10 Years Ago Today: Little Brother – The Listening

Little Brother – The Getup

As evidenced by the two month lapse, I haven’t really been compelled to post much, but today marks a special day. It’s been a decade since Little Brother released their critically acclaimed debut album The Listening.

It’s one of the albums that got me interested in finding samples in rap music and listening to music that wasn’t played on the radio.

When I first listened to the album in its entirety in late 2007 I enjoyed the lyrics, 9th Wonder’s trademark sampling techniques and snares, but  it really took time 5 years later the topics mentioned in songs like  “Speed” and “Whatever You Say.” What went over my head as a 17 year old now make more sense and eerily describe situations I’ve experienced.

While the music itself is great, the feelings listening to this album evokes cements the true greatness The Listening possesses.

“Speed” – Youthful exuberance after copping The Listening CD (circa 2009)

Over the years I’ve always felt a connection between LB’s music and their story. Well, it’s because in a way there IS a connection between me and Little Brother.

9th Wonder, Phonte, and Big Pooh met at North Carolina Central University, some 10 years before I stepped foot on the same campus, walked the same halls and trekked up and down the sloping hills.

Hell, I even occupied same byline slots Pooh and Phonte did, so their catalog always holds a slot in the iPod, CD player, and desktop player.

The story of Little Brother ended in 2010, but where it began in 2003 is always worth listening to…


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