Little Brother’s Resonant Return Analyzing ‘Wish Me Well/Glory Glory’ and the Art of Timeless Rap

Estimated read time 3 min read

Last month marked the triumphant return of the iconic North Carolina rap duo, Little Brother, with their first release in four years titled “Wish Me Well/Glory Glory.” Phonte and Big Pooh, the dynamic duo, curated soulful beats by Deonis Cook and Conductor Williams, delivering impeccable rhymes that seamlessly blend philosophical inquiries with dazzling one-liners.

In an industry often dominated by youth, Phonte and Pooh prove that sharpness transcends age on this mini-EP. The duo emerged from semi-hiatus with a clear mission, as Phonte expressed, “We wanted to bless our fans with new music to show them we’re not leaning on nostalgia. After 20 years in the game, we’re still hungry and actively working to improve our craft.” While maintaining the signature beats and cerebral lyrics that have defined their legacy, the pursuit of growth and excellence remains their driving force, as articulated by Big Pooh: “We hear and see the requests for new music. We felt it was time. Time to show our minds are still sharp and we’re only getting sharper.” The double A-side of “Wish Me Well” and “Glory Glory” may not quite reach the zenith achieved when the group was a trio alongside producer 9th Wonder, but the selected beats from Cook and Conductor do more than just suffice. “Wish Me Well” kicks off with a mesmerizing vocal chop and a funk-inspired bassline, complemented by the splash of cymbals and the snap of snare hits. Phonte enters with a rapid-fire delivery, weaving clever references, asides, and cultural nods seamlessly into the track.

In the opening lines, he sets the tone with, “Wish me well or call me Ishmael/ Croquettes and grits, n***a, this is that fish scale/ This is that dispelled rumor that we not active/ My man said, ‘Te, come and get your plaque.” The track is a whirlwind of allusions to Moby Dick, Ghostface Killah, and the rich lore of Little Brother. Pooh elevates the discourse with references to Christian theology in “Glory Glory,” proclaiming, “Two sets of footprints laid out at the beach.” Little Brother’s lyrical prowess takes listeners on a journey, blending cultural references seamlessly. As the duo spits over a soulful beat conjured by the Griselda affiliate in “Glory Glory,” Pooh enters with, “Glory glory, standing on the shoulders of giants/ Robert Horry, a bit of history/ Bitter n****s bore me, all praises due/ I was rocking to Kane, my brother rocked ’caine too.” Little Brother effortlessly keeps early 2000s NBA role players like Robert Horry in the cultural zeitgeist. Everything Little Brother touches exudes freshness, and the hope is that these two new tracks are merely an appetizer, leaving fans eager for more rather than satiated.

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