Harder now that it’s over

I suppose I should’ve known it was a rap for Little Brother back when it was announced that 9th Wonder wouldn’t be contributing any beats to their next album. I mean, it does seem odd that a group would take out a press release to announce that one of its members won’t be contributing to its next album, no?

Imagine how 9th Wonder must have felt. After all, it was almost as if they were suggesting that it was his fault The Minstrel Show sold so few copies that Phonte and the other fellow have to show up to the Atlantic Records offices on weekends and clean Cheeto dust from the TI’s computers with a compressed air gun.

They may have had a point though. As much as I enjoy 9th Wonder’s production, it seems like he hit some sort of wall in terms of artistic development a long-ass time ago. Basically, he never really got any better than he was when they put out The Listening. What’s more, the novelty of his schtick has long since run out.

Even when his shit’s that good, it’s like, Of course it is. But it’s not like I haven’t heard this before. In retrospect, he may have played himself by cranking out so many remix albums (he did the first one evar, right?) and weed carrier albums and the shit he’s done with the Boot Camp Clik and so on and so forth.

Now they’ve gone and announced that 9th Wonder is no longer a member of the group at all, which I took to mean there’s some sort of beef. You’ll recall that 9th Wonder would rarely, if ever tour with them, and my guess is that him getting the U-God treatment on the next album couldnt’ have helped matters.

Also, Little Brother no longer have a deal with Atlantic Records, so maybe that’s the final straw. If 9th Wonder can still clock a few grand here and there cranking out the same shitty beat he’s been making since 2002, why bother going through the hassel of being on Koch Records with those other two bums?

Zero records sold at $8 per album still equals $0.

Which begs the question: what will become of the other two members of Little Brother now that they have no producer and no record label? My guess is that no other major labels are knocking down their doors with record deals, especially after seeing what happened with their homeboys The Roots at Def Jam.

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  • M

    jeez. i thought i was a hater.

  • jacquez
  • derfla the hus’la

    dude, LB got a track with dj jazzy jeff track is aight so i don’t think it’s over for LB they can always get another producer.

  • utrturtu

    did you cut the last paragraph or something?
    this seems short…

  • Combat Jack

    Dayum, bol, a lil extra harsh 2day.

  • crack

    9th wonder is a one trick pony. The minstrel show was essentially the same beat 17 times over

  • Josh


  • Moe Real

    Did I just see a Ryan Adams reference on XXL?

  • baz

    how about a positive post dude. tell me some stuff that you do like, instead of the same old shit.

  • http://www.myspace.com/16kingz da’realestwritin’


  • DocZeus

    You know what’s crazy about the whole situation is that the few records Little Brother did sell can be probably attributed directly to Ninth Wonder as well. I mean Phonte is good for what he is but its not like he’s the Second Coming or anything. But on the other hand does making the best record of 2005 count for anything these days? Guess not.

  • fabo

    god damn. So harsh, and yet so true.

  • mannyworld33



  • Eman

    For real Ive been telling all little brother fans for the longest that 9th wonder isnt that great but it doesnt matter anymore “Hes getting the Ugod treatment” lmao did u see the U god Bump Wtf man

  • scenik

    i hate you, i hate you…i don’t even know you and i hate your guts. i hope all the bad things in life happen to you and nobody else but you.

    damn shame about atlantic, but i know the dudes personally. they’ll bounce back. always have…always will. plus they shit is still 50 times better than half the mainstream shit anyway.

  • Phuque

    Figured you’d do some sort of celebatory post…you’re becoming a little too predictable son.


    it’s foul, but it is a wrap for them niggaz!

    9th ain’t there AND they have no budget?! Oh it’s a wrap for real!

    Them 2 niggaz sole or as a tandem is like Premo leaving Gangstarr…

    Anyone heard the latest Guru solo album or “Jazzmatazz”???

    my point exactly!

  • Were Read 2 Def

    >getting the U-God treatment

    ^^^He’s the worst out of the bunch and I’d bump his shit over the lyrically-challenged Young Jeezy anyday.


    HEY, wasn’t Sickamore aka “Lip Gloss Jones” a&r’ing Little Brother’s next album???


    He better jump on that Tru Life hype, Jenny Jones don’t like him anyway…

  • Atl’s own

    dem niccas waz trash any who!

    dey should try slangin’ out da trunk!

  • EReal

    They’ll probably get a non existant G-Unit contract.

    1 hunned.

  • NoMamesBuey

    If this is true it’s a damn shame. 9th Wonder is a great producer. However Phonte is a NICE MC also. I’d say Top 10 right now easily. His metaphors are the best since Chino XL. Also raps from the “regular guy steez” & some introspective topics in a quality & unique way. You could say Phonte “keeps it real” actually for real in a real-life context.

