Rapper Big Pooh – “What Was Lost” review

Rapper Big Pooh is a 41 year old rapper from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina who came up as a member of the seminal Little Brother alongside rapper/singer Phonte & producer 9th Wonder. However, he’s been building up quite a discography of his own since the man’s 2005 solo debut Sleepers. Last time we got a project from Big Pooh was in 2018 with the Focus…-produced RPM album but after taking a couple years off & to celebrate his birthday, he & Young RJ of Slum Village are unearthing an EP’s worth of joints they recorded together in the late 2000s.

“The Recipe” that starts the EP off spits about how he came to do rather than talk over a triumphant beat whereas the next song “Get It In” talks about going hard over a more rugged instrumental. The track “Money” with O-Dash & Frank Nitt finds the trio showing listeners how it is over a boom bap beat with some twinkling keyboard melodies while the song “Hello” gets on the lovey dovey side of things over a slow, enticing instrumental. The closer “Smile” pays tribute to his mother over a joyous beat.

Even though these joints were recorded a little over a decade ago, it sounds like they were all made recently. Rapper Big Pooh’s pen-game hasn’t changed a bit & Young RJ shows himself as one of the most underrated producers that the 313 has to offer.

Score: 3.5/5

Little Brother – “May the Lord Watch” review

Little Brother is a reasonably beloved Durham, North Carolina group consisting of MCs Phonte & Rapper Big Pooh. They originally started out as a trio with producer 9th Wonder, their first 2 albums together The Listening & The Minstrel Show being hailed as some of the best albums of the previous decade. 9th then decided to focus on a solo career in 2007 & Little Brother dropped their 1st album as a duo Getback later that year. Then in 2010, they released their previous full-length album Leftback & officially disbanded shortly after. Almost a decade later, Phonte & Pooh have reformed LB to deliver a comeback album.

The album begins with “The Feel”, where Phonte & Pooh look back at their careers up until this point over a synth-funk instrumental from Khrysis with some luxurious piano chords. After the “A Word from the President” skit, the next song “Everything” finds the duo thinking about just that over a boom bap beat with some twinkling keys. The track “Right on Time” reflects on their rough past over a J Dilla influenced instrumental from Nottz while the song “Black Magic (Make It Better)” talks about hustling over a Focus… instrumental with some harmonious vocals.

After the “Life After Blackface” skit, the song “Goodmorning Sunshine” pays tribute to their significant others over a mellow boom bap instrumental. After the “Dyana Change My Life” skit, the song “What I Came For” talks about getting some over a cloudy boom bap beat. Then after the “Inside the Producer’s Studio” skit, the song “Sittin’ Alone” talks about being chilling at home by yourself over a blissful boom bap beat.

The song “Picture This” talks about gratefulness over a dulcet instrumental from Black Milk. After the “N****s Hollering” skit, the penultimate track “All in a Day” talks about their grind in hip hop over a grand instrumental. The album then finishes with “Work Through Me”, where Phonte & Pooh going back & forth with each other over a funky boom bap beat.

Never thought this day would come, but I’m glad it did. Sure it’s only 37 & a half minutes long, but it’s like they never left. On top of Phonte & Rapper Big Pooh sounding very refreshed, Khrysis really comes through with the instrumental palate on here. My only complaint about the album is some of the skits but other than that, this is a fantastic comeback from one of the greatest groups hip hop has ever seen.

Score: 4/5