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Little Brother
Getback

littlebrother.jpgWhen Little Brother emerged from North Carolina in ’03 with their critically acclaimed gem The Listening, their throwback style was a welcome breath of fresh air. However, after the group’s major-label follow-up, 2005’s The Minstrel Show, failed to crack 90,000 on SoundScan, a change of Sam Cooke proportions loomed on the horizon. So at the top of 2007, LB split not only from Atlantic Records but from their most celebrated member and sole producer, 9th Wonder, as well. Now, with the winds of change at their backs, MCs Phonte and Big Pooh return to their independent roots with Getback.

The disc’s triumphant opener, “Sirens,” gives off a preemptive sense of victory, as Phonte and Pooh attack the Illmind-produced track with a renewed vigor. The duo continue to celebrate their independence on “Can’t Win for Losing,” as Pooh swipes at his former label with, “Everybody changed overnight/When them numbers came back light.” Still, on the horn-filled “Good Clothes,” Phonte proves that, even without a major or a dedicated producer, LB remain fresh to death.

Despite the loss of their sonic force, the group manages to secure top-notch beats from notables like Hi-Tek (“Step It Up”) and Denaun Porter (“ExtraHard”). 9th doesn’t do a complete disappearing act, as he contributed his familiar production touch to the Lil Wayne–assisted “Breakin’ My Heart.” It’s the supersoulful “When Everything Is New,” though, that allows LB to pop their collars, as Pooh passionately proclaims, “This here’s the next chapter in my life/You decide if you like, God bless, goodnight.”

While the disc offers no glaring miscues, the obscene amount of dramatized skits at times breaks up the flow of an otherwise focused project. Putting to rest any doubts of their musical worth, Phonte and Pooh keep the LB name in good standing and prove that sometimes change is good. —ROB MARKMAN

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  • stoneyisland

    I messes with LB and I will scoop up not download their new joint.

  • Moneyman

    Damn i cant wait for this joint…LB is my peoples

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  • http://www.herfection.blogspot.com h.e.r.

    pooh is my folk, i’m ready to purchase the album even after the leak

  • kenya

    Little Brother
    GetBack Hear it Now
    RS:2.5of 5 Stars
    2007

    Little Brother’s last album, The Minstrel Show, was a near-brilliant commentary on contemporary black culture and the ways that mainstream media distort it. But social commentary doesn’t move units. The trio parted ways with Atlantic and became a duo when producer 9th Wonder jumped ship. On GetBack, a host of producers try to re-create Wonder’s soulful vibe, infusing tracks with sped-up vocal samples and horns, to no avail. The rhymes, thankfully, remain sharp and funny: The first single, “Good Clothes,” recalls childhood Polo envy with typically endearing one-liners (“As we got on the floor, it was embarrassing, trust me/The saleswoman walk me straight over to husky!”). On “That Ain’t Love,” the duo vents on industry drama; Lil Wayne works on his Most Ubiquitous Guest title with a lackluster cameo on “Breakin’ My Heart.” But the eleven tracks sound thin, filled out by endless skits — wake up and smell the skit hatred, fellas — and, after so much promise and talent, disappointing.

    EVAN SERPICK
    (Posted: Oct 18, 2007)

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  • SOUL

    HOW IS CHANGE GOOD, WHEN “GETBACK” IS THERE WORST ALBUM OF THEIR FIRST 3? THE “LISTENING” AND “THE MINSTREL SHOW” WERE CLASSIC’S. GETBACK IS A PLAIN GOOD ALBUM, NOTHING MORE , NOTHING LESS. SO ACTUALLY THEY CHANGED FOR THE WORSE.

    • ill will

      I agree with SOUL. I don’t know what the fuck Phonte and Pooh is thinking. There’s no substitution for 9th Wonder. Dem niggaz need to sit down and reconcile.

  • http://stereo-typemagtheblog.blogspot.com Basshead

    First of all, this review is way too vague. The skits in between songs is a artistic tradition that shows the humorous side of LB, because if you’re familiar with LB you know they’re funny as hell. When it comes down to lyrical content measuring up to an artists “Real” life, they are at the top of the list. Touch on their content not on unnecessary history…

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  • FrenchyBlaq

    I’ll buy this album.

  • http://www.myspace.com/streetjustice2 Lumini

    E.T.H.E.R Entertainment
    (n) Education Through Hip Hop Embracing Revolution

    Contact: Lumini, Management FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Cell: 248-703-9965
    Email: StreetJusticeHipHop@gmail.com

    HIP HOP’S HOTTEST LIVE SHOWS HIT THE STAGE
    When CD’s won’t move, Can you rock a stage?