    The 2nd MC Big Pooh ain’t great but decent, still better than 80% of big-name rappers & good enough to make a good solo album “Sleepers”

  • Avenger

    Little brother was and is a solid rap group hell they got better flow than dilated peoples or Jurasic 5 and both of them still got deals/(such that they are)

    9th production was boring and one dimensional he is good for a song or two an album but he has yet to do a whole album that impressed me. (one trick pony headed for the glue factory)
    Phonte and Pooh are solid MC’s with the right guidence and direction and some variety and production they could be a force in the indie community and maybe get some mos def/talib mainstream love.


    Man fuck you nigga always talking shit it’s hard to work on a album when you got other shit you make it seem like 9th wonder kicked them out or something they still with the j league and krysis is on the album and he’s a good producer and if i was in there position at Atlantic i would ove left to and the minstrel show was a good album it didn’t sell because that was the time where that bullshit music was at it’s prime well it’s still is in it’s prime but it was really bad you really need to get the facts on shit instead of reading the top of something and then start talking down cuz when yo CD coming out have you been around the world on tour you probably still at yo mama’s house still putting yo name on the orange juice bitch just like that tru life shit eveything an’t about jay-z one day somebody gonna fuck you up.

  • Fernando

    9th wonder’s beats on the new Boot Camp were sick.

    This just in: As some of you know, Im not a big fan of the Common-esque granola rap (rapping to deaf b*tches & wearing knitted hats). BUT THE NEW MOS DEF ALBUM IS ILL. Besides the first Blackstar & some of his first album, I dont even like Mos Def…..But the new ish is TIGHT!

  • T

    Yo Bol,

    I hate to admit it, but you’re right. I didn’t even know LB was going through all that.
    RIP-Little Brother 2004-2007

  • http://brandonsoderberg.blogspot.com brandonsoderberg

    This is all so true. I started realizing that 9th wasn’t helping Little Brother on ‘Life of the Party’ produced by Nottz, which is not only a good song but loosens Little Brother up; they sort of clown on themselves on the track and it makes for a significantly less annoying listen.

  • J.R.O.

    I sense Bol is on to something here… Yeah, they’re done.

  • eauhellzgnaw

    Little Brother is a mediocre group. Phonte is not a bad rapper and 9th Wonder has made some decent beats (mostly not for Little Brother), but he is extremely overrated. Anybody who says that he’s one of the greatest ever is either an idiot, a kid with no perspective, or both.

    The fact that they’ve been exalted shows how garbage the popular rap landscape is, and how lame underground rap fans are.

  • Hannah Smith

    Bol – bet you $100 that the next Little Brother record ends up selling more than the last.


    Damn this was harsh LOL

    9th wonder’s production is essentially the same thing over and over its aight but boring after 5 tracks.

    Phonte and Big Pooh are both dope rappers but they aren’t so ill that you would regret not checking out their music

    His metaphors are the best since Chino XL.
    No disrespect but Chino relies heavily on similies not metaphors. Every single punchline of his uses “like” or “as”

  • Niggaz belong in cages

    9th produced beats for every little backpacker group in ’05-’06 and none of it was even remotely HOT! It seemed like every failed ’94-’96 group reached out to 9th for a track and went wood on hiphopsite.com. 9th is over, LB is over, and all YOU 30 something backpackers need to get real jobs and move out of Mom’s crib – OUCH!

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Ah, the battle cry of the over-opinionated, non-talented critic who can’t create, yet knocks the creations of others: ‘I like their old stuff better.’ Pathetic, Ashlee. You’ve gotta be at your 13th minutes of alleged fame by now. UNO!

  • Fernando

    Just read the “I killed a dog once” on Bol’s site……LOL

  • Rustyjux

    y’all some funny cats; I guess the “threat” beat on Jay’s Black album was garbage. check the boy’s resume, not his fault cats don’t buy records. that album wouldn’t have sold with beats by pharrell, storch and Cool& Dre. The dud that wrote this article live in his mom’s basement in St. Louis. I know you playboy. Most of you cats would have never allowed him to eat lunch at your table in High School; I know I wouldn’t have…


    Why is everyone so surprised? Back-Packer groups always break-up because one of the cats thinks he’s a soloist/star and starts to ego-trip before going solo (guest who?). As far as Atlantic, they had to drop LB for moving 65-75K dispite all the buzz and “Classic” status for Minstrel…mainstream didn’t buy in so back to the underground they go.

  • Spark

    Shitty, but them fools shoulk hook up with theyre partner Nicolay and do another foreign exchange. fuck the listenning is a classic.


