Little Brother's Phonte Talks Influencing Drake & Kendrick Lamar

Yohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILEY)

The artist's melodic sound and vulnerable lyrics motivated a generation of rappers.

(AllHipHop News) Little Brother may not have ever reached mainstream status, but the North Carolina trio was still very influential in Hip Hop circles. While speaking with Ebro Darden for Beats 1 Radio, LB founding member Phonte talked about how their musical style impacted modern Hip Hop chart toppers.

"I definitely think we're an influence on a lot of guys coming out like Drake and Kendrick [Lamar], because they told me so," said Phonte.

Drake's 2007 mixtape Comeback Season includes "Think Good Thoughts" featuring Phonte as well as "Don't U Have A Man" featuring Little Brother. Phonte also told Ebro, "We did a couple of records together in his early days. He told me at that time, 'Yo, you're a huge influence on me.'"

Little Brother released four studio LPs between 2003 and 2010 including the underground classic The Minstrel Show. Phonte, Big Pooh, and 9th Wonder eventually disbanded as a group.

Phonte dropped his debut solo album Charity Starts At Home in 2011, and he spent years crafting projects as part of The Foreign Exchange with Dutch producer Nicolay. The rapper/singer released his latest solo effort No News Is Good News on March 2.

"I never wanted to rap something I couldn't live. That's just my driving force. If I can't live it, I ain't gonna rhyme it," explained Phonte. "You have to talk about things that you know. I feel like if I write something and you can listen to my album and hear yourself in a piece of it, then I've done my job as an artist."