Rapper Big Pooh’s contribution to Little Brother’s success has been downplayed by some in the past. Not until his solo debut, Sleepers, was it made abundantly clear that his rhymes were a crucial element in the LB formula; it put the spotlight on the shrewd lyricism that gave the group a necessary edge. While you could always count on Phonte to tell it like it was, Pooh’s quick-wit cemented the group as a force to be reckoned with. Take a look at the these bars from “For You” off the groups critically acclaimed debut, The Listening; on the last verse Phonte raps, “making the crowd cheer massively/I tell ni–as ‘y’all aint wack’/'y’all just sound wack rhyming after me’” and Pooh later continues the thought by cooking up this heater, “thugs getting open to me/and yo mad hands up in the air/ like I told em to freeze.” Their contrasting styles brought 9′th’s larger-than-life production back down to Earth.
Rapper Big Pooh dropped his sophomore album, Dirty Pretty Things, at the beginning of this month. Like Sleepers, the hard-biting production showcases that signature Big Pooh sound, but it also explores more approachable subject matter. On “Right With You,” Big Pooh proves he has matured as a solo artist. Essentially his love-letter to hip-hop, clever lyrics like, “Seeing how my boys act/like they like you more than me/that kinda turn me on/it don’t evoke jealousy” are effectively applied to a laid-back beat. It wouldn’t be surprising if he appropriated a mob of new fans with the track “Around the World (ladies love),” a pleasant surprise complete with the infectious crooning of Novel. As he explains on “Interdependent,” the album is all about telling his story; “this is my struggle/this is my pain…emotionally drained/married to the game/this is chapter 2/welcome all to the change.” The beats are meticulously arranged to suit him, consistently hitting the mark and the album as a whole is really well-rounded. This could be the beginning of something much bigger, so get familiar.
As the title of this post suggests, Benz and a Backpack was fortunate enough to snag an interview with Big Pooh only a few days ago. Hit the skip to see his take on the NBA lockout, his future projects and Spotify. You’ll also find the tracklist for Dirty Pretty Things and a link to purchase the album via iTunes. Read the rest of this entry →