    9th produced beats for every little backpacker group in ‘05-’06 and none of it was even remotely HOT! It seemed like every failed ‘94-’96 group reached out to 9th for a track and went wood on hiphopsite.com. 9th is over, LB is over, and all YOU 30 something backpackers need to get real jobs and move out of Mom’s crib – OUCH!

    LOL, DAMN!

  • doug

    lb is going to blow after getback people are going to realize what music is…this was best for them, because 9th is a hot producer everyone wants his beats, so it was best and both are going to succeed

  • ill

    uhhh… the jewish guy alchemist??

  • thoreauly77

    back to abb/bbe is a better look for them anyhow in my opinion. the little brother fans out there are going to remain loyal —- even without 9th wonder. the foreign exchange album was excellent, sleepers was solid, and their mixtapes have been solid as well.

    little brother, as with lupe or kanye, gets hated on by bol because he envies them — everyone can peep that pattern. also, they are vocal and opinionated, just like bol.

    i personally just hope they end up successful and revered for exactly what they are, not other people’s perceptions of them.

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

    You’re FREEEEEEEEEEE….free with a history.

  • dollar_wells


    What’s up with those wack ass advert pseudo-links in yer post? Like you ain’t got enough Google ads on this bitch?

    LB’s shit is a little weak on record, but they absolutely killed it when I saw them live. And no, 9th wasn’t there.

  • http://www.myspace.com/poisonousdarthfc Poisonous Dart

    Supposed hip hop blogger Byron Crawford wrote:

    Which begs the question: what will become of the other two members of Little Brother now that they have no producer and no record label? My guess is that no other major labels are knocking down their doors with record deals, especially after seeing what happened with their homeboys The Roots at Def Jam.

    Uhh…no. Little Brother owns and operates the Justus League Music Group with their manager Big Dho. They have distribution…they already have a label. As for no producers? Have you ever heard of Oddisee, Khrysis, Illmind or Nicolay? They have a GANG of producers…some even outshined 9th’s beats on past projects. Why would they need a major deal? They’ve sold mad units as an undergorund group already…what indie label in their right minds wouldn’t break their necks to give them a deal?

    You almost had people convinced you knew something about hip hop with that blog…almost. One.

  • Example

    9ths shit with Murs was boring. 9ths shit with Buckshot was boring. 9ths shit with Jean Grae was boring. But he’s essential to Little Brother. 9th has already done bigger and better things without them, this just shows that Phonte and Pooh think they can do without him. They’re still not gonna sell records, though. 9th can keep doing Destinys Child shit. He’ll get paid, regardless of his one-snare. He’ll get paid. And in the end, two fat niggas are gonna be broke and ass out complainin on blogs and message boards, while some Fruity Loops hack is gonna be clockin that cash, producing watered down hits. Hiphop is DEAD.

  • NickeNitro

    Looks like the corporate industry media isn’t done raining hate on LB. Ever since they dropped the “Lovin’ It” video making fun of “lifestyle marketing”, it’s been one talking point after another on repeat to see what sticks — “they’re backpackers,” “9th’s beats are boring,” “they can’t rap,” “Tribe rehash,” etc. Look, we all know how the game goes — have a few different people repeat the same thing enough times and, even if there’s no truth in it, you get enough of the weaker minds to start believing it.

    Obviously, you all had to look out for your interests. Your advertisers, the reason you exist, rely on making people want to purchase an image, and when their video made fun of all the herbs with no sense of self who try to match some demographic role created by a marketing scheme (hipster, of course, being the biggest group of mindless sheep out there), you had to protect those profitable images from being tarnished. You had to get these guys who were obviously too talented and, you know, “too intelligent,” away from your target audience of image conscious shoppers before they learned what was driving them.

    Whatever. The real fans aren’t trippin. LB will keep dropping classic albums, 9th will keep making beats, we’ll keep listening to their music, and you’ll never put those scars from high school that make you so ornery behind you.


    All I got to say is that nigga 9th tooked a cracked copy of Fruity Loops farther than any other nigga in the game ever did…MuthaFuck’n Fruity Loops dawg!


    9th wonder bests did get wack, it sounds the same, but little brother will be good,their music will be hotter than before. they got that real hiphop, and so does my peoples.


    9th wonder bests did get wack, it sounds the same, but little brother will be good,their music will be hotter than before. they got that real hiphop, and so does my peoples.


    9th wonder bests did get wack, it sounds the same, but little brother will be good,their music will be hotter than before. they got that real hiphop, and so does my peoples.

  • laststand

    Impressive article written at a 3rd grade level. Did someone transcribe it from a black and white composition book? Hating on 9th/Little Brother who made a great disc with maybe the least amount of promotion anyone has ever gotten. No one is buying the idea that you bought the 1st album right when it came out. Nice work, keep hating and writing your shitty columns.

