Showing posts with label phonte. Show all posts
Showing posts with label phonte. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

video review: 'no news is good news' by phonte

Well, this was pretty excellent - honestly, I think I like it more than his solo debut, it's tighter and the rhymes click way more effectively.

But now I think it's time for something weird... how about some Superorganism, so stay tuned!

album review: 'no news is good news' by phonte

So I've never really talked much about Phonte in any of my work - and unlike cases where I just haven't had the chance to delve into an MC's back catalog, this is more a case of timing rather than ignorance - the last full Phonte record dropped in 2011, before I started even writing these reviews, and while he did put out a collaborative record with Eric Robertson in 2016, I honestly didn't hear much buzz around it, critical or otherwise, it never came up on my radar. 

Which is kind of a shame, really - Phonte has gotten flagged by critics as a 'rapper's rapper', more known by MCs who can appreciate his hard-hitting wordplay but not moving significant units, and this is a reputation that goes all the way back to his work with Little Brother in the mid-2000s on records like The Minstrel Show. Critically acclaimed - and going back to that record, deservedly so - but bad promotion by Atlantic meant it didn't sell nearly as well as projected, so Phonte went back independent for his future projects.

And yet if I'm being honest, I'm not sure Phonte couldn't flourish in the mainstream - his bars were tight, sure, but he knew his way around great hooks and accessible production, and when you factor in how he had a pretty damn solid voice to sing his own hooks, which he has proven time and time again with his work in The Foreign Exchange, he really should have been bigger, especially considering the veterans he surrounded himself with like Elzhi, Evidence, Pharoahe Monch, and even follow-artist-who-really-should-have-crossed-over-to-the-mainstream-but-for-label-bullshit Big K.R.I.T.. So when I heard he was dropping a new solo project at a lean thirty-three minutes, I muscled this up my schedule and prepared to dig in deep: what did we get from No News Is Good News?