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Little Brother - “The Feel”
It’s become a cliche to say rap is youth culture—even if it’s mostly true—but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t space for midlife crisis bars. After a nine-year hiatus, grown folks/rappers Phonte and Big Pooh have reunited as Little Brother, the Durham group they founded with soul-rap producer extraordinaire 9th Wonder. Their new album, May the Lord Watch, (sans 9th) is full of songs about being too tired to go out, fixing your credit score, and, as Phonte puts it, having “success and the stress to match.” “The Feel,” which opens the album, is about rediscovering shades of your prime even with your youth long behind you. In its verses, you can hear old teammates wiping the rust off and finding their chemistry. As long-time collaborator Khrysis does his best 9th Wonder impression, with a heavy piano-loop and a stomping drum kick, Phonte is as smooth as ever while Pooh is far punchier weighing a life in the rap middle class. “This is the life ain’t it?/Real talk got reason to be jaded/But woke to see a sunrise/I hope to see a better me through a son’s eyes,” he raps. They’ve lived long enough to be cautiously optimistic—and to expect the worst. But they’re weary, not defeated.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork