Fans rejoiced when Little Brother’s classic 2005 album, The Minstrel Show, was re-issued by ABB Records, earlier this month. However, group members Phonte Coleman and Big Rapper Pooh are boycotting the re-release and also urging fans not to purchase or stream their 2003 debut album, The Listening, due to a lack of compensation.
On Tuesday (Sept. 21), Rapper Big Pooh revealed his discontent over ABB’s re-issue of The Minstrel Show via a social media post, noting that the move was made without their knowledge or permission. He also claims that the group have not been paid in full for their work on The Listening.
“I see ABB Records has decided to put up a repress of The Minstrel Show on vinyl instead of answering for 16 years of non payment on TMS or answering for 18 years of non payment for The Listening,” he tweeted. “Humbly asking that you not support bad business practices. Thank you for listening.”
I see ABB Records has decided to put up a repress of The Minstrel Show on vinyl instead of answering for 16 years of non payment on TMS or answering for 18 years of non payment for The Listening. Humbly asking that you not support bad business practices. Thank you for listening.
— Rapper Big Pooh (@RapperBigPooh) September 21, 2021
Phonte also reacted to his discovery of ABB reissuing The Minstrel Show without the group’s consent, calling out Ben Nickleberry Jr., ABB’s founder and label president, in an Instagram post.
“I have no smoke with @fatbeats,” Phonte wrote in reference to the famous retailer, which is currently selling The Minstrel Show. “But @abbrecords can get the entire f**k outta here,” he wrote in the caption. “Either way, my brother @rapperbigpooh and I are asking that you don’t support any LB vinyl represses and stop running The Listening on all streaming platforms until Ben Nickleberry Jr. aka Beni B. of @abbrecords honors his fu**ing word and pays us what we’re owed. Thank you for listening. #LBbizness.”
Former Little Brother member and producer 9th Wonder has not appeared to have commented on the matter. Founded after meeting each other while attending North Carolina Central University, Little Brother gained widespread acclaim with their debut album, The Listening, earning comparisons to legendary acts like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. 9th Wonder left the group prior to the release of Little Brother’s third studio album, 2006’s Getback, with Phonte and Pooh eventually pursuing individual endeavors.
After dropping the fourth studio album, Leftback, in 2010, Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte reunited in 2019, unleashing May The Lord Watch, their first effort in nearly a decade.