Little Brother Inks With Atlantic

08/23/04

Acclaimed Southern Hip-Hop Trio Signed Via Production Deal With ABB Records

Atlantic Records has signed acclaimed North Carolina-based hip-hop trio Little Brother to a long-term, exclusive worldwide recording contract via a production agreement with ABB Records. Little Brother-MCs Phonte and Big Pooh, DJ/producer 9th Wonder-were signed to ABB in 2002, and their debut album, "THE LISTENING," was released in 2003. Their first album for ABB/Atlantic, and second full-length, is slated for release in the summer of 2005.

In making the announcement, Atlantic Co-Chairman/COO Craig Kallman commented: "Little Brother is without a doubt one of the most creative and refreshing groups on the underground urban music scene. With two gifted MCs and a genius producer, they tell down-to-earth, authentic stories laid over brilliant soundscapes. With their roots in the music of classic Native Tongues artists, Little Brother is taking hip-hop music into the future with an inspired musical vision and a truly organic chemistry. ABB has proved to be a terrific incubator of new talent, and I am thrilled that we were able to join forces with them to bring Little Brother into the Atlantic family."

"Little Brother is the latest ABB artist to step up to the plate in terms of major label interest," says ABB Records President Beni B. "It's good to know that their musical vision, together with ABB's efforts, created a solid first impression. ABB looks forward to working with the great Atlantic team to help Little Brother further develop their incredible talent, grow their musical visions, and impact people's lives with their music."

Little Brother's groundbreaking hip-hop approach has been described as existing somewhere between the jazzy, feel-good grooves of A Tribe Called Quest and the yin-yang chemistry of OutKast. Phonte, Big Pooh, and 9th Wonder met in 1998 while attending North Carolina Central University. Discovering that they shared similar wide-ranging musical tastes (The Roots, Led Zeppelin, Wes Montgomery), they vowed to help each other develop their careers. The trio has served as a nucleus for Durham's hip-hop community, playing central roles in such groups such as The Organization and the Justus League, a 12-member crew of producers and MCs. While the three maintained their alliance through a variety of projects, it wasn't until 2001 that they decided to come together and make Little Brother an official group, with the goal of diversifying the face of Southern rap and sharpening hip-hop's creative edges.

Their first recording was "Speed," a song that talked about the pressures of trying to maintain a job while struggling to make it in the music industry. The group received frequent spins on college radio, and they regularly headlined at local venues and opened for national acts. They were also voted as one of the "Top 10 Artists to Watch" in a critics' poll by the Raleigh News & Observer.

Little Brother's debut album, "THE LISTENING," is widely hailed as one of hip-hop music's best debut albums of the past five years. It has earned widespread acclaim from the critical community and endorsements from the likes of the Roots' ?uestlove and Pete Rock. Vibe magazine raved: "The Listening unfolds into one of the most addictive debut platters in recent memory...Having learned their lessons well from hip-hip innovators, Little Brother stakes claim to a promising future." The Source proclaimed that The Listening "is one of the most sonically cohesive hip-hop albums since The Blueprint. It is an entertaining amalgam of beats, rhymes and life that quickly propels Little Brother from apprentice to instructor."

Among his other projects, Little Brother's 9th Wonder produced Jay-Z's "Threat" on "THE BLACK ALBUM" and an entire remix of Nas' "GOD'S SON" album, dubbed "GOD'S STEPSON."

Source: The Atlantic Records Group