Phonte  - Charity Starts At Home

HipHopDX Editor's Rating:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 4.5

Average User Rating:


100 people have voted.

5 is the most popular ranking.

79 people gave it a perfect five.

Cast your vote »

Just when listeners had fully abandoned all remnants of Little Brother, "Charity Starts At Home" drops.

Just when listeners had fully abandoned all remnants of Little Brother, Charity Starts At Home drops. Since the North Carolina rap trio officially announced its breakup in January 2007, it seemed clear where each member was taking his talents: Phonte was nabbing Grammy nominations as one half of the R&B/Soul duo Foreign Exchange, Rapper Big Pooh manned his own solo rap career, and 9th Wonder used his production skills to amplify the sounds of artists like Ludacris and Erykah Badu while helming his Jamla Records. Optimism resurfaced when Phonte and 9th settled their differences, and suddenly we have Charity Starts At Home: Phonte’s official solo debut, which features a third of its production by 9th himself. Thankfully, this record holds its weight by rekindling the youthful spirit from Phonte’s Little Brother days and pairing it with the maturity from his more recent material.

Charity Starts At Home plays like a Best of Both Worlds for Phonte’s career. He was always the more lyrically acrobatic member of LB, so it’s gratifying to see him volley multisyllabic rhyme schemes and punchlines alongside the likes of Elzhi (“Not Here Anymore” ), Pharaohe Monch (“We Go Off”), and Evidence and Big K.R.I.T. (“The Life Of Kings” ) throughout the songs' collaborations. But as a married father and music veteran, Phonte’s sung lyrics with Foreign Exchange have been very reflective and resilient, and his rhymes on Charity Starts At Home carry that same heartiness, with wit and technical flair to boot. “Sendin My Love” sees ‘Te investigating others’ fears of commitment when he visits a strip club after an argument with his wife, and “The Good Fight” dedicates itself to struggling to survive while chasing their dreams. “Fam in my ear all day, and they yellin’/keep it real ‘Te, and don’t ever sell out/ but how the fuck you sell out when ain’t nobody selling?” the latter song quips. “To Be Yours” and “Gonna Be A Beautiful Night” usher Phonte into full Foreign Exchange mode, as he croons over subdued soundbeds.

While many fans will undoubtedly skip around to the tracks that reunite Phonte and 9th Wonder, the other producers on Charity Starts At Home shine more notably. The duo excels when 9th’s straight-edged soul harkens a back to the basics feel on “Not Here Anymore,” but a lack of variation steers songs like “Eternally” too safely. The best beats here come from lesser-known knob twisters. Los Angeles producer Swiff D adds knock to album opener “Dance In The Reign” and gives a quirky funk to “Ball And Chain,” which sees ‘Te balancing stability with ambition. Possibly the most stirring soundbed is on the album-closing “Who Loves You More.” E. Jones uses a stew of synths and piano runs to back Phonte’s stories about men faced with choices of family, infidelity and street life.

With its substantial subject matter, solid production and tightly-woven sequencing, Charity Starts At Home does exactly what a solo debut should: showcases the artist’s skill set and personality all at once. Frankly, this disc solidifies Phonte’s place as one of the best emcees to ever emerge from below the Mason Dixon line—and with his consistent catalog, future releases are likely to only help the case.


  • albert

    rite up there with the roots as people or groups who bring the REAL HIP HOP so tired of the garbage finally some good music to listen too. hip hop ain't dead!!

  • LupeX

    i caught on late to this (been bumping Section.80) but this is that tru HipHop, no gimmicks, no superficial bullshit to distract you from the MCing, no holds barred. The singing by Phonte compliments the music and doesn't distract from the music, it thereforer remains a bonafide HipHop offering. 9th came thru in a big way. 4.7stars

  • Anonymous

    Album of the new year trauma from in and out