    Detroit, MI/Oct 24/- AUTHENTIC HIP HOP BULLETIN- Live hip hop phenomenon, Street Justice(SJ), will open for authentic hip hop icon Little Brother at St. Andrews Hall, Wed. Oct. 24th, 2007. Securing this opening performance slot solidifies Street Justice’s aggressive movement into the well respected ranks of Detroit hip hop headliners. In just 3 years, Street Justice (SJ) catapulted from open mic appearances to back to back Detroit Hip Hop Award “Best New Group” and “Group of the Year” nominations (2006 & 2007). Check the resume- SJ has performed with 5-40, Royce Da 5’9” (M.I.C. Records), Big Proof (R.I.P), Monica Blaire (Silent Riot), The Fatt Killahz, Buff1der (AML), Melanie Rutherford (Gilla House Records), Paradime and other hip hop heavy hitters. The respect and support of Detroit emcees combined with the love of loyal fans in SJ t-shirts makes each appearance at The Bullfrog Bar & Grill, Alvin’s, Northern Lights Lounge, The Blind Pig and other hip hop havens more than a performance; Street Justice music is an experience.

    In an era where cd’s sales no longer support an emcees livelihood, even the legends have headed back to stage. In that spot light that separates good studio emcees from classic artists, you will find Street Justice shining when the beat drops. DJ Exclusive, of the Bumsquad DJ’s, says “Sj is def the future”. Come out Oct. 24th, and see for yourself.

    Call Lumini for booking- 248-703-9965
    http://www.myspace.com/streetjustice
    http://www.eventful.com/streetjustice
    http://www.midigi.com/streetjustice

  • Detroit City Boy

    That new little Brother is that deal. I’m feelin the whole project. I still love 9th wonder though.

  • I AM HIP HOP

    HOW XXL MAG GIVE DIS ALBUM XL BUT CHAM AN L A FUKIN L. GET BACK DOES DESERVE A XL BUT CHAM ULTIMATE VICTORY IS FUKIN BRILLIANT–XXL. DIS MAGAZINE IS FUKED UP, FUKIN GORILLA ZOE GOT AN L WTF IS UP WIT THIS . MAYBE ITS THE SNAP MUSIC AND MAGAZINES LIKE THIS THAT ARE KILLING HIP HOP.

    ULTIMATE VICTORY= XXL

  • Enigma

    Man fuck 9th Wonder…his contribution was undoubtedly the worst track on the cd to match the worst verse on the CD (even Jozeemo came off better than Lil Wayne)…I get tired of yall cats talkin about 9th like he was the brains behind the operation…Pooh & Phonte even said themselves they haven’t been in the lab with 9th since 2004…so I don’t blame them for cutting 9th out the group…and all u fake fans who talk about 9th like it was his efforts that made the group…read the credits of their last couple cds…The Minstrel Show…The Chitlin Circuit 1.5…Separate But Equal etc…Kryssis & Illmind make most of the beats they rap over…and both of them sound better than 9th…as far as this disc is concerned…let it have its own place…stop comparing it to other shit and just enjoy the music

  • HOJason

    first off they didn’t break up over some petty bullish. 9th getting his paper regardless so why would he stay if its not helping the group because of the same type of beats on every track. They helped eachother because 9th can do him and pooh and tay can get their shine with different producers and different sounds. The new album is hott all yall hater keep coming, that means HOJ is doing something right.

  • OT

    LOL@ niggas sayin Tay and Pooh need to get back with 9th. are yall listenin to the same record I am?

  • des

    been waitin for this one lookin forward to hearing that 9th wonder track

  • SOUTHCENTRAL LA

    just got it.this shit is bangin.good review.

  • Town Bizz

    I promise I’m going to buy the CD and not botleg this one. Only because these record labels need to know that people are buying there album. Phonte is the illest MC in the game hand down.

  • THEGOD

    niggas made the whole split seem like 9th wasn’t even fuckin with them. 9th just didn’t want to be known as Little Brother’s producer. he’s 9th wonder the producer. this Album is the truth. theres a song thats not even on the Album called “Cool as a Fan”. its soo hard! i’m tight its not on this LP but overall this is hands down their best LP. its funny how artist pump out heat when the pressure is on.

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  • hotspitta33

    man i been hearin how dis dude is like a talib kweli or sumetin..to be compared to talib..dat is a major complement…dis album better be worth the hype