Mixtape Flashback :: Little Brother :: Chitlin Circuit

04-08-2012 § 1 Comment

A fresh take on a classic tape …

The Chitlin’ Circuit mixtape from Little Brother is one of my favorite releases from their catalog – albums included. In fact, Id put it just slightly behind their classic debut album “The Listening” (the only one entirely produced by 9th Wonder) in terms of ranking their projects. If you’ve not heard it, definitely grab a download copy (or stream!) at the above link.

I was listening to this mixtape / album today, and you’ll hear a few nothing-short-of-amazing verses from Phonte – he has a lot of them but some of his best are on tracks like Tension, Starvation, or over 9th Wonder’s Jay-Z laced Threats beat on “The Threatening.” Rapper Big Pooh is at his best, and contributes equally I think – even handling some of the hook composition. I remember getting this mixtape off one of the hip hop mixtape sites (where you buy the “sticker” and the tape is free, ain’t it great?) years ago, and I’ve all but worn out the disc, and the ripped mp3 files since then.

My whole team come through like the task force
Makin’ niggas sit down is all we can stand for
You fake fifteen-and-a-half-bar rap stars
Take ya caps off, LB bout to blast off, what?” – from “Tension” (Phonte)

I was searching around online to find a definition of Phonte’s initial claim he’s the rap Padiphamilius (turns out it’s patal familius which means the head of a Roman family) & stumbled on this gem of a blog post giving the “best verse” of the month nod. The guy stopped updating in 2005, hopefully I don’t end up like that with a 7 year old result coming up as the last search engine scan! Verse of the month is appropriate, Phonte comes aggressive and it’s clear he’s still hungry to this day, but this was an entirely different style.

Cardiac arrest your style, I mean have a heart to heart wit ya
I swing like hard hitter cause you boring me
So God bless the day that Khrysis recorded me
And Big Pooh, he always got my loyalty
9th is king of his beat machine,
now that’s mechanical royalty” – Phonte’s Threatening Verse

Pump hits out the shop like we moving the rocks
Eat a cock to them naysayers, who wish that we didn’t record
So at night they pray for it
Cocksucker, you gon’ pay for it” – Big Pooh’s Threatening Verse

The tape also includes an early Kanye West collaboration with NC’s finest, including Consequence (who has a pretty solid contribution) in the track also. The song is about ex girlfriends, and hoes in general – kind of an off-topic for Little Brother but it works. Kanye handles the hook plus a verse and the outro – 9th Wonder on the beat and Little Brother shows up to complete a pretty fantastic track.

When it come to my ex dames,
Phonte keep ’em in line like
roller blades at the X Games” – from “I See Now” (Phonte)

Little Brother will always have a place in my heart for the spot of the best groups – I’d argue for them anyday.


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