As fans countdown the days to Drake’s latest endeavor, Views From the 6, and Tidal subscribers continue to enjoy Kanye West’s historical release, The Life of Pablo, it’s intriguing to see how far these two artists have come.
However, when discussing the great careers of these guys it often goes unsaid that they both owe much of their development as artists to one man, Phonte Coleman. The former member of Little Brother is arguably one the most underrated artists of our time. From his work as an emcee with rapper Big Pooh, to his smooth delivery as a vocalist with The Foreign Exchange, Phonte has repeatedly displayed his versatility.
The whole discussion about Drake stealing Phonte’s style is not just another industry conspiracy story. Hip-hop Producer 9th Wonder stated in a recent interview that without Phonte there is no Drake. Drake himself has even ranked the rapper/vocalist as one of his top five favorite rappers, but this goes deeper. Some hiphopologists have argued that Drake has adopted Tiggalo’s style down to scheming, breath control, and other components of delivery. Although Drake has mentioned publicly that Phonte has greatly inspired him as an artist, he has yet to collaborate with him on any major project. Mr. West has also acknowledged that he’s a beneficiare of Te’s talents.
In 2007, Hiphopdx.com did an interview with Phonte, and he stated that back in 2003 Kanye expressed that he was intimidated by Tigg’s verse from one of Little Brother’s classic hits “The Yo-Yo.” During the interview, HHDX also wanted to know how Tigg felt about Kanye’s comment at his listening party that year when he commented that a member from Little Brother was responsible for him being a successful artist; however, he didn’t mention the member’s name. Tigg responded “if you’re gonna give me props, give me props,” and went on to say “that’s some ho’ shit in my opinion.” It’s official that Drake and Kanye are merely mini-mes, they have the best beats, and isms; nevertheless, they’re just picking up the swag they acquired from their big brother from Little Brother.
Born and raised in the birthplace of Funk, and arguably the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, music is in my veins. If names like Bootsy Collins, and the Ohio Players ring a bell, then you know where I come from. As a musician and poet myself, I have an appreciation for art that hasn’t been inundated by the agendas of major labels and networks. Recently I’ve been sharing music and connecting with artists via social media. Follow me on Instagram @mainstream_music_isgarbage.