  • juniper

    Plaintiff rap doesn’t work…unless you buddy up with a capitalist(i.e. Nas/Jay-Z).

    These fuckers came out the box dissing
    any and every body…instead of networking like 9th…Now they are stranded.

  • john cochran

    I think alot of you here that post comments believe that if it’s underground it’s automatically better than mainstream. Thats only true in certain cases. But everytime somebody mentions a backpack rapper with no light yall go on and on about how under rated they are and how there better than all the other stuff out. Truth is, they’re not. The T.I’s and Lil wayne’s of the game sell more than them cause they are better at making music that reaches different folks. These niggas just make shit for thier own little circles. You don’t hear Kanye complaining.

  • mrdehart

    MURS and 9th wonder!

  • NickeNitro

    ^^”They’re fans are backpackers.”

    They only thing that is directly correlated to record sales in any genre is the number of radio/video spins it gets. It doesn’t matter what it is — you play it enough times, the masses buy. Any imbecile can see that. They don’t decide what sounds like a hit anymore, they decide what they are going to make a hit.

  • marlon

    It would be a huge step down but it would be ironic if phonte took over the blog game and left fruit bol in the background.

  • che

    I thought diddy made the first remix? hence ‘we invented the remix’

  • EReal

    @ Che

    Diddy didn’t make the first remix, he just made the most.

  • ALias

    sorry, can’t take what this “critic” gots to say about Little Brother (one the few artists out there still reppin hip hop I MEAN REAL HIP HOP)
    this is coming from the critic who recently praised southern rappers (NOTE: I didn’t use the term M.C)as the next best thing since sliced bread. I remember him saying “Young Jeezy is the NAS of the South” (lol)

    R.I.P Hip Hop

  • ALias

    yeah i know LB is from NC, but thank god they were cut from a different cloth.

  • ALias

    yeah i know LB is from NC, but thank god they were cut from a different cloth!!

  • joel

    9th is the reason that group got any play at all. with out him it’s a wrap.

  • NoMamesBuey



    Check this out. Your boy Phonte sings Toto’s “Africa”. This is some WTF joke stuff not his “released music”. Even so Phonte not only outraps 98% of today’s rappers, he outsings 80% of today’s singers. Lol!

    Yall saying that Phonte sucks or “whatever” aren’t listening.

  • NoMamesBuey

    To John Cochran,

    TI is good & Weezy Fa-go Baby is decent, but Phonte easily sons both these guys. Real talk.

  • Belize

    ….There are gonna suck balls

  • Cuban Link

    co-sign about Phonte shitting on Weezy, Baby and TI.

    U make everything sound so negative Bol.The Ministrel Show was a great album.Also, 9th Wonder is good.U-God deserved what he got after he made Bump Yo Body (check the video on youtube)Also, the Roots album didnt sell too hot because it wasnt dance commercial junk.That was easily the greatest CD of 2006, and the best album for like a good 3 years.Jay mustve known it wasnt gonna sell all that much, but he knew it was hot regardless.

    FUCK RADIO/MTV/BET(except for 106 & park with my girl Rocsi, and the Wire even tho its really HBO but w.e)

  • NoMamesBuey

    ^Ayo props to Cubano. Real regognize real whether a 70s or 90s “baby”

  • Denny Henriquez
  • http://myspace.com/Qmegaman Qmega

    A! To all you(s)out there, HIP HOP ain’t Dead, Rap is Dead, Hip Hop is on vacation, and when it comes back, Ya’ll gotta “GET BACK”. When Little Brother re-emerges back from their winter hibernation, you MOFO’s are gonna feel it. Every group must fall just to “GET BACK” up, so if Phonte & Pooh (as ya’ll call him the other fellow) are in the dark because of what haters are sayin, wait till the lights come on and fires get lit up under some asses, then all you “Wish Be Willin” Muther Fuckers wantin to see them fall are really gonna Haf-to “GET THE FUCK BACK”. Phonte, Imma call you later on, Your Fam Corey.

  • http://myspace.com/Qmegaman Qmega

    Oh, Tay,

    I still got some baets for you, just answer you phone, so I can make sure that your address is still the same to send ‘em, Corey.

  • dh

    I dont know if you mothafuckas have heard 9ths beat on The Black Album, but if you think 9th is whack you must think J is whack too. Get yo mind right, LB will bounce back! Don’t know if you have heard of khrysis, nicolay, or nottz(who made a beat for snoop) but theyll take 9ths spot in a second and do bigger things biatch

  • lela

    I’m scared b/c I have a baby by 9th wonder and if he ain’t sold no records then my baby ain’t got no diapers… somebody help me raise 10th wonder.