Phonte Has Just Released A Surprise EP. Listen Here.
With less than 24 hours notice, Phonte just released his second project since last March. 2018’s No News Is Good News marked the North Carolina MC/singer/producer’s first solo effort and Rap album in nearly seven years. It was subsequently named one of 2018’s best efforts by Ambrosia For Heads. For 2019, the Little Brother and Foreign Exchange co-founder (plus Questlove Supreme co-host) follows up with Pacific Time. At around noon EST on Thursday (March 28), Phonte announced that he would be dropping the new body of work at the start of Friday, attaching the project’s artwork.
Freshly arrived, the four-song release features KAYTRANADA, Devin Morrison, and Bosco. Kaytranada, who involved ‘Te on 2016’s 99.9%, also produces “Heard This One Before.” Grammy-nominated producer (and Pac Div member) Like co-produces “Beverly Hills,” alongside Devin Morrison and Swarvy. Phonte handles the work behind the boards on “Ego.” Longtime Phonte collaborator plays keys, keys, and bass on multiple songs.
— Zo! (@Zo3hree5ive) March 28, 2019
On 2018’s No News Is Good News, Phonte addressed some very personal issues and some of the realities facing many listeners. At the time, he told Billboard’s Andreas Hale about what inspired many of the lyrics and concepts on the album. “I lost my dad and my granddad in the same week. And then I lost my uncle on Thanksgiving day,” he said. “We had a lot of deaths in Hip-Hop during that time as well. I turned the record in on Sunday, and then on Wednesday, I get a call telling me that my aunt died. She died of cancer at 49. I’m like, ‘Dude, she’s only 10 years older than me. I’m 39.’”
The last time heads heard about some Phonte-related music news was in September 2018 when producer S1 told HipHopDX that he is producing a super-group of MCs he put together, including ‘Te, Black Thought and Rhymefest. “We’ve been knocking out songs for that [particular project],” S1 told DX‘s Justin Ivey. “I’m excited about that. [It is] really dope stuff.” Phonte later confirmed the group on social media.
Phonte has been busy. Last September, he, 9th Wonder, and Rapper Big Pooh reunited for a Durham, North Carolina concert, marking Little Brother’s first in more than a decade. Tigallo is also executive producing Hype, a dramatic web series that debuted in January:
Press image provided by The Foreign Exchange Music.