Little Brother Has Problems
by Winston "Stone" Ford
I was gonna blog about this yesterday, but it seems noz at XXL beat me to it. If you don’t know, Little Brother played a show in Fayetteville, North Carolina, opening up for Three Six Mafia, Rick Ross, Young Dro, Young Joc, Dem Franchise Boyz and the The Musicianz. From the get go you know that something ain’t right with this picture.
In other words, they knew what they were getting into, so why in the hell are they so surprised?
Of course, Phonte tries to blame the audience for the rather cold reaction that they got in The Fay (are they still calling it The Fay anymore?). Noz thinks its the fact that since Little Brother tries to be all high and mighty, their pretentiousness does not help to win them fans. Sure, that may be true, but it misses the obvious.
WHOEVER SET THIS SHOW UP FOR LITTLE BROTHER IS ON CRACK. Whether its the management, the record company, a promoter, or the band themselves. I could see a LB/Outkast set, or a LB/Roots set. Even a LB/Outkast/Three 6 Mafia set might go over well. But music is marketing people, and LB and the aforementioned “Dirty South,” artist fall into different markets. The Roots and Common would probably get the same reaction. It just boils down to different types of music, and different people. It’s like Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five getting booed when they opened up for the Clash. Sure The Clash liked New York hip-hop, but that doesnt mean ish to their fans. LB might have slapped hands with Young Joc backstage, but again, the people who are out to see Young Joc probably don’t give a damn about Little Brother.
I don’t think that LB needs to go back into the studio and record a crunk record (although handing production duties to people outside of their camp would be nice) to appeal to a mass audience. Honestly, in the end, LB will probably get the mainstream success that they are hoping for when they signed a major label deal. The Listening was a great album. In fact, I enjoy left feild music over Dirty South. Gasp! Little Brother have carved a unique niche of hip-hop for themselves and that’s good. But unfortunately, its still a niche, and until mainstream audiences accept them for who they are, LB will be in that corner for a long time.