It’s been a long time coming, but Little Brother FINALLY released their third official album, Getback. I say that because there was a brief second when I doubted that I would ever see this album released. The first problem was the mishandling of their last album, The Minstrel Show by Atlantic Records. The second and more troubling issue was the departure of the group’s resident beat smith, 9th Wonder.
While I wasn’t surprised at all by the situation at Atlantic Records, I wondered if 9th’s departure signaled the eventual demise of one of hip-hop’s finest collectives.
Haters gathered to tell anyone who would listen about how LB was another “flash in the pan.” Those haters have been silenced by two excellent mixtapes and a ton of other buzz, generated through the group’s MySpace page.
As for the album, I can say with great certainty that this might be one of the all around best albums I have ever heard.
At only 11 tracks (all of them actual songs, no skits), it gives you all the lyrics with none of the fluff and filler that fans tend to complain about.
While I’m on the subject of lyrics, both members of LB came with the heat for this album. Phonte continued to deliver the high quality wordplay that fans have come to expect. Not to be outdone, rapper Big Pooh has developed himself into a formidable MC over the years.
This album has all the tools to make it a hip-hop classic. LB’s new production direction allowed them to seek out a wide variety of soundscapes designed to fuel their new and improved formula.
You can’t really call it new and improved though, since they still utilize the same dope beats and dope rhymes that have made them the underground’s favorite.
The album kicks off with the melodic sound of a live bass and drums for “Sirens.” The LB brothers jump down the throats of the critics who blame hip-hop for the world’s problems. They also spend much of the album fighting off claims that they simply aren’t viable in today’s marketplace.
What is so wonderful about this album is that with the exception of Lil Wayne’s verse on “Breaking my Heart,” everything else is perfect. The beats are a great blend of old school boom bap and new school soul beats.
Anybody doubting the versatility that hip-hop is capable of should take a long listen to this album. From an ode to getting fly gear (“Good Clothes”) to showing love to women who play hard to get (“Step It Up”), Little Brother has certainly delivered a product that makes true hip-hop fans wish they were back in 1989.
I can’t stress enough how much anyone who claims to be a hip-hop fan should buy this album. I have been calling Little Brother the second coming of A Tribe Called Quest since I heard their first album back in 2002.
Getback simply goes a long way to prove that they belong in a lot of discussions about the greatest groups in hip-hop history.