Ian

    I’ve never seen a hip-hop show where people gave a shit about the opening act. It’s always a thankless job, and you should just be happy if you got paid in cash.

    That said, “The Minstrel Show” is hardly a complex work. You pretty much get the gist of all the points they’re going to make from the title alone.

  • yaboy

    everyone that performed at that show in NC = wack – LB. people played the most on commercial radio = everyone at that show in NC – LB.

  • http://www.myspace.com/angelsometimes Cthulhu

    Poor people in general are unintelligent. But it does seem like white people, poor or not, are slightly more inclined to be open to originality and free-thought. I don’t think it’s about intelligence as much as it is about conformity. Black society seems to have real disdain for individuality.

  • Big J

    Backpeddling, no, clarifying, yes. What dude said wasn’t earth shattering, but honest and just stating the obovious. I know sometimes the truth hurts, but damn it’s about time we start re-evaluating ourselves. If you were offended by what Phonte said, then good, take it for what is was, an observation of us. LB isn’t too intelligent, but from Noz’s Fayettenam pic you couldn’t tell. Rap music has never had to conform to one format until recently to get some spins, which is ridiculous. Diversity is what keep rap raw, and on the cutting edge. The media does overload us with regional $#it that they think is hot and that’s why we keep getting the same crap over and over. Kids only request what they have already heard 12 times that day.

  • Projectnrm

    It goes without saying that the more popular culture applies to the lowest common denominator, the more successful it will be. This isn’t just hip-hop music, either. The dumber and more accessible a TV show, movie, or CD is, the greater chance that it will be popular.

    With that being said, I was never really a fan of Little Brother, and this recent event just makes me like them even less. I’m not sure who told them that they were God’s gift to rap music, but they really aren’t that good. Denouncing gold chains and misogyny in your lyrics is nothing new. Many acts have done it before Little Brother (and been more successful as well), so Phonte doesn’t need to act like he’s coming down from the mountain with the Ten Hip Hop Commandments for us “heathens”.

    Bold statement: The Whisper Song was more clever than anything Little Brother has ever done. And the Yin Yang Twins are clinically retarded.

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Projectnrm– I agree for the most part, but “Coon” tv & movies don’t do nearly as well as LCD music.

    This entire year in “popular” hip-hop is the equivalent of “Homeboys from Outer Space” lasting 5 years. With the emergence of awful rap (who would’ve thought Mike Jones & Paul Wall wouldn’t even be the worse we’d see?), it’s the equivalent of “Soul Plane” doing $95 million at the box office.

    Altho’ I lol’d at “Bold statement: The Whisper Song was more clever than anything Little Brother has ever done. And the Yin Yang Twins are clinically retarded.”

    Moving on…

    Hip-Hop is catering to the long t-shirt/”12 abortions by 17″ set. I’ve said it a million times: Those fuckers don’t buy albums, they just do like Bol and download everything.

    People that like good music with a bit of a message or a bit of intelligence need to open their fucking wallets up and buy a cd by someone who makes that type of music.

    Fucking people would rather spend $60 a month on some Optimum Online shit to steal music and bitch about it rather than support an artist who deserves a fair shot.

  • monty

    Look, whatever your opinion is on LB, they picked a wrong venue and they paid the price. The fact that we are here discussing Phonte’s opinion on the event is beyond me. Let the “little puppy” lick his wounds and “go on and keep the party going.”

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    man rey is even gayer than bol now

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    u still a faggit ass nigaa tho bol

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Transi! How you been, sis?

  • bhillboy

    i read books to get educated i don’t need a social studies lesson when i’m trying to party.

  • http://Yahoo.com Justin

    ^^lmfao

    dont know why people are hating on little brother other than common,lupe and kweli i have yet to see an artist with a real hip hop song have their video played in the past 6 years kanye is decent but does anybody else notice that he portrays the ignorant black man who says nothing that we all as black dont already know whenever he gets the chance sometimes is just best to keep your thoughts to yourself and if anybody believes that he is the rebirth of hip hop please shower with TV

  • http://Yahoo.com Justin

    anyways little brother has a place in hip hop history as by far as the actual sense of the southern rap history who actually rap about real topics other han there 600 ki’s of coke or 2 million dollar watch or 600 naked dimes in my opinion they actually are the greatest rappers to ever come out of the south for those who say scarface keep in mind that this man is real but his lyrics are TRASH!

  • Projectnrm

    Place in hip hop history?

    The greatest rappers to ever come out of the south?

    PLEASE tell this that post was some sort of cruel joke.

  • d rock

    LB had the best album of 2005 period. And if they would get 500 spins a day like 36 mafia had or kanye get they would be 5 times platinum by now.

  • Epitome

    Yung Joc has the hottest record in the universe now, based off one single, a mind numblingly repetitive track with 3 notes, and a stupid dance done in the video to said track. Even the born again coke rap lovers over at Pitchfork & The Village Voice panned it.

    As ignorant, self serving & self righteous as it sounds on the surface (We’re too advanced for these ignorant fools), maybe it’s time to consider that Little Brother maybe, just maybe, goes over the heads of a Hip-Hop nation or “The Streets” that deems the likes of Yung Joc most deserving of their money.

  • CUE

    >>”or because their too dim”

    the word is ‘they’re’…jerk

  • http://www.myspace.com/littlebrother Phonte of Little Brother

    No backpedaling from me Bol, but I appreciate the shout out nonetheless.

    I DO think that the majority of the hip-hop audience is dumb, but not because they DON’T LIKE Little Brother (as I’ve been misquoted as saying several times over), or because our music is ‘too intelligent’ for them (which I never said), but because they have to be TOLD what to like or not like.

    This has been proven time and time again on both sides of the spectrum, from a pre-heavy rotation DFB performing “White Tee” to crickets, to a pre-’College Dropout’ Kanye performing “All Falls Down” to crickets.

    This has NOTHING to do with race and/or class (although your ‘too smart for poor black people’ was a great attention-catching leadline), and everything to do with a lack of independent thinking in our society at large. (I mean, you do realize that ‘tastemaker’ is an actual term used in the music business, right?)

    In this country, everything from Top 40 radio to the war on ‘terrorism,’ all operate on the principle: if you play it/say it enough, eventually the people will believe you. Repetition is law.

    For the cats who purchased “Minstrel Show” or any other LB project and genuinely wasn’t moved, hey, at least you gave it an honest shot and I appreciate it. Everything ain’t for everybody.

    However, if you think the SOLE reason that LB isn’t selling is because our music just ‘isn’t that good,’ you’re very naive.

    Tastes are made, not chosen.

    Now, if Atlantic Records pours a fuckload of money/promotion/called-in favors, etc. into our next project, and niggas still do 80K, I’ll be the first one to say ‘y’all told me so.’

    Until then, your best bet is to fall back and watch me. (Which, judging from all the hit dogs hollering over my simple comments, y’all are obviously doing).

    And doing it very well, I might add.

    Peace,
    Tay

  • http://differentkitchen.blogspot.com ian

    > That said, “The Minstrel Show” is hardly a complex work. You pretty much get the gist of all the points they’re going to make from the title alone.

    > With that being said, I was never really a fan of Little Brother, and this recent event just makes me like them even less. I’m not sure who told them that they were God’s gift to rap music, but they really aren’t that good. Denouncing gold chains and misogyny in your lyrics is nothing new. Many acts have done it before Little Brother (and been more successful as well), so Phonte doesn’t need to act like he’s coming down from the mountain with the Ten Hip Hop Commandments for us “heathens”.

    Bold statement: The Whisper Song was more clever than anything Little Brother has ever done. And the Yin Yang Twins are clinically retarded.

    Exactly.

    I won’t even get into how disturbing the “poor blacks = dumb n-ggaz” argument being loosely tossed around on this thread is but can someone break down for me what’s so intelligent about LB’s music?

    The (other) Ian pretty much hit it on the head with the quote above. Ditto for Projectnrm’s observation quoted above too. Complaining about bling, mysongyny and violence does not equal making great music and frankly to use one “conscious” rapper as an example of the hypocrisy going around on this issue, Common is my man but I’ve heard him say some ish just as disrespectful to women on his albums as any of these so-called ig’nant artists and still seen him put up on a pedestal as an example of “real” hip hop.

    Wow….

  • god

    “He who imitates evil always goes beyond the example that is set. On the contrary, he who imitates good always falls a little bit short.”

    Noz > bol

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Phonte– Would you really want the masses brain-washed into liking your stuff the way all the shit crack’n'trap rap is?

    No offense, but unless my people were starving, I’d rather brick with integrity than go platinum via payola.

  • TYLER DURDEN

    How do we really know that was Phonte?

  • DocZeus

    How do we really know that was Bun B? We don’t.

  • Projectnrm

    >>Tastes are made, not chosen.

    I’ll agree with that…to an extent.

    Its very true that a lot of the albums that come out are only popular because the record label poured money into it, either through encouraging radio spins, getting play on MTV, or some other avenues.

    WIth that being said, studios pump money into high-profile releases all the time, only to have the thing bomb immediately.

    People DO choose what they like. The money that studios pump in only helps get music to the people who would want to hear it. No amount of money is going to make people like Little Brother, or anyone else for that matter. However, there are tons of people out there who WOULD like LB, but just aren’t aware that Phonte & Co. even exist. That’s where the label money comes in.

  • Meka Soul

    >Fucking people would rather spend $60 a month on some Optimum Online shit to steal music and bitch about it rather than support an artist who deserves a fair shot.>

    first off, i use at&t high-speed internet to pilfer my shit. second, the last albums i bought was “the minstrel show,” “fishscale” & mary j blige’s ” my life,” & in my opinion everything else that’s dropped has been a shit sammich. honestly, who wants to buy the same thing every week? young jeezy = TI = lil wayne [that shit with kirk cameron... er... robin thicke is pretty nice, though] = rick ross = d4l = bow wow = all other shitbag “albums” that’s dropped.

    and i don’t wear 7xl white tees, nor have 18 kids.

    >People that like good music with a bit of a message or a bit of intelligence need to open their fucking wallets up and buy a cd by someone who makes that type of music.>

    for example…

    >Bold statement: The Whisper Song was more clever than anything Little Brother has ever done. And the Yin Yang Twins are clinically retarded.>

    reluctant co-sign. on both points.

  • Belize

    Let me put on to game playa, if Lil Bro would spit the same shit they got on some hard beats ala dre or sha money xl..they’d be on some public enemy 80′s shit, but because they keep putin that boom bap shit (like noz said)..its wack to real niggaz…and im syin real because when ur on ur grind hard beats put u in a good state of mind..y do u think common’s “corner” was so hot..because the beat was hard so we had to listen!

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Meka Soul– As much as I’m aware that you are the Guardian of all Comments here at xxl.com, I obviously was not including you amongst the 16 year old white tee set.

    I am also definitely NOT referring to albums by the crack’n'trap rap set when I’m talking about buying albums of substance.

    People can burn Lil TI Jeezy Ross Wow all they want.. shit, literally if they need to.

  • UnFaded Disciple

    Have to admit and notice that alot of Hip Hop fans do “dick ride” and follow the dumbass music produce by lame ass rappers. Lil Wayne who is praise by alot of people down here in Texas (damn…), dick ride the nigga for what? He put out an awful ass album (Carter 2) and now is getting clowned for letting Gillie Da Kid ghost write his shit? I will never say dude was “Greatest Rapper of All Time”

    Truthfully so like what Rey said, you have to quit downloading people’s music if you want the certain rapper to propser and do better ya know? Don’t let the person flop.

    Open ya mind…and ya wallets

  • Gerald

    I’ll admit that I’ve completely slept on Minstrel Show so I can’t speak on LB but I will say this: rappers have been complaining about mainstream rap and r&b since the days of Public Enemy and Ice Cube. Why does nobody label them as “backpackers”? This is the reason I hate these damn labels, in the history of the genre, rap has backlashed against r&b and disco. Now the tables have been turned, mainstream rap and shitty r&b are becoming more identical.

    Kudos to whoever said rap is all about conformity nowadays, fake gangstas/ BET children have become more insecure than white women on what to wear, how to talk, what sells and what doesn’t.

    To the people who complain about “backpacker” rap; stop frontin. I guarentee who’ve complained before about how shitty rap is at least once in your life, whether you came to the realization after listening to “Candy Shop” or “Laffy Taffy.” Not saying that backpacker rappers will change hip-hop or are immune to criticism, not at all, just don’t forget that we all face a common enemy.

  • Enlightened

    I tried to explain this on Phonte’s blog and I will keep explaining until somebody listens.
    IT’S NOT THE LYRICS, IT’S THE BEATS. Yes, critics praise 9th Wonder. THIS IS THE FACT. The majority of the “hip-hop” listeners (you may say rap listeners) do not like that kind of production. Simple as that. The obscure samples used by producers like 9th wonder, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, etc. are for a select audience. The majority of the country outside of the East Coast do not like those kind of beats. What do all the rest of those Summer Jam artists have in common. Keyboards and live instruments. They may still sample but it’s an entirely different sound. That’s the bottom line. It’s that simple. Now give us a DJ Paul, Mannie Fresh, Scott Storch, etc. beat and we’re grooving. I can listen to both styles and I appreciate that “9th Wonder” style which descended from older East Coast hip-hop. But the majority of the country does not want to hear that – ESPECIALLY AT A CONCERT. Even look at Dead Prez. People try to throw them in that category but they ain’t going to 9th Wonder and Premier-style producers for no beats. They like the shit the majority likes.

  • G Off

    Is Phonte’s argument that LB deserves to be shoved down our throats over DFB or Joc? Why? What separates your music from the million other rappers out there that are trying to break through? A deal with Atlantic? There are plenty of rappers/ groups that would kill for the opportunity and promotion that LB has received so far.

    The problem is that LB didn’t come through with an album that is going to push them to that next level of artists. Big artists put out big records, small artists complain about how the label/ fans/ media is giving them a fair shake.

    LB: put out a single that people can relate to, learn something from, whatever you want- but make sure it knocks and is something original so that people can get excited about it.

  • G Off

    correction ^ “isn’t giving them a fair shake.”

  • Meka Soul

    >y do u think common’s “corner” was so hot..because the beat was hard so we had to listen!>

    co-sign, although i’ve been a fan of common since “one day it’ll all make sense.” i even [unfortunately] still have my copy of “electric circus.”

    >He put out an awful ass album (Carter 2) and now is getting clowned for letting Gillie Da Kid ghost write his shit? I will never say dude was “Greatest Rapper of All Time”>

    tha carter 2 = those shit sammich albums by father mc & positive k combined.

    what the fuck is a gillie anyways?

  • Enlightened

    NEWSFLASH: This shit that’s playing on the radio does not mean it is selling. Phonte and certain people are assuming that the masses like this music just because we hear it all the time. NO! Look at what Franchise Boys sold. Look at what D4L sold. Check the soundscans. The weakest artists are not moving units. So I think Phonte is on the right track, but wrong. Radio can force a song to grow on you, like you might catch yourself singing “It’s Going Down..” but you are not going to go buy the damn CD unless you really like it. If you go and buy a whole CD, because 1 song grew on you that you used to hate, yeah, then you are kinda slow. And I don’t think too many people are doing that.

  • http://chopdezol.com ovawit

    i swear…everybody is overlooking one single thing:if it aint knockin…people aint listening….Okast got both…so did Goodie Mob once….to this day though, outkast is the only group that seems to get it….you can be as revolutionary as Assata, but your beats better be as hot as damn near anything coming out of the south right now/Boiiiiing

  • UnFaded Disciple

    >what the fuck is a gillie anyways?

    A dude from Philly who said he ghost write for Lil Wayne’s Carter 1

  • Garbage

    All I gotta say is that alot of hip-hop music now just got a nice beat but lyrics are straight garbage. If the beat is hot people gonna listen to it or buy it, bottom line, no matter how wack the lyrics are.

  • Meka Soul

    >A dude from Philly who said he ghost write for Lil Wayne’s Carter 1>

    i know that… i’m literally asking what the fuck is a gillie? that’s about as uncreative as crunchy black.

  • UnFaded Disciple

    lmfao

  • P-Matik

    Man, I honestly don’t think that the hip-hop “fan” that likes Yung Joc or these other corny radio placetakers really are into rap like that anyway. I mean back in like ’90, when Hammer offially went pop, he was selling a TON of records but “real heads” were ready to take his head off. SOMEBODY was buying his music. It was those that probably weren’t into rap like that.

    I mean back then, if you were into Showbiz & AG or Pete Rock & CL, etc. (rappers that true to it) you were most likely a real head and into the music like that. I mean back then you had only TWO video shows (that lasted an hour each) and if you were fortunate, you had a dedicated rap radio show to hear the latest tracks.

    Forward to 2006, it’s still the same thing except now radio companies FINALLY have convinced rappers that money > integrity and radio can now play rap during day slots without a complaint.

    You STILL have an “underground” (which is mostly trash today) where rappers are sticking to the script, but you also have the level where these cats rappin’ just want money. The fans of those money cats are people that just like what is popular. They are the same people that say brainless stuff like “Music ain’t supposed to make you think!” Yeah, tell that to Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, and 80% of rappers before 1998.

    I’m a fan (NOT a stan) of Little Brother and all that but I just can’t see how people can say they are completely wack and then say Yung Joc and Rick Ross are the best out. Don’t get me started on Lil Wayne. Back in the days, that biting that Wayne is doing would have had his hip-hop card yoked with the quickness.

  • Omar

    Meka Soul:
    >Bold statement: The Whisper Song was more clever than anything Little Brother has ever done. And the Yin Yang Twins are clinically retarded.>

    Actually, Listen to Cheatin on The Ministrel Show, advantage LB.

    Damn, Bol had some good points, did you bump your head nigga.

  • gluvnast

    wouldn’t call it being “smart”, but instead unrelated. people lean more to things they can relate better to.

    one reason people like the roots, or someone like MF doom is more attractive to the white audience is because the majority of hiphop fans ARE white.

    also, artists like that aren’t hood related, not saying they should be, just saying they aren’t. and hiphop originated from the streets, rooted from the streets, and the streets define whut movement they want to do…

    i listen to everything, and if you REALLY want to be technical about it, there’s NOT SO MUCH intellectual shit in the underground backpack word. most of them just rap about ignorant shit as well only have a better vocabulary. you listen to the DANGERDOOM album, they have fuckin’ cartoon characters and saying off the wall shit, not any true food for thought…you listen to DR. OCTAGON, no different, even the ROOTS done a song with PROJECT PAT….

    i think rappers as a WHOLE no matter whut background they are from, are either too afraid, or too ignorant to speak some knowledge….

    niggaz will embrace it if your presentation is on point…ice cube’s latest album have alot of jewels in it, reminiscent to death certificate almost…even if it still very distant, however…but that album is SELLING in the hood because people still can relate

    back in the day, alot of hood niggaz were dropping knowledge even in a negative POV, and it was receptive….the problem is that NOBODY have the balls to do it…

    you have few that are like nas, lupe, kanye…and they’re being universally accepted…

    back with the minstrel show….i think the CONCEPT is dope, but whut message within the SONGS itself were they talking about??? aside from the skits, there was nothing that went around the subject, just mostly alot of battle raps and punchlines…since when THAT meant you’re intelligent?

  • gluvnast

    also ANOTHER big misconeption…that if it’s getting alot of spins on the radio that it’s SELLING!!!

    tell that to all those albums that flopped…hell, dem franchise boyz just BARELY made gold

    gnarls barkley is on the verge of going platinum….can anybody explain that?

    i mean i KNOW, why…it was a rhetorical question

  • Meka Soul

    >Actually, Listen to Cheatin on The Ministrel Show, advantage LB.

  • Meka Soul

    >Actually, Listen to Cheatin on The Ministrel Show, advantage LB.>

    if the members of little brother were afflicted with down’s syndrome like the yin yang twins, i’d have to agree.

  • http://www.digital-djs.com Saskwatch

    Why do people get offened about the shit. There are high schools in this country that only graduate 27% of their senior class, but these students recite Young Joc (which aint a hard feat to do). Tell me, if we don’t have an intelligence gap in the Hip-Hop community. Name a statistic that doesn’t point to the fact that the Hip-Hop community is not in trouble? Its not even a matter of Little Brother being a good group or not, its a matter of what information is getting fed to our kids.

  • gluvnast

    [QUOTE]I tried to explain this on Phonte’s blog and I will keep explaining until somebody listens.
    IT’S NOT THE LYRICS, IT’S THE BEATS. Yes, critics praise 9th Wonder. THIS IS THE FACT. The majority of the “hip-hop” listeners (you may say rap listeners) do not like that kind of production. Simple as that. The obscure samples used by producers like 9th wonder, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, etc. are for a select audience. The majority of the country outside of the East Coast do not like those kind of beats. What do all the rest of those Summer Jam artists have in common. Keyboards and live instruments. They may still sample but it’s an entirely different sound. That’s the bottom line. It’s that simple. Now give us a DJ Paul, Mannie Fresh, Scott Storch, etc. beat and we’re grooving. I can listen to both styles and I appreciate that “9th Wonder” style which descended from older East Coast hip-hop. But the majority of the country does not want to hear that – ESPECIALLY AT A CONCERT. Even look at Dead Prez. People try to throw them in that category but they ain’t going to 9th Wonder and Premier-style producers for no beats. They like the shit the majority likes[END QUOTE]

    ^^^^i agree to a certain extent, PRODUCTION is the key of whut makes or breaks a rap record. but i disagree on the type of production, whereas it’s HOW that certain artist incoporates it…i seen rappers use the SAME BEAT and it had a completely different feel to it…

    the perfect example is ICE CUBE’s “jacking for beats” and he was exactly on point when he said “steal your beat, and give it that gangster touch!”…and it was exactly that!

    50 cent’s production crew is MOSTLY from a backpacker background…when you have people like NO ID, DJ HI-TEK, ALCHEMIST, these are producers that are known for that backpacker shit…but 50 cent flip it to song like a pop record…

    dj premier right now is producing christina aguilara’s (s/p) album…9th wonder done shit with destiny child and jay-z…they still have their signature style yet its how that artist uses it…

    kanye west can make beats for the underground as well as the mainstream…and i HIGHLY doubt, that in the back of his mind is that he’s going to make a “backpacker” beat vs. a mainstream beat, instead just saying making a beat that’s DOPE….

  • http://www.freespeechmusic.com Free Speech

    It’s just a sad example of how media illiteracy undermines blacks in America. We’re conditioned into following the agendas of corporations, the government, and tastemakers. It goes beyond just music. The collection of underfunded inner city schools, poor representations of blacks in the media, underdeveloped communities, low home ownership rates, and poor political representation all contribute to a brainwashing that drives us into underachievement. Free your mind. Free your speech.

    -Free Speech // http://www.freespeechmusic.com

  • liveguy

    If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…..

