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Little Brother: The Chitlin Circuit 1.5

Little Brother: The Chitlin Circuit 1.5

Release Date:2005
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

Little Brother plays the Ottobar June 17 with the Away Team, Legacy, Darien Brockington, Joe Scudda, and Chaundon

By Makkada B. Selah | Posted 6/15/2005

Little Brother could be the Main source of its generation, even if LB’s monumental 2003 The Listening wasn’t quite 1991’s Breaking Atoms. Though never credited as such, Main Source is one of the progenitors of the Native Tongues vernacular, the first to use the funk-focused SP1200 loops and the round-about, half-joking/half-serious community-uplift commentary for which Little Brother is now known. And LB’s tenure is going to be longer than its forerunner’s, even if producer 9th Wonder is making Large Professor moves by producing for Jay-Z, et al.

LB’s new mix tape, The Chitlin Circuit 1.5, is marketed as a clever appetizer to its major-label release due out in September—dishing out a full plate of 18 gutsy and hot beats and rhymes. And keeping with the mix-tape mission, MCs Phonte and Big Pooh and DJ 9th Wonder pass the mic and mixer often. O-Dash provides the soulful new-jack swing of “Nobody Like Me” with Darien Brockington providing the Teddy Riley-like vocals and Big Pooh’s rough and rugged flow leading the charge. Kanye West and Consequence join the party on the 9th Wonder-produced “I See Now.” And Phonte’s Foreign Exchange partner, Dutch producer Nicolay, remixes two songs from The Listening—“The Yo-Yo” and “The Way You Do It”—with ebullient Fender Rhodes and impressionistic guitars.

Little Brother’s very NYC sound raises questions about its Dirty Southness, but perhaps the separating effects of the Great Migration are overrated. As Guest MC Big Daddy Kane says in his intro rap on “Welcome to Durham,” “The Dutch and the backwood get split the same/ you ask me ’bout down here, I’m like, ‘Shit the same.’”

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