Little Brother
The Minstrel Show


3.5
great

Review

by Eli Schoop USER (19 Reviews)
May 12th, 2014 | 9 replies | 429 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: backpackers? amirite?

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

It's easy to look at The Minstrel Show and merely see one of the mid 2000s' underground classics that has been cruelly ignored over the years, but the album was actually the subject of a fair amount of controversy when it was released. BET infamously refused to play the "Lovin It" video because it allegedly was deemed "too intelligent" for the channel's audience, which speaks volumes on who BET cater to apparently. But more light was shone on how Little Brother condescended hip-hop as a genre by comparing it to a minstrel show. Considering how hip-hop was more popular than ever with artists like Kanye West, Eminem, and Outkast winning multiple Grammys and chart-topping hits being primarily rap, this criticism was fairly valid.

But hey! The music's pretty good, right? Phonte and Big Pooh bring their best rhymes to every track, while 9th Wonder's well-versed appreciation for boom-bap production doesn't get old. His beats really come into own with excellent sampling, the soul and R&B vibes perfectly complementing the chill atmosphere that permeates Little Brother's songs. The Minstrel Show is also deceptively funny. On "Lovin It", Joe Scudda, a white rapper, features. Phonte then introduces him by remarking "Performing in blackface tonight, is my nigga, Joe Scudda." The skits highlighting rap's state in popular music, despite how heavy-handed they may be, still induce some laughs here and there. It all compounds into a smooth, lively package that has a great deal of replay value, whether you've driving to work or just simply offhandedly looking for something to listen to.

Much of Little Brother's qualms with hip-hop probably stemmed from how they weren't popular in the mainstream, and how they considered what was being played on the radio and on MTV was just generic trash. Whether or not this is actually true and radio fodder is really inferior quality to underground content is up to the listener, but one thing's for sure; Little Brother definitely did not deserve the tepid reception The Minstrel Show originally received in 2005. It isn't a classic by any means, but if you're looking for an underappreciated record that provides a good ol' time, look no further than Phonte, Big Pooh, and 9th Wonder.



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user ratings (58)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
sportsboy
May 12th 2014



615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no one talks about little brother anymore, what a shame

Digging: Vektroid - Color Ocean Road

oltnabrick
May 12th 2014



30161 Comments


the first little brother review on the site.

Digging: Miyuki - Fellow Citizen

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 12th 2014



1594 Comments


"Whether or not this is actually true and radio fodder is really inferior quality to underground content is up to the listener"

Props for not passing judgement yourself. Pos'd.

sportsboy
May 12th 2014



615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks man

sputnik wouldn't know hip-hop if it bit them in the ass tho lmao

chitownflip
May 12th 2014



172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I lov this album, may not really be a 4.5 but I dig

Inveigh
May 12th 2014



24820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album and spot on review. nice work

Inveigh
May 12th 2014



24820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also hiding place is the jam

EaglesBecomeVultures
May 12th 2014



5194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

5 it

Digging: FKA twigs - LP1

Inveigh
May 12th 2014



24820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you first



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