Thursday, December 15, 2011

Phonte- Charity Starts at Home (2011)


I have proclaimed much love for The Foreign Exchange, and afterwards Little Brother, and a big part of my appreciation of these two groups came down to the Phonte factor; Phonte fronts Foreign Exchange, and began his music career in Little Brother. He is a gifted vocalist/ rapper, renowned (in not only my own world) as a chorus genius, proficient foremost in creating vocal harmonies that go 6 parts deep with hooks to match. I mean, check out the chorus of the Foreign Exchanges track, Maybe She'll Dream of Me. Ain't no room for suckers in that studio; just the straight sickness right there.

So, 2011 finally saw to Phonte releasing his first solo effort as an artist, Charity Starts at Home. As usual, when given the mic to talk about what is on his mind, Phonte rises above any fronting and speaks about life as an artist making it through each day to rise and shine with the next. His rhymes are very personal, introspective and creative, and he knows when a tracks melancholy only requires subtly, and knows when to drop a serious chorus to enrich the positive emotions he talks about (as he does in Sending All My Love). It seems Phonte favored focusing on his rhyming on his debut solo release, letting some lovely female vocalists fill in on his hooks while he focused his own vocal parts on the verses. Great stuff; he worked with a number of producers for this release, including a much anticipated (for myself) reunion for a few tracks with 9th Wonder as his beat maestro; track 2, The Good Fight, properly kicks the album up a notch after starting so very strongly with Dance in the Reign (produced by Swiff D). Blam: The Good Fight:

Phonte - The Good Fight
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charity starts at home

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