Despite Little Brother's throwback style, the group's never had much use for nostalgia. Even on Leftback, their formal swan song, Phonte and Big Pooh ignore hammy looks into the past for the simpler, more immediate joys of fun, hard-edged rapping. And a recent guest spot on Slum Village's "Where Do We Go From Here"—an existential meta-rap pairing the guys with the perpetually in-flux Detroit group—curiously sidesteps the song's rhetorical question in favor of furious verses unconcerned about career moves.
Indeed, Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh will be fine. They'll both keep rapping, sometimes together, mostly apart, and Phonte will sing a lot more, and that will be that. So when Durham's favorite songs come through town, for what's ostensibly their last local show (at least for awhile), don't expect victory lap histrionics. These guys are just going to deliver their mix of humble sincerity, knucklehead comedy and pointed political commentary along with some of their most rapping-est friends (Joe Scudda, Jozeemo, Chaundon) and call it a night. Don't bring your hankies or nothing: Just be ready to have a good time. Also, Roc C.—Brandon Soderberg