  • Randomname

    [quote]Why do people get offened about the shit. There are high schools in this country that only graduate 27% of their senior class, but these students recite Young Joc (which aint a hard feat to do). Tell me, if we don’t have an intelligence gap in the Hip-Hop community. Name a statistic that doesn’t point to the fact that the Hip-Hop community is not in trouble? Its not even a matter of Little Brother being a good group or not, its a matter of what information is getting fed to our kids. [/quote]

    C/S

  • J Ball

    WTF is up with everybody posting blog length responses?

    It’s so hilarious that we all grandstand like our OPINION is the end all/be all. Phonte and Bol are both wrong for calling people ignorant because they dont like Little Brother’s music. Spins dont equal hits fellas, popular songs do. The type of songs LB makes arent going to be popular to a mainstream audience. Is that the audience’s fault or LB’s? As a LB fan this really skews my view of the group.

    On top of that, instead of attacking the Corp.’s that wont play your music, you instead attack the fans who obviously have no control over what plays on the radio or on BET. Divide and Conquer….apparently the illuminati’s still got it.

  • DJ C “thE OLd souL”

    90% of the time in the music business today, and I hate 2 say this, success is not measured by how much of a great product you put it out. It’s all about how much people hear it. It’s basic psychology. The more people are conditioned to hearing a song, the more they will get used to it and like it. Ask yourself this question, have you ever hated a song but for some odd reason you knew every word like the person who loved the song? It’s because you have heard it so much, you conditioned to like it. Record companies know this and that’s why they pay so much for radio stations to play their jointz (yes, Payola still goes on). If artist like the Roots, Talib, Mos, Com Sense, & LB had a machine behind them. They would have been huge years ago. However, it’s good to slowly come up and build your own following because while you made not have overnight success, you will have crediblity has and artist and most importantly, you will have a career. The Roots have been around since 94 and now they are the talk of the town. Think in your head how many Hip-Hop artists have come and gone since ’94 and you will understand what I’m sayin.

  • http://noneofyourbusiness.com Ace

    well you kind of have a point but seriously people on a whole people especially black people will dance to stupid shit. Hell, it could be about a song about lynching black people without really clearly saying it all it needs is the right beat and it keeps niggas head nodding point blank.
    Our age is programmed to do that shit. That is from what I read from Phonte. I understood the article from what your fellow writer wrote but at the same time that shit was unneccesary to me he just wanted the attention

  • CobraCommander

    FYI Circa 97 everyone was saying these exact same things about puffy and shit like Mo’ Money mo’ Problems etc.. Which are now certified classics. B/f that ppl were bitching about Hammer. Personally, After Wu Tang peaked its been all downhill from there.

  • Enlightened

    GLUVNAST
    I see what you’re trying to say but you missed the point. I produce music and if you produce or are around producers, there’s a difference between someone that will go straight for the keyboard and someone that goes straight for the sampler. Then in that sampler crowd, there’s a division in that – people like Kanye, Just Blaze, etc. that sample sounds that actually originated from either a keyboard or a live instrumentalist. Then there are the 9th Wonders, Premiers etc. that go for the obscure album sound of old jazz records and other similar styles on purpose. It’s not being a backpacker for the sake of being a backpacker, it’s the sound they’re looking for.
    You said 50 Cent uses Hi-tek. Listen to his sound. It’s nothing like what 9th does. In fact, Hi-Tek said out of his own mouth that the reason he distanced himself from Kweli was he’s a street nigga and he didn’t want to be lumped in that category with Kweli and the “backpackers.” Kweli admitted that too.
    Kanye and the Alchemist walk that line in between the two the best. They both sample a lot, but you have to look at what they sample. Take “Through The Wire” for instance. 9th Wonder would probably never sample Chaka Khan. It’s different when you sample somebody like Bobby Byrd or another Jazz Great or something.
    Most of us are used to drums, basslines, horns, all of that. That’s where Scott Storch, Cool and Dre, Mannie Fresh, Timbaland, and everybody who produced the Summer Jam artists etc. shut it down at. Those are keyboards, drums and sound modules. That’s the difference. That’s the music to our ears.

  • Big Q-Style

    “I guess the crux of the argument is whether black people aren’t showing up to these shows because the music sucks or because THEIR too dim to understand the content of the the music.” Bol, THEIR should be THEY’RE, but otherwise this was a good read.

  • http://myspace.com/crucialrey Tony Tovar

    Wat About MExicans? lol
    we listen to LB TOO !!

  • a field negro in North Carolina

    Contrary to backpackers & elitists beliefs, musical preference has no bearing on one’s intelligence. I know people in grad school who would rather listen to Young Jeezy than LB, and it aint cuz they’re too profound or deep for them, its that Young Jeezy’s sound is more entertaining. Does radio have an impact on tastes? Sure it does, but if everything that got played on the radio 30 times a day went platinum, everybody wouldnt be struggling so hard right now just to go GOLD. Phonte needs to decide, does he wanna be a rap critic or an artist, he’s obviously having a hard time doing both at the same time.

  • J Ball

    ^^^^ Co Motherfuckin sign.

  • Gully_Foot

    Reality TV is all the rage, school systems are in shambles, G. Bush got elected AND re-elected and BET has girls in g-strings getting credit cards swiped through their asses and folks want to attack Phonte like America ain’t full of got damn trend-following simpletons of all races and backgrounds.

    Ey, whatever makes ya’ll feel better.

  • Malcolm

    I find it funny that LB can complain about “tastemakers” when they owe their career to the ARMY OF DICKRIDERS that comprise the okayplayer fanbase. If there’s a more programmed audience in rap than the Okayplayer msg board please point it out.

    The reason LB isn’t more successful isn’t because of lack of industry support (although I don’t disagree that they could be made super starts if the TI’s wanted them to be)…. it’s because they really do make boring music. IMO, anyone who can stomach 3 9th wonder productions in a row without thinking they’ve heard the same song twice is DUMB. In short what I’m saying is LB is pretty damn wack and the lack of reaction IS due to sub par product.

  • Drin

    Maan, dis dude is straight twisting the words of Phonte. It seems that he doesn’t digest, i.e. comprehend too well….

  • brown125

    malcolm if you really believe that then your dumb. have you ever listened to a LB cd? you talk about listening to the same song twice, thats all club shit is. its the same some over and over again beats and lyrics.

  • Pingback: syke.dk » Blog Archive » Is my music that ‘intelligent’ or are niggas just that dumb?

  • http://www.legacysoasis.com Legacy Leonard

    While I can safely agree the rap game is being dumbed down to a danceable beat and subpar rhyme fare alot these days – for I dare not call most of this commercial music real hip hop…what I won’t agreee with is the words of Phonte being misinterpreted.

    It’s not like the brother is not within his right to maybe be a bit frustrated – they far exceed the talent on that bill and being a major fan and having seen them rock live shows I don’t see how the audience could not have enjoyed them. It’s not like LB makes so-called super-conscious hip hop on the levels of Zion I and Talib Kweli etc—- they make good, down to Earth hip hop that mixes the everyday with some clarity of thought and the dreamlike feel of 9th Wonder Beats and high impact, energetic rhymes. Just good music period man.

    We cannot deny that we have birthed a new time in rap that does not necessarily care about elevating your mind or about social responsibility. People want instant gratification, that bounce, grind and feel good ,and showy type of rap. Where everything seems to be shallow and doesn’t require anything but a glass of whatever liquor and fat asses bouncing. Aside from a few shining moments of hope this is what I see—-and this to me does not represent all that hip hop is—as a matter of fact it does not represent it at all.

    Why can’t people appreciate somebody putting out music they love, putting their heart, mind and soul into—why can’t we appreciate the rudiments of what hip hop is supposed to be? A Little Brother is a refreshing addition to the game — but how would the rap loving masses know if all they know is a lean, snap or drop it like its hot? It’s like being given dirty water all the time, and then when you finally get a clean glass you’re looking at it suspect.

    Perhaps if there were more balance in how different qualities of rap music are promoted and played there we be more balance. Perhaps then a Dem Franchize Boys and a Little Brother could both get equal love — and the masses can have a more diverse sample of hip hop, something with substenance and weight.

    This almost sounds kind of snide. It’s easy to put a spin on other people’s words and not truly understand the motivation or the heart of the matter. Phonte is truly good people— him like any other good rapper just wants to make good music, give the art his heart, and in the process be respected and appreciated for it.

    Peace,
    Legacy

  • Grace

    This has nothing to do with the topic but its just something that bothers me all the time.Why do gangs kill eachother over colors and territory when they own niether.Niggas be talkin bout they run they hood n shit like that but they dont own 1 inch of land in the whole fuckin world.And killing sum 1 over colors is the stupidest shit I have heard of since i was born.It hurts me to know that some of my people aint smart enough to figure out that they shouldnt take a mans life over a color.THIS IS A MESSAGE TO ALL MY BLACK PEOPLE GANGBANGIN. STOP DOIN IT IT AINT WORTH IT. COLORS COME IN CRAYON BOXES THEY WERE NEVER MENT TO DIE FOR.THE WHOLE RED N BLUE IDEA WAS GIVEN TO US SO WE COULD FIND A WAY TO KILL EACHOTHER EASIER. WAKE UP NIGGAS!

  • boogs brown

    not to be an apologist for the crowd, but has anyone even thought to suggest that the nonreaction could’ve been due to LB’s mediocre at best live show? The most ignurnt thing, as far as this short non-media oriented Israeli’s concerned, is Phonte claiming that Fayetville should’ve showed him love just cause everyone’s black. Step your live show up, and MAYBE then you’d have an excuse ‘Te.

  • Walt

    OutKast is not worth a shit anymore? I really dont like this guy. Oh and I dont know about killin niggas over colors, where im from these nigga jus pop off just cuz they have heat. It be young niggas to jus wild’n robbin each other and shit… Thats why I too carry my heat.

  • J-ILLANOYZ

    Yo what’s with all the hating 4 on Little Brother! People y’all need 2 geta grip on reality 4 real! From what I read on Phonte’s blog is totally true about our society. The music on the radio that gets played 80 times a day is programmed 2 drone us in some way. And it’s not even good music u know it lots of stuff that these rappers talk about clothes or selling crack and dumb songs with hooks provided with acorny dance.And then it becomes the lastest carze for 12 seconds. I can’t relate 2 selling crack or bussing off gats and doing stupid ass diddy bops to songs I listen 2. And I’m tired of people catergorizing Little Brother or any other group like them as concious rap or backpacker rap. That shit is garbage man just because they don’t talk about what T.I. or Mike Jones or 50 cent do they have 2 get these corny ass labels. The Minstrel Show was deinitely one of the best albums of 2005 let alone the past 6 years man they don’t get enough credit for that. Make great thought provoking music is what an artist is set out 2 do and they’ve accomplished that immensely.People need 2 just get together and stop being closed minded and start leeting the radio program their tastes.

  • MosBang

    I guess everybody wanna put up a long post to show how smart they is?

    But yall the dumb ones this blog is about, no matter hoe hard u try to fight it!

  • Enlightened

    GRACE
    To answer some of what you said – off the subject – I feel the same way you do about the bloodshed but you are really making it sound too simple. I too am deeply troubled, like most of us are, but having grown up in a gang-dominated enviroment, color has very little to do with it. Those are the symbols – like where I’m from it’s right and left (hats, etc.) and not colors. People are not just walking up to anyone who has an opposite gang color or symbol and shooting them.
    To make a long story short, would you kill for your family? For your mother? Father? Would you kill if someone was going to kill you? Your child?
    This is what people feel like in street tribes. It’s psychology and sociology. There are solutions that we can ALL work on to help, but everybody just saying, “stop the violence,” “how can you do that? it’s stupid” is not going to help. We have to replace the love that they get from the streets with genuine love – and then we’re onto something.

  • http://www.mystoryentertainment.com CacheFlo

    Quote – “Bold statement: The Whisper Song was more clever than anything Little Brother has ever done. And the Yin Yang Twins are clinically retarded.”

    I’m from NC and I’ve seen LB live and in concert. You throw a few hundred coffee shop dudes and white girls in a sweatbox and LB will tear it up.

    I appreciate what LB is tryin to do with their music but the method needs reworking. Even the most ardent supporter has to admit that 9th should return Pete Rock’s drum kit and step into Y2K.

  • the un-etherer

    LB is great and I love what they do, but they are a throwback group with a early to mid 90′s sound. Good shit but not revolutionary.

    Message to Phonte- dude, you rap for a living. You are living your dream. Fuck what muthafuckas say and if the 106& park audience is feeling it or not. You do what you love cuz you love it and you are getting paid for it. We all know what the media beast is but shitting on the general consensus only further alienates LB from the audience that you want to get some attention from.

    Keep making good music, recognition will come.

  • psycho babble baby

    When I first read Bol’s article I was pretty furious at Phonte for blaming a segment of the population that is exploited, marginalized and denied access to resources for not being intelligent enough to appreciate aesthetically superior hiphop (music and message). After reading Phonte’s response, I must say that Bol is one putrid ass journalist. Don’t project your class and internalized racism baggage on others. Sad ass.

  • http://differentkitchen.blogspot.com ian

    > not to be an apologist for the crowd, but has anyone even thought to suggest that the nonreaction could’ve been due to LB’s mediocre at best live show?

    I think The Minstrel Show is a way-overrated album and LB pretty much got the sales they deserved for it but the one thing I definitely have to concede is that they do really good live shows. I’ve seen them twice and they killed it both times.

    That being said, I’m not surprised that they got a lukwarm reaction from the average fan at that show. It’s a rare hip hop act that can win over new fans not familiar with their music at a live show.

  • RandomName

    Phonte’s Responce was to Noz’s article not Bol’s. Bol wrote his after Phonte’s responce, hence the response being referenced in the above post.

  • Stray

    LB ain’t even over the top intelligent hip-hop.
    Aesop Rock, Mr.Lif, Cannibal Ox, El-p, Atmosphere, MF Doom… now that’s intelligent hip-hop to another level.

    Picture that opening for Three Six Mafia.

  • Bol Is A Dumb Ass

    Son, there’s nothing these rappers out here today are making that’s too “smart” for anybody to get, whether it’s Little Brother or Rick Ross. ALL of rap is dumbed down right about now, because major labels ain’t gonna release no super-scientifical rapper. If your lyrics are overly complex, you’re not seeing major label distribution in 2006, period. So, there’s nothing any of these guys are saying that black people can’t understand. Can you SERIOUSLY think of ONE Little Brother verse that you could play for a “poor” black person that they wouldn’t understand? GET THE F*CK OUTTA HERE. They rap about how well they can rap. How hard is that to understand? LOL. And “poor” black people? Like, if you get a good job, you get instantaneously smart? The vast majority of black people in college are “poor black people”, every black person I knew in college was. LOL. So, what the hell are you talking about.

    STOP SMOKING DUST AND THINK OF A BETTER BLOG TOPIC, BASED ON REALITY.

  • http://www.soundclick.com/atrem God Himself

    I HATE BACKPACK RAPPER’S!!!
    come check out the hottest new group from NC, DURHAM
    SHADY GUYS = Loot-Tenant TRAX & Da Arsonist. 1st n Flite Legacy Entertainment.
    If poor people are so dumb, how dumb do you have to be to sell more albums independently than on a major??!?!
    just a thought!!
    http://www.soundclick.com/atrem

    SHADY GUYS!!!WE ARE THE FUTURE!!!

  • Pingback: Nah Right » Blog Archive » Daily Headlines 7-21-06

  • ROB G

    SUCK ASS BOL

  • O

    ?

  • O

    Uh this sounds like a pretty dumb argument you got here. 36 the best song of last year? Outkast not worth anything? LB not original?

    I don’t even think the groups you mentioned has anything to do with intelligence. It’ probably more about promotions, radio spins and plain head bobbin ability of the music. I mean honestly most of this “dumb” music you speak of just gets the neck snappin a lil more than the “intelligent” stuff. There is so much more stuff that you wrote that is kind of infuriating (especially when having a white guy reading over your shoulder) but I digress for now. Peace

  • Trell

    What you ear on the radio is club music, something to dance and party to. That’s it. We go for something simple with a catchy beat. Kind of like how little kids prefer sing along TV shows over braodway musicals. We’re just still growing and learning so eventually we’ll move onto better music. The “sing along tv shows” are the overplayed Southern music you all hate.

    It isn’t the end of the world, though this characteristic of society is ‘degrading.’ If you hate it so much, then make more of a conscious effort to introduce the young to real hip-hop.

  • PONAMI

    bol are u black? u twat

    The roots aint listened to by blacks cause they play electric guitars in their music.

    Pac was loved for his political stuff, along with Nas and Common.

    Another gay pointless article shit in a toilet bol

  • Noz is a fag

    KUDOS THE THE WRITER OF THIS.. THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!! IT FEELS SO GOOD TO SEE PEOPLE STARTING TO SPEAK THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CRAP THESE DAYS.. A LITTLE WHILE BACK, EVEN PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT D4L (FOR EXAMPLE) SUCKS, WOULDNT SAY IT…

  • Miss L

    “That said, “The Minstrel Show” is hardly a complex work. You pretty much get the gist of all the points they’re going to make from the title alone.”

    Preach.

    Phonte,
    Many ppl have heard LB they just dont like LB. And millions of spins on the radio still won’t won’t change their mind but it think more spins will get u a bunch of mostly white BEP fans which is ironic because I see you guys there SOON, so just hold on, stay strong and soon you can say “I dont want to be called hip hop anymore” too.

    And for the record just because you did a DJ
    Drama mixtape it dont mean “you on your G”
    I TRY to listen to LB but not feelin’ it at all…”blah blah blah” you luke warm at best.

  • Pingback: The KomaLog » Blog Archive » More Phonterrific Commentary

  • ehu$tle

    truth be told, and honestly i would like bol to check this one comment out,but the problem right now with hip hop is that there is a big generation gap. number 1 is that the kids today are kinda … well , stupid at least when it comes to substance in hip hop, and culture. for instance im 24 and when i was coming up as a kid i was pit into hip hop from the jump eric b & rakim run dmc, krs, ice-t, nwa. even onto the 90′s which is one of the best era’s in hip hop period regardless of which region it came from it was hot. and another thing its too much bitching and dick licking!!! No one can be mad at the south for winning right now cause even though alot of there music doesnt contain substance it still has flavor to it, it still can make u move and have a good time which is what i remember of hip hop in its 80′s days. Hip hop didnt really get alot of substance and true lyrics until rakim , g- rap, kane and whoever came around. Even the so called east coast rap or the bring new york back movement is wack right now, and im from jersey. I mean the only ones thats really making good music from there is the kings thats been in for ten years but alot of the new niggas is str8 trash they good for the mixtapes but when it comes to albums its trash. its messed up that groups like little brother, and even nas who’s last album which had some real serious subject matter and lyricism got shutout by the masses, which brings me back to todays’ youth. they dont wanna hear the lyrics because they cant comprehend the medssages in the music because they wasnt schooled the right way like the generation before them. All u need today is a hot beat and hook and boom u in the game unlike the 90′s when u had to really be saying something to get heard. The bottom line is todays youth is not hip hop intellectuals there not disciples they are broken down industry mtv radio friendly clones bottom line!! and the culture sucks too, we used to set trends now we following trends especially with fasion. some of these niggas is looking highly gay. am i saying we should all all wjere tims baggy clothes and all that, NO!! but dont hav a size smedium ed hardy shirt with sum size 29 jeans, i mean that look is cool for some niggas like skateboarders, but not for the thug on the block thats following trends. one day u in hoddies n tims then the the next month u changed it up to biker chains, tight ass jeans sagged to ya knees i mean whats the science with that. lor some that look is cool, like lupe, pharrel, who is from the skate hop side of things but when one of the realest teams in the street the fuckin Set (which music i do like) starts looking metrosexual after they totally dissed kanye and jay for looking gay, start dressing like too its a problem!!the main reason why the set is highly liked is cause when they started there movement they where starting trends now they following trends which is what the whole game is doing now. it is a serious crisis going on right now in hip hop.

  • Enlightened

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Damn, baby you going hard at em ain’t you? lol

  • http://www.ilovejimbo.com JIMBO

    Has anyone considered that most of “stupid” hip-hop sales are to suburban whites that idolize (and objectify) black culture? They don’t want to get educated – they want to buy into a gangster fantasy with expensive cars and beautiful girls just like Van Halen and shit in the 80s. It’s difficult to not go with the flow and buy into mainstream popular culture – especially if you’re insecure with your socioeconomic standing, and our market exploits that perfectly.

  • hex

    Tall-Israelli run media? Is this website really that fucking stupid? Wtf does that have to do with the topic at hand. That’s just some pandering bullshit.

  • Whateva

    A lot of black people are very closed minded when it comes to music, especially the younger audience. I heard a kid say the other day “Why is Lupe Fiasco rapping about skateboarding? He’s black.” All I could do was shake my head. I mean no disresect to poor people, but poverty breeds ignorance. It’s simply high brow entertainment versus low brow entertainment. GENERALLY speaking the more money a person has the more educated they are and vice versa. We as black people have to stop limiting ourselves and putting ourselves in these little boxes.

  • RDouble

    LB aren’t”Too Smart” or “Over the heads” of most rap fans they just have (UN)Common sense. There’s room for DL4 & Yung Joc as well as Little Brother,Talib and Kanye. We just need more balance. NOT 100 fake ass drug dealing elementary school drop out. Sleeing drugs on the corner at 2 O clock in the morning is the street equivalent of working in a fast food joint Minimum wage.

  • gluvnast

    all it is bottom line is that phonte DOES sound alot like the madd rapper as of late!

  • ehu$tle

    my fault i didnt mean to go that hard on em, as you guys can see, but the state of hip hop is just wack, the game is wack right now overall!!! if it wasnt for certain stars holding it afloat right now this shit with be over with. The corperate muthafuckas on top is milking this shit for everything. If u notice now almost everybody is doing one formula right now for albums. And it goes a little something like this, A so called powerful intro to the cd, A couple of hard tracks, a club banger sumthin for the ladys then back to a hard track and then thats it boom the cd is over and then when they out promoting it they all say i gotta classic!!! What!! then the mags gas niggas, the media gas niggas, its like what saigon said, “they only gassing U up, so they can break u down”. Nowadays niggas is getting King status too quick,next month its gonna be a war for the new king of the south just cause rick ross ( who has switched his whole style and image, but at times can spit) and watch at least one mag label him a king of something!! The niggas that have been called kings in the past have earned them by putting out consistent albums, hits, substance , whatever, not like today so called kings of what ever region who get dethroned every 3 to 6 months!!! When niggas stop chasing these formulas and start going back to pure emotion, feelings of true pain, and just beating down the beat, then only the true feeling of a murder or massacare of just raping a whole album will come back!! For instance, lil wayne, (even though the whole gillie thing has popped recently,not taking sides, BUT over the years weezy whole style has changed from clothes to the way he spit, wobbley, wobbley, and all gillie made some good points and some facts, and gillie has had that figgas piece that weezy had on for a hot minute now, but back to what i was saying) that carter 1 didnt feel like dat, but oh my fucking god C2 was a fucking massacare on wax, if u take a song or 2 off its a fucking classic.From the jump he comes out firing shots, spitting with emotion and passion, telling niggas im coming for the title regaurdless from where he’s from. I dont know how he lives but how he spit on that last album was crazy. He’s gained alot of respect off that last album from alot of uptop niggas and critics and proved himself as an mc,the only question is can he do it again, because that verbal lashing not to mention great production which also complimented is new style, (which is better than that mannie fresh , jazzy pha, all beat sound the same shit!!) will be hard to out do!! I’m sorry for the long passages , but da bottom line im trying to prove is like how he changed or adapted his stlye, Hip hop as a whole needs to change! im not sayin to spit like him, i mean hip hop needs a makeover. We dont need the next hov or nas or big , pun , or pac, they cant be reproduced. WE need more individuals thats themselves making they own path with they own formulas to succeed, setting they own trend, when it happens another golden era will be born!!!!

  • http://xxlmag.com omegared nyc

    i think phonte was right to me southern rap at least most of it really does suck i hate that music.i mean back in the day like 93 to 97 they would have laughed at that stuff it sound really bad the music has nothing to say it makes the whole east side look bad the west still keeps that g-funk poppin but we have the best lyricist by far the northeast.

  • http://xxlmag.com westside money

    Man i’d call Kanye smart except for when he dropped out college but uuuhhh every1 got they own opinion.

  • Pusha

    Intelligence has NOTHING to do with it

    Have them be produced by a producer who can interweave their sound into today’s pop, and they’ll see pop success.

    Where most of these “backpacker” rappers fall short is they don’t have the money to buy appealing beats, which is why only the lucky few Different rappers like Kanye and Lupe can gain appeal. When Talib came out with “Get High”, it went on 106 and Park and charted really well. It had a great beat with wide appeal.

    LB’s shit just doesn’t appeal to those stuck in today’s popular music, like Get High and back then Dead Prez’s Hip Hop did.

  • http://www.fromdastreets.com Anwar

    Why the fuck do you all keep on pushing the “poor black people” quote. I could have sworn that Phonte said “dumb black people.” Maybe thats just me, the nigga that reads their blog everytime they update.
    All that shit aside, Little Brother doesn’t make music that is “too smart” for anybody. Not to downplay their music, but it’s true. It doesnt take much inteligence to understand “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Yes, I’m Lovin’ It.” The problem is that shit is so programmed into people’s heads that if you don’t get heavy rotation on the radio, you’re not worth listening to, and not only that, but it’s been programmed into our heads that it’s okay to sound the same as the next nigga. So if one nigga gets on with simple hooks, simple rhymes, and simple beats, everybody is going to be doing it. So please don’t bitch to me when Little Brother brings something real and creative to the table, then gets mad when nobody will recognize it. Come bitching to me when Phonte, Pooh, and 9th sell out and make a snap music song, cus trust me I will be right there with you. I mean there’s nothing wrong with making party music, if thats you, do you, but don’t knock the niggas that bring themselves as they are to the table and make dope music in the process. I guess KRS was right, the main problem with Hip-Hop now is that there is no balance between party/gangsta music and everything else. Turn off your radio and turn on your computer.

  • Heist

    Anyone who listens to the radio anywhere in the US knows that this rap thing is saturated with BS. Now we equate being “on the grind” with talent. Now these LB boys are sick and anyone who has heard The Minstrel Show does not hear one lyric denouncing gold chains,misogny,rims or ice. They made an album that people can really relate to. Tell me honestly who on here can afford Bentlys about 10 jacob the jeweler watches, a bunch of platinum iced out bicycle chains, or anything else these cats spit about. Let’s be truthful with ourselves this stuff they call hip hop radio is far from it. We need to get back to lyrics that mean something not trying to teach you something in every song but just some meaningful come from the heart shit because this is an art that is being driven right now by characters with no skill. Put some effort in your craft if you spit be the best “You” can be. All I’m sayin is listeners right now are drones and are told what to like I agree with Tay that. Give them a listen if it aint appealing to you then fine. But can’t say you don’t like something you never tried.

  • mjb

    and i quote: “…the music sucks or because *their* too dim to understand the content of the the music.”

    i realize it’s sort of a typo, but what an unfortunate place to have misspelled “they’re”. when bashing a certain groups intelligence its good to have all your letters in order.

  • kt

    i think what people don’t understand is that, the black music needs both side of hiphop, which are the commercial side represented by the like of TI, them franchise bays and the rest; and the more intellectual/concious part represented by little brother, mos def, talib kweli…etc. two sides complet each other. it is really difficult to control a music such as hiphop which is still in constant evolution. i personnally think that this argument will never finish.

  • deeeeez nuts

    “i read books to get educated i don’t need a social studies lesson when i’m trying to party.”

    You’ve got to be kidding me. You’ve obviously never heard anything by LB. A social studies lesson? WTF?

  • deeeeez nuts

    “bol are u black? u twat

    The roots aint listened to by blacks cause they play electric guitars in their music.

    Pac was loved for his political stuff, along with Nas and Common.

    Another gay pointless article shit in a toilet bol”

    Pac was much more loved for his Death Row/Gangbangin’/westside!/thuglife persona than for his political shit. Most didn’t even pay attention to his political stuff until he got killed and it became “cool” to act like Pac was Malcolm X.

    Illmatic and IWW(Nas best albums) were not political. I Am…was more political than those 2 albums. Nas was loved because he was dope. Over his career, he gradually changed his content to become more political.

    The masses didn’t pay attention to Common(other than The Light) until he got with Kanye. Common’s only hits have been about girls.

  • Tyler Durden

    For all you mufuckas who don’t know how nice LB is…Did ya’ll know Benzino was fired because he overruled the Source’s Record Review which gave Little Borther’s Minstrel Show 5 mics…However, Lil Kim’s garbage ass album got 5 mics…You think the fact that Dave Mays is her manager had anything to do with that???things that make u go hmmmmm….(c)Arsenio Hall Show

  • Gutta

    hey bol, i really hope u dont believe that your own people would not be smart enough to listen to someones music,if any anything poor blacks just cannot relate to it,more than them not being smart enough. whether ur making music for “smart ppl or dumbing down for the sales ppl respect hot music, so step ya game up LB!!!

  • JustThink

    Your comment reflects just one point of view. You fail to examine how radio pumps the same heavy rotation of hip hop/ rap songs. Because radio is big business, it’s a numbers game, resulting in overexposure of what they think are “hits”. Radio want to advertisement dollar and advertisers want bang for their buck. It’s about keeping a captive audience, it’s not about an independent thinking audience. As for the people who don’t know about Little Brother, they are true MCs, check the lyrics along with dope deeps from 9th Wonder. Don’t underestimate the younger audience. Their tastes are different, don’t assume they all want to dance to just beats. And what rock have you been living under to ASSume that more whites love the Roots than black. Just because a certain number of whites buy their albums means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, Black people got nothing but love for the Roots.

    Educate Yourself- Don’t believe everything the media tells you.

  • Cd

    anybody that says poor black people are dumb are fuckin retard cuz there’s a lot of people that are smart it just that you ain’t puttin it in a way they wanna hear it

  • BRAD

    The Man is seeing his plan being executed perfectly. He loves that white kids love the roots and common and kweli. And he loves that poor black youth like to hear (or can ‘relate’) to hearing yung joc talk about how he’z gonna blow off the head of yet another brotha

  • T-

    whoever said Scarface’s lyrics are trash needs to slap himself. You don’t need 25 syllables ryming to be a poet. herb.

  • labtech

    Phonte is the shit. Check his discography. Not quite as new to the game as some may think.

  • Da Liturgist

    Umm.. Little Brother is tha shit..hot rhymes..hot beats.. im saying niggas nowahdays wanna shake they ass more then chicks. What tha hell is that about. True hip hop heads would recognize true lyrics. Some of these cats spitting these days sound like they dropped out of school in the 5th grade to be a rap star. Like my man Jay said , “Thats so lameeee!!”

  • http://dfjblbfbdsbf.com john

    suck a dickk u hater!

  • TruthAndNothingBut

    “Too black for MTV, not black enough for BET, just let me be” – Lox, Money Power Respect.

    Rap as far as Top 40 Hip-Hop Radio/106 and Park IS a Minstrel Show. Don’t get mad because somebody had the nerve to try to put it on blast in a major way. Somebody needed to say it.

    God Bless.

  • isaac MAGOO

    all i gotta say is You misconstrued Phonte’s word. As for as Hip Hop goes i hate the word “POP” POP is gettin on my nerves. Ever Since Hip hop has been around, its accepted to be a part of *POP CULTURE*, and the shit started going downhill. First there is no diversity in mainstream rap. Its good to hear some club songs *snap ya fingaz* *lean wit it rock it*. But when it is too much shit i just turn off got damn radio. There’s nothing new nothing that is fresh and interesting now. When i hear Young Joc or Rick ross, they sound the same thing to me as i heard from 300 otha maintstream artists *being sarcastic*. THere needs to be some diversity in the music. who gives a fuck if JAy Z runs DEF JAM?? i dont give fuck neither if Snoop dogg starts his own drink or shorty ass Jermaine Dupri fucks janet jackson;s ass and makes wack singles. To me I put blame in the hands of Corporate America *white people* to me racism didnt end with the KKK.they just *condition themselves* nicely with suits and big asss Houses.
    As for this word *POP CULTURE* is a disease like AIDS. i never liked puttin hip hop in that category because it will soften up and be a straight up shitty sounds. Id rather dig and look to see who is good. i dont care if you slang drugs. and there are lost classics to hip hop but no one shed to the light. WHY DIDNT DEAD PREZ GET FIVE MICS but lil KIM got 5?? RUmors spread that her manager fucked the Dude to get her that review. And also before Dead Prez album was released He was threatened he would be fired if he gave DEAD PREZ five mics. ITs a complex dimenison we are living in. Im just gettin sick of the same scenarios and bullshit i have to deal with on a everyday basis of lame shit music. HAvent we all learned our history? MALCOM X stated being a black man in America is a Nightmare. we are conditionalized, stripped, confused in a society to say its cool??Who the Funk think its cool?? do you think most black people like to be Dehumanized to the point that we act like idiots??
    MLK from the episode of the Boondocks is right: WE are Just a bunch of Good fo nuthin NIGGAS. Until we stop blamin each other, look to the real problem: Corporate Media. I aint no lie yall just not seeing the real conflict.

  • F.K. next major thing in NC

    You can’t blame Little Brother…Phonte…for speaking his mind. He’s absolutely right. There was a song called The Listening they did and he rhymed about niggas don’t listen to rhymes it’s the beat that cause them to move, but that doesn’t mean tat 9th Wonder is wack. It just means that 808′s are big. I attended the summer jam concert and I came only to see LB and it was embarrassing to be one of the ahndful to know every song word by word. They are not the most original group in the world, but them niggas are hot. Even though Big Pooh gets outshined by Phonte he is even better than 97 percent of these weak rappers out. It’s all about programming. They don’t get much play down here and I work at ta radio station here in Fayetteville so I should know. Niggas need to listen, because they are really nice and I”ma carry the NC on my back when I drop

  • http://myspace.com/thatuniquegeek PHIL HINOJOSA
  • NickeNitro

    It’s funny how all the fans think Little Brother is great, and then all these journalists keep saying they’re no good.

    It makes you kinda wonder who the journalists are doing the writing for anyway. It’s pretty obvious that whatever Universal Records, for instance, wants these magazine puppets to say takes precedence over truth.

    Remember, XXL is sold at airports. Any magazine sold at airports is riddled with corporate propaganda.

    And this Byron Crawford schmuck is clearly an idiot. No one should waste their time reading anything he writes anymore. His blog talks about dim people, but he’s the dimmest of them all.

  • Deuce_D

    This is the most ridiculous statement I’ve read about hip-hop. How could you say that someone’s socio-economic class directly correlates to their level of intellect or taste in music? Why don’t you just come out and say that “poor black people are stupid” instead of half-assing your comment. As a black man, how could you write something so degrading about people of your own culture? Some ignorant exec of whatever media group probably originated this thought and to see young black men actually buying into this is a shame.

    In music, whether its hip-hop, reggae, or whatever your preference, there is room for all types of expression. At the club or a party do you really want to hear something intellectual, or shake your ass? When your at home relaxing maybe your want to hear something different than you would in the club. The point is hip-hop or any form of expression cannot be pigeonholed for any reason. Right now what we have in hip-hop is people outside the culture determining what the public hears and sees on a regular basis. Millions of dollars are pumped into certain genres of hip-hop to force feed people and they’re eating the shit up. If the same funds were spent, and exposure given to other artists, underground,underfunded, and underexposed, then people could actually choose some other shit besides the narrow selection of most radio stations nationwide.

    I would expect to read something like this from Bill O’Reily, Dubya, or Fox News but damn dog, a blackman writing and supporting this arguement?

  • jus

    phonte didnt say that…

  • Cuban Link

    ^^^lmfaoooo

    “I think we can at least agree that Little Brother is as good, if not better than either of those groups.”

    are you on crack son?Little Borhter>>>>X10000000 Joc n DFB.

    Also, its not becuz blacks are dumb.Its becuz the majority are poor, and cant afford things like “bling” and nice cars and clothes ’till their welfare bounces.Since they cant get it themselves, they like to listen to people who constantly talk about the things they want.AND, wtf is you talking about?I have never met a black person face to face that likes Yung Joc, and I saw a Mike Jones off Limewire, and there wasnt a single black person there.Plus, the Roots are fucking dope, one of the best groups in hip hop history.And I have althoguh I have met a few white peeps into them, its like 1:1000000 out of the number of white people who think the Roots are dope versus the number who think Yung Joc, DFB, Chingy etc. are dope.So this theory u put out is differently wrong, although not far from the truth

  • Cuban Link

    and I meant Mike Jones concert.

  • jamie

    phonte has a point,all you mostly see now on television is ignorant black folks entertaining other ignorant black folks. they use elementary rhymes along with unnecessary jewelry.I am a black person who stoped enjoying mainstream rap and hip hop after the 90′s.thats the difference between black people and niggers.

  • http://www.newraporder.com K~Swift

    I’m not feeling the whole “unintelligent” word choice. Being from the hood, and being rather intelligent, I’m offended. Uneducated and underexposed are more accurate terms. And if you on some Black ppl vs. Niggers shit, you just a house nigga. Cut that shit out. We need unity. From the field to the house and back, cuz we still haven’t gotten our just due.

  • http://myspace.com/taleeb KID KLASH

    I TRULY BELIEVE THAT LITTLE BROTHER IS ONE OF THE MOST LYRICAL GROUPS OUT RIGHT NOW I’VE BEEN A FAN OF THEIRS SINCE DAY ONE I HAVE: THE LISTENING,THE CHITLIN CIRCUIT 1.5,THE DJ DRAMA GANGSTA GRILLZ LB MIXTAPE,AND THE MINSTREL SHOW BUT FOR REAL IS IT JUST ME OR DOES IT SEEM LIKE 9TH WONDER LACES EVERYBODY WITH HOT BEATS BUT WHEN IT COMES TO HIS OWN GROUP THE BEATS ARE’NT AS GOOD WHY BECAUSE HE AINT GETTIN PAID

  • tfk

    every artist will have their pros and cons, wheather it be about their opinions or their music. i like LB but i like jeezy also. So if we’d stop bitchin’ bout’ irrelavent shit we could focus our attention on more important issues in this backstabbing business.