The long wait for new material from Durham, N.C.’s Little Brother is over. Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte will be releasing their fourth album, LeftBack, on April 20 through the Hall of Justus imprint. The release of LeftBack is a mixed blessing, though. It will be their last album. LeftBack was originally scheduled to be an EP of material that didn’t make 2007’s excellent GetBack, but the group didn’t want to end it that way. “I didn’t want our last record to be a bunch of second-rate material,” Phonte said of the group’s plan to expand LeftBack to a full album. “I wanted to walk away from Little Brother knowing that I gave our fans all that I had to give, and said everything I wanted to say.”
LeftBack reprises many of GetBack‘s cast of contributors. D12 member/Shady Records secret weapon Denaun Porter contributes production, as do Zo! and Khrysis. Longtime cohorts Jozeemo, Chaundon and Darien Brockington are set to appear as well. The album will also be accomanied by four music videos and a visual career retrospective to be released separately on DVD after LeftBack‘s initial pressing.
It’s sad to see bad timing, poor album sales, and record company mismanagement destroy a group as good as this. It made no sense why their considerable skills never translated into record sales and airplay. If anything, it’s an indictment of the style over substance attitude governing the hip hop mainstream for the last few years. Here’s hoping ‘Te and Pooh’s solo endeavors continue to shine as brightly as Little Brother’s brief but seminal catalog does. [2DopeBoyz]