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The Minstrel Show

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Album Review

Few groups earn a major-label contract based on their producer's merits, but when Little Brother jumped to Atlantic for their second full album, The Minstrel Show, any cynic looking for a good reason would point to the increased profile of trackmaster 9th Wonder (Jay-Z, Destiny's Child). But it wasn't just 9th Wonder that made Little Brother's first album one of the best underground rap debuts of the new millennium; rappers Phonte and Big Pooh matched a smooth Southern drawl with up-North smarts. Like their influences in the Native Tongues family, the trio cast a clever eye over music and culture, sniffing out hypocrisy and greed, then dismissing them with sparkling satires. The Minstrel Show presents more of the same, expanding the palette to a host of hot topics: R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" series, which gets skewered by the spot-on "Cheatin"; exploitative urban TV stations (the album's main concept); and even the need for brand-name clothes ("5th and Fashion"). And any fans who feared that 9th Wonder's success would lead to a diluted or overly polished record have nothing to worry about; awash in '70s soul and mellow, slapping beats, his productions make the message tracks carry just as well as the humorous material.

Customer Reviews

Only a fool would pass on this album

If you missed Little Brother's first album, The Listening, don't make the same mistake and pass on The Minstrel Show. Big Pooh, Phonte, and 9th deliver another classic. Right from the start the album hits you as fun, fresh and funky. It's been part of my regular rotation for 6 months now. Defintely a dope album, pick it up and you won't regret it.

Amazing Album still!

You gotta love the begginning though lol, "You are watching UBA, U to Black Ni***** network." Anyway this album is so refreshing starting off with such a relaxing beat, then ends off hard. This is by far one of the best old school albums today.

What took me so long!!

I think this is one of the best full albums I've heard in years!! Killer beats well thought out rhymes funny at points with a couple guest appearances.
Seriously can't stop listening to slow it down
9th always has killer baselines!! Buy this!!!
The listening is worth it as well


Formed: 2001 in Durham, NC

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Part of the new millennium resurgence of alternative rap, Little Brother drew from atypical inspirations for Southern hip-hop: classic Native Tongues outfits like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, as well as more recent torch-bearers like the Roots and Black Star. MCs Phonte (born Phonte Coleman) and Big Pooh (born Thomas Jones) swapped rhymes with an easy chemistry, but the group's real focal point was DJ/producer 9th Wonder (born Pat Douthit), an old-school sampling technician who quickly established...
Full bio
The Minstrel Show, Little Brother
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Customer Ratings