Rapper Big Pooh Explains Why Little Brother Is Only 2 Members Now

Last month, Rapper Big Pooh released one of the standout solo albums within his extensive career. To Dream In Color addresses personal growth, family, sacrifice, and dedication to music. The 10-song album was sequenced by Pooh’s Little Brother partner Phonte. Three years removed from May The Lord Watch, the two MCs are working on a documentary of the same name (its trailer is embedded below).

The new album addresses that Brotherhood, as well as references to a reunion concert with original third member 9th Wonder. Lyrics also confront the fact that despite initial plans to make an album as a trio (Little Brother’s first since The Minstrel Show in 2005), the reunion proceeded as just Pooh and Phonte. Asked about the status of Little Brother, Big Pooh was clear. “At this point we just understand who each other are, and it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be. From May The Lord Watch forward, Little Brother is a duo. And it will be a duo; it will not be a trio again. That’s kinda what it is,” he says at the 52:00 mark. “I know some people [say they want] Little Brother with 9th [Wonder] production; that’s not gonna happen. We’re beyond that, but it’s not like if I see him, there’s gonna be furniture moving. It’s not that type of thing. We have a clear understanding of who each other—who we are, and we decided it was best for us to do our thing over here, and he do his thing over there.”

Rapper Big Pooh Talks His New Album, Little Brother’s Status & More

Notably, Pooh spoke about rebuilding his relationship with Phonte ahead of the 2019 album, something that is addressed on To Dream In Color. lyrics. Asked how it happened, the MC explains, “When Phife [Dawg] passed, I reached out. I had to set my ego and pride to the side, and we got on the phone. I think the thing that ‘Te and I did was, we put everything on the table. Like, we didn’t skip over anything. And it wasn’t like it was just one conversation—it was constant conversations about things, talking about things that happened, and why they happened, and where we was mentally at the time.”

Those conversations evolved to greater understanding. “As we started going forward and working on May The Lord Watch, it was understanding who we are—today. I think that was a thing that we didn’t do early, was take the time to really understand who each other was. Without, it leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation.” Pooh says the two men now have a greater sense of one another. “I didn’t understand who ‘Te was at his core when we were younger—at his core. So a lot of decisions he made confused me, or they befuddled me. And I’m pretty sure it was the same way for him. But as we worked on May The Lord Watch, and we got to know each other and understand each other, we don’t have those same problems, and we also have an open line of communication, where I’m not afraid of stepping on his toes or offending him. If I see something, I’ll say something—and vice versa.” That bond presents in the music. “When we were younger, we just had a common, general goal and it was workin’ out the way it was workin’ out. We were bonded by the experience of going through this thing together. Now we’re bonded by knowing who each other are.”

Little Brother Discuss Their New Album, Personal Growth, 9th Wonder & More

The time codes for episode #91 of the What’s The Headline podcast (with hyperlinks to skip around):

0:00 Intro
1:00 Rapper Big Pooh joins the What’s The Headline podcast to discuss his album To Dream In Color
2:00 Rapper Big Pooh details the life lessons he learned from his grandmother
4:24 How becoming a rapper was by divine intervention for him
7:53 The origin story or Little Brother
9:25 Rapper Big Pooh’s advice to the next generation about how to survive in the music business
12:00 Why major record labels are all the same
15:00 On owning his own masters
16:45 Rapper Big Pooh discusses the making of To Dream In Color
18:30 How he became better at writing rhymes over the last six years
24:50 Rapper Big Pooh details how he and Phonte sequence albums
29:40 Which is more important between peace and prosperity
30:40 How the phrase “thoughts and prayers” has lost meaning
35:40 Rapper Big Pooh on working with Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul
40:43 What it means to man up and go for your dreams and to dream in color
42:00 How he manages Dreamville’s Lute and maintains his career at the same time
48:28 Rapper Big Pooh speaks about the movement Dreamville has built
50:55 A Little Brother documentary is coming in 2023 and it will answer questions
52:30 On whether the rift between Rapper Big Poor and Phonte with 9th Wonder can be repaired
53:45 How Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte resolved their differences
57:40 How Little Brother’s fate would have been different if they started now instead of in the ’00s
1:02:20 How his views have changed on material things
1:04:00 Rapper Big Pooh speaks about working other jobs to maintain his Rap career
1:13:00 The joys of the old school CD clubs like BMG and Columbia House
1:15:10 On the legacy of the Justus League
1:19:40 How pride and ego can tear you apart
1:21:40 Rapper Big Pooh gives words of advice to people thinking about quitting their dreams

AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline. In addition to Big Pooh, the podcast also features interviews with Cormega, Meyhem Lauren & Daringer, Diamond D, Joell Ortiz, AZ, Blu & Mickey Factz, Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse.

On Its 10 Year Anniversary, Little Brother Remember The Minstrel Show With New Perspective

Selections from To Dream In Colorthe official AFH are currently on playlist.

Press photos provided by The Elixir Media Group, LLC.

#BonusBeat: A trailer to Little Brother’s May The Lord Watch documentary: