Little Brother, The Minstrel Show (Atlantic, 2005)
I take back everything I ever said about Little Brother. I mean, that Buckshot album and that Chitlin Circuit mixtape still aren't worth listening to, but - from now on - I'll fucking pretend that they are, gotdamnit. Of course I won't actually be listening to them - because life is short and god and the bible.
WELCOME TO THE MINSTREL SHOW
The skits on this album are arguably the best ever. You'd have to go back to early De La Soul to find anything comparable. This one, because it takes the form of a TV show, is actually reminiscent of the ones from 3 Feet High and Rising.
In case you were wondering, 9th Wonder is still working those same old formulas, but - in this case - I can't fault the jig on the execution.
In that sense, I'd compare him to DJ Premier. The man hasn't had a new idea since like 1995, but he still might bust out a Moment of Truth. In an era dominated by the likes of Mike Jones and what have you, I'll take what I can get, nullus.
On the other hand, you do kinda wish that they could improve the sound quality of this shit. For being their first album on a major label, this still has that recorded in someone's bedroom sound to it.
Sadly, not a cover of one of the most infamous Gin Blossoms songs, but hilarious none the less. Actually, this sounds a lot like that Mariah Carey song that was so inexplicably popular all summer.
Not bad, but not that good, either. Sounds like something you'd try to bury at the end of side 2. I guess this could be considered the end of side 1.
SLOW IT DOWN
I love the sample on this, nullus. In fact, it's occurred to me that the main difference between the Little Brother songs I like and the ones I don't is the production. The vocals don't seem to vary enough to make much of a difference one way or the other.
SAY IT AGAIN
Which is not to say that they rhyme about the same shit song after song. But they do kinda rhyme the same way song after song and sometimes I'll be hesitant to listen to the actual lyrics on rap albums because I think it might make me dumber.
5TH & FASHION
An hilarious skit about some jig clothing store. LOL at "we got EBT."
The first single - maybe you've heard it. Honestly, I don't find it as bad as I do underwhelming for a lead single. How was this really going to blow up?
DIARY OF A MAD BLACK DADDY
ALL FOR YOU
Little Brother has some daddy issues. Does anybody remember on the Real World San Diego when that jig had to call his daddy and the old man turned out to be the coolest jig ever?
This is track 13 for a reason. Not that it's bad, but it's not that good either. This could've been on that aforementioned mixtape.
This has nothing to do with that one Kool G Rap song where he goes off on a woman for, um, being a woman.
STILL LIVES THROUGH
A remake of whatever that song was from the second side of Midnight Marauders. What's amazing about is how I could recognize that shit from literally the first bass thump. I was like, "Hey, that kinda sounds like Tribe Called Quest."
MINSTREL SHOW CLOSING THEME
These dumbass musical interludes really are great.
WE GOT NOW
The little Bamboozled part at the end is amusing.
COMMENTS: I was worried that this album would completely suck balls, nullus, but it's actually not that bad. In terms of the individual songs, the now two-albums-old LB formula is definitely starting to show signs of wear, but you can tell a lot of work was put into the overall presentation, which is nice.
BEST TRACKS: "Cheatin'"