It could have played out
like another random rap beef, but Houston’s Bun B. and North Carolina’s Little
Brother have no issues with each other. However, there is clarification.
In Bun B.’s recent
interview with AllHipHop.com, he admitted to enjoying LB’s music, but insinuated
that, with The Minstrel Show, they may be making more enemies than
friends down South.
"I wonder who’s a part
of the minstrel show? I know what they mean, but I think a lot of the people
that they think are against them would pull for them," Bun B told AllHipHop.com.
"I really like them and I like their music and I know they are not making
what everybody down South is making right now, but that don’t mean we against
Little Brother lead producer
9th said that he agreed with some of Bun B’s assessments, and that he understands
the misunderstanding of the group’s objective.
a lot of people don’t understand what we did by doing The Minstrel Show,"
9th confessed. "You can take it a million ways. People say that we’ re
offended [by music out now], people say we’ re scared to say names and I don’
t think that’ s really going to solve the problem. A lot of people don’ t know
what it means, and a lot of people might take it the wrong way. It was never
an attack on a certain type of music. We’ re just telling people to be yourself,
and don’ t mimic what you see on TV."
Minstrel shows gained popularity
between the 1830’s and 1850’s. The performances consisted of comic skits, dancing
and music performed by whites dressed in outlandish costumes, with their faces
completely blackened by burnt cork or greasepaint.
The shows have been symbolic
of the racism that defined the era.
show is a very touchy topic," 9th said. "I just wish that the same
fuss would be made—and it wouldn’t be—if our album was named,
I’ve Got 2 Million Guns In My Trunk," 9th said. "Would we
be having this same conversation? No. Not to knock that type of music. There’s
a heaven and a hell, there’s a side to everything—we just aren’t
getting both sides."
9th Wonder said much has
changed in Hip-Hop since the Houston hip-hop pioneer first emerged in the 1990’s
with seminal group UGK.
"[Bun B’ s group] UGK
came out at a time where hip-hop was more balanced," said 9th, a self-professed
fan of Bun B. "You could have a UGK, and A Tribe Called Called Quest, and
a Roots, and a Black Rob. We had a variety of cats to choose from. It’s
all one thing now."
In related news,
9th Wonder said he intends to release a solo opus, The Dream Merchant,
in early 2006.
"Just expect different types of sounds," 9th told AllHipHop.com about
the album, which he said features appearances from Mos Def, Jean Grae, Memphis
Bleek, Saigon, and others. "We’ re just trying to put out good music, and
get a bigger balance back in the game. This is rap music, it’ s not Calculus
class where you need a long formula. It’ s just rap. Some cats will like it,
some won’ t, period."