ACE brings Little Brother to perform at Homecoming

All-Campus Entertainment is bringing hip-hop group Little Brother to play at this year’s Homecoming concert on Friday, Nov. 9 in Baxter Hall. Little Brother hails from Durham, N.C., and performs “hip-hop smoothed out on the death metal tip, with a ska feel,” according to its MySpace page.

The group may not have a big name yet, but it does have several fans on campus. “They have sick flow,” Ethan Timmins-Schiffman ’10 said. “When they bust a rhyme, they make your head nod, and you’re like ‘oh snap yo.’”

Members of ACE, however, acknowledged that the decision to invite Little Brother was based, in part, on budget constraints. “They’re not the greatest, but they’re cheaper than $10,000,” said Brian Shepherd ’11, a member of ACE. “They try to keep it under, because ACE is having money issues,” he said. “I’m not a big fan of hip-hop, but the general consensus of ACE is that campus wanted a hip-hop group.”

An innovative hip-hop duo, Little Brother was formed in 1998 while its members were students at North Carolina Central University. It released CDs in 2003 and 2005 and will release its third, Getback, shortly before it comes to Williamstown. The group includes emcees Phonte Coleman and Thomas Jones, known as Phonte and Big Pooh. According to an MVRemix interview with Phonte, the group is “soulful, funky and fun.”

The group’s last CD, The Minstrel Show (2005), sold 18,000 copies in the first week and rose to number 56 in the Billboard 200 chart. Referencing the 19th century performances that often perpetuated negative black stereotypes, The Minstrel Show addresses the responsibilities of rappers through dark humor and satire. One listener, Gina Rodriguez ’11 said, “Some of the songs on [it] are somewhat silly. . . . They make spoofs on some stereotypes of hip-hop and its culture.”

Little Brother is a “supergroup in the making,” according to But despite its critical acclaim, Little Brother remains relatively unknown inside and beyond the mainstream hip-hop scene. Timmins-Schiffman suggested that the element of anonymity may draw in students who do not typically listen to hip-hop. “People don’t like hip-hop because they don’t like what they hear,” Timmins-Schiffman said, “And maybe they [will be] like, ‘I haven’t heard [Little Brother] before so we’ll check them out.’”

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