Watch Little Brother’s Documentary Now
Just moments ago, the documentary May The Lord Watch: The Little Brother Story premiered for all to see. The film, produced by Little Brother, is directed by Holland Randolph Gallagher and written by esteemed Hip-Hop journalist “Yoh” Phillips (of documentary studio Rap Portraits). After years in the making, the documentary allows Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh to tell their group’s story—on their own terms, and without compromise.
Notably, the 100-plus-minute feature addresses Little Brother’s origin story and its Hip-Hop impact during the 2000s. It has been screening in several major cities, including a New York City event attended by Ambrosia For Heads. The film also finds Phonte and Pooh speaking candidly and comprehensively about the role of the founding third LB member, 9th Wonder. The work explains 9th’s exit from the group following 2005’s The Minstrel Show, and how that decision and positioning had been brewing for years. Lots of archival footage shows the experiences of LB and how Phonte and Pooh grew separated from their producer following 2003’s The Listening. The film also covers tensions and hurt feelings between Phonte and Pooh over the years, even after the pair maintained the group through the second half of the 2000s. The film explains how 2016 saw bridges being built, that ultimately led to a late 2018 Durham, North Carolina reunion concert reunion between Pooh, Phonte, and 9th Wonder.
As also described during a 2019 interview with AFH (also embedded at the bottom of this article), the film unpacks why preliminary attempts for a reunion album between the three artists did not work. The film explains that they attempted to reach 9th Wonder to appear, but those communications did not go answered. However, at least one member of the group gets the last word on the three men’s journeys in the documentary.
Little Brother’s two members address the experience of going from a group deliberately modeled in the lineage of The Roots, Common, Blackalicious, and Black Star, to signing a deal with ABB Records—which former manager Big Dho calls “All Bad Business.” Questlove is among the guests, and he recalls being handed an LB CD from the crowd at a Roots show, and how the Hip-Hop crew had substantial ties to the OkayPlayer message board community. The doc chronicles the bittersweet experience of signing with Atlantic Records for an acclaimed but controversial album, and how the group left the label with a situation other artists could only dream of.
Other highlights show how Foreign Exchange’s label independence taught LB a lesson. The film references how Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Doja Cat have all cited the influence and/or excellence of Little Brother. Phonte also opens up about a serious matter in his life and the healing journey—a matter he rapped about in 2023 during a Black Milk collaboration.
In addition to LB, Dho, and Questlove, speakers include authors Dan Charnas and Dart Adams, original ABB Records LB A&R Ian “ID” Davis, DJ Drama, Nicolay, Focus…, and Lute. In a press statement, Phonte said, “Little Brother entered this business independently and based on the current landscape, we see no need to change course. This film is a love letter to our fans, a celebration of the people who made us, and a testament to our core values of authenticity, ownership, and craftsmanship. It took us five years to complete this, and it finally feels right.” Pooh speaks about the importance of making the film available for free. “One of the things I’ve been hearing people talk about is how our music was either shared with them or they shared our music with someone else, sometimes even forming life long bonds. YouTube is the perfect intersection where all demographics meet. Having the ability to release our documentary via YouTube felt like the perfect way to share our story with Little Brother fans while leaving open the possibility of introducing ourselves to an entirely new group of potential fans.”
May The Lord Watch: The Little Brother Story, named after the duo’s 2019 album, features animations (via CreativeJunkFood), LB music, and rare access to one of the most trusted brands in Hip-Hop, especially over the last 20 years. In the press statement, the film’s director, Holland Randolph Gallagher revealed elements to its origin and production. “When you meet someone at the Uber line at LAX rarely does it coalesce into a years-long, soul-searching and feature-length-documentary-
New music from Little Brother, including 2023 songs, is currently on the AFH playlist.
Press photo by Antoine Lyers provided by The Elixir Media Group.
#BonusBeat: Little Brother’s 2019 interview with Ambrosia For Heads: