big-pooh-pic_phixrSince the early 2000’s North Carolina’s Little Brother have been etching their way onto the mainstream circuit with anti-mainstream music.

But in hindsight, it was relatively easy for them to break through the boundary because they provide something that a lot of the kings of BDS Spins don’t—quality material.

Either as a group or on individual endeavors, Phonte, Big Pooh, and 9th Wonder were always able to supply you with that food for thought that could stick to your ribs.

Taking a break from their group activity with the Getback being their last release back in 2007, Phonte experimented with the R&B-ish melodic sounds of Foreign Exchange alongside European producer Nicolay, while Big Pooh still has the “two turntables and a mic” mentality.

Debuting as a solo artist back in 2005 with his album Sleepers; Thomas “Big Pooh” Jones once again graces the stage by his lonesome with his Delightful Bars [Click to read review] project—a slew of albums with everyone being uniquely distinct from the other.

Assuring the Hip-Hop community that this is just an appetizer before his official album drops Dirty Pretty Things; the MC with the honest flow and demeanor to match takes a little time out to discuss beats, rhymes, and life…

iHipHop.com: How’s life been treating you these days?

Big Pooh: Everything has been good man, just working on more records as usual…

iHipHop.com: Okay, so you have a few versions to your album Delightful Bars [Click to read review], what gave you the idea to chop it up like that?

Big Pooh: I just wanted to do something a little different, and we as artists are used to having additional songs, and just putting different versions on different records whether it be for iTunes, Best Buy, or something European…

So I wanted to do something different, and instead of just adding songs, I wanted each version to have their own set of songs… So the version of songs you get on the iTunes version won’t be the version of songs you get on the actual physical copy… Just wanted to switch it up a little bit, and make the presentation different, that’s all…

iHipHop.com: And this is all material that you’ve been working on throughout the time you’ve been out of the spotlight?

Big Pooh: Oh yeah, I’ve actually been working on this material since the start of 2007, before we actually went in to start working on Getback as Little Brother… So I just used all the material that won’t be used for the Dirty Pretty Things record, and I decided to build up all that material and put it out…

iHipHop.com: Was there any reason why Phonte wasn’t on this record right here?

Big Pooh: The one thing that always ends up happening when I do solo stuff or when he does solo stuff is that the people automatically gravitate towards the default Little Brother song… So I decided not to have him and omit him from this project and not give people the chance to pick the default Little Brother song as their favorite song on the record…

I wanted them to have to pick a “Big Pooh” as their favorite song on the record… My point was proven because most people’s favorite song on the record is ‘Rearview Mirror,’ and that’s the song 9th Wonder produced… In [their] mind, that’s the default Little Brother song, and that brings them back to the first time they heard a Little Brother record…

That’s the only reason why Phonte wasn’t on this record, we don’t have a beef, and it was never that… I just wanted people to have to pick a song that wasn’t a Little Brother jam…

littlebrotheriHipHop.com: Can people ever expect to hear another Little Brother album again with all three of you guys? Is that a possibility?

Big Pooh: Nah, at this point it’s not a possibility… I’ll tell people not to hold their breath, and not to get your hopes up… When you see Little Brother coming with a new record, expect Phonte; and myself and that’s it…

iHipHop.com: How did you differentiate the material you wanted to use for Dirty Pretty Things versus what you used for Delightful Bars?

Big Pooh: Well, Young RJ and me are working on Dirty Pretty Things, so I gave him all the songs I had, and we went through them, and he chose the songs he would like to use, and we discussed it…

Then we decided on a couple of songs we wanted to keep, so we held them back, and after that, the rest of the songs were free for whatever… So we just came to a general consensus on what songs we wanted to use…

iHipHop.com: When can people be prepared to hear Dirty Pretty Things?

Big Pooh: I’m aiming for the top of 2010, because there were a couple delays with Delightful Bars coming out on time, so we had to push it back a little bit, which means we had to push Dirty Pretty Things back a little bit…

Plus Young RJ ended up diving into the deep end of the Slum Village project, so they wanted to come out with that first, and we could get back to working on Dirty Pretty Things

iHipHop.com: How would you say you’ve grown musically from a project like Sleepers to Delightful Bars or Dirty Pretty Things?

Big Pooh: I think I’ve grown confidence-wise, and I’ve grown in song making… I think I’ve just grown as artist period… When I first started, I didn’t really know how to make songs, I just knew how to rap; you know what I’m saying?

So I’ve learned how to make better songs, learned how to write hooks a little bit, and just learned how to be a better artist overall… Not even just in songwriting, just overall…

iHipHop.com: Obviously, you’ve been in both arenas whether it was solo or group. Is there anyone you’re more comfortable with, or it doesn’t really matter at this point?

Big Pooh: It doesn’t really matter at this point, because I’m comfortable in either setting… I’ve been doing the group thing obviously since ’01-’02, but I didn’t get to explore like I wanted to…

When I got to explore as a solo artist, I was able to go out on tour as solo artist, and do interviews… That helped me become more comfortable, but I’m really comfortable either way…

big-pooh-pic3iHipHop.com: So how do you feel about your career up to this point? Do you feel as is you’ve been overlooked or underrated?

Big Pooh: I don’t think I get the recognition I deserve, but it’s all good… I still keep on, and I don’t let that be the chip on my shoulder… I just keep working hard, and I’ve come to the realization that the people who realize it are going to realize it, and the people are going to respect what I do, and if not—if not…

The only thing I can do to change their mind is to keep putting out quality music, and if they still don’t think my music is quality then that’s on them… I can’t hold anybody at gunpoint and say, “YOU’RE GONNA LIKE ME!!!” It’s not that type of ballgame…

The thing that keeps me going is me wanting to get better, and me hearing myself and wanting to do better… So I just use that as my chip and as my inspiration to keep getting better…

iHipHop.com: Is there anything that bugs you about modern day Hip-Hop?

Big Pooh: I definitely don’t think everything is all good… The thing that bothers me the most; and it’s actually getting a lot better is just the balance… I think everything has a lane, and everything should have a chance to get heard by the masses…

I think the only thing we should judge music on is it being dope or not… If it’s good music, then it should be heard, and if it’s not good music then it shouldn’t be heard; and for a long time that wasn’t it…

The other thing that bothers me a little bit is a lot of these new up and coming rappers feel like they have a certain entitlement to something before they even accomplish anything… I think they should realize that this is something that they should be honored that they’re a part of…

It should be an honor for you to be part of this club, and not to take that lightly, and know that you’re not entitled to sh*t until you accomplish something… So I think that bothers me the most…