THE MINSTREL SHOW: LITTLE BROTHER Sunday 29 January, 2012

A hip hop concept album that will have you repeat playing like an m’er f’er.

I can’t remember why I bought this album. I remember a friend saying they liked Little Brother but I thought that they would be rubbish so I disregarded that. Whatever the reason was I am incredibly glad that whatever is was that prompted me to buy it did so. I am really fond of this album. I even like the faux R&B track and the skits. That’s quite something on a hip hop album. It’s really unusual to enjoy the skits on any album.

The skits on this album are what makes it a concept album. The Minstrel Show purports to being a TV show. There are guest singers, commercials and scenes involving the audience at home getting told off for not doing their homework and watching too much of The Minstrel Show. It all ties together brilliantly and the two main rappers (Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh) work really well together.

The star of The Minstrel Show, though, is 9th Wonder’s production. This album is musically brilliant. I mean really brilliant. This is not the hip hop of old that involved finding an awesome break and then looping it over the top of a big beat. There is genuine artistry involved in what 9th wonder does. I couldn’t stop listening to ‘Say It Again’ when I first heard it. I listened to that over and over for a long time. It is awesome.

I’m sure concept albums are not everybody’s bag of onions but this is one that you should make an allowance for.

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