“New Tigallo,” Phonte Coleman goes solo

After reaching great heights of success as a member of the

alternative hip hop group, Little Brother, as well as the R&B

group, The Foreign Exchange, Phonte Coleman (also known as

Phontigallo) has decided to branch out and create an album of his

own.

After reaching great heights of success as a member of the alternative hip hop group, Little Brother, as well as the R&B group, The Foreign Exchange, Phonte Coleman (also known as Phontigallo) has decided to branch out and create an album of his own. 

The highly anticipated solo-debut finally dropped on Sept. 27. With features from artists such as Pharoahe Monch, Evidence, Big K.R.I.T., Carlitta Durand, Eric Roberson, and Slum Village’s Elzhi, the guest-packed Charity Starts At Home will not leave Little Brother fans with even the slightest feeling of disappointment. 

Having a disdain for commercialism, the socially aware artist uses his music as means to empower listeners through a conscious message. His lyrical content encompasses struggles people face on a day-to-day basis whether it is at work, within one’s relationship, or within one’s family.

Using quick-wit and clever rhymes, Phonte delivers his message in a way that keeps listeners entertained: “Five dollar gas and poverty rates / are rising much higher than your hourly rates / so if you’re thinking about quitting you should probably wait / ‘cause everybody has to do a [job] that they hate.”  Thanks to the reconciliation of Phonte and former Little Brother member, 9th Wonder, 9th was able to keep heads bobbing with beats he produced on a number of the tracks including the song “Good Fight” from which these lyrics were derived.  Producers Khrysis, Symbolyc One (S1), and a few others also made guest appearances on the album.

Phontigallo has reached a point in his career where he knows that he is better than many other artists, and this is something that he is not afraid to show. In the album’s first track, “Dance in the Reign,” Phonte compares his skills to those of other rappers and his talent is evident through his crafty play on words:  “I’m ill, and I’m still top notch/ You [rappers] is better off playing hopscotch in a minefield/ better off warring in the jungle with no camouflaging/ suicide mission/ straight sabotaging/ flow so addictive/ it’s like habit forming/ flow hair raising/ it’s like rabbit farming.”

Not only does Phonte out rap other artists, but he also out sings them. The album transitions between upbeat rap tracks and slow tempo tracks about love and relationships.

Although Phonte is less accomplished than his mainstream counterparts, Charity Starts at Home is much better than anything consumers will hear via mass radio.

The North Carolina bred, multi-talented artist has once again made North Carolina residents, specifically those from Bull City, proud to be from the area. This album definitely deserves more than just free downloading: it is purchase worthy. Support Durham’s own Phonte Coleman and buy his album as soon as possible!

  • Heleese Scott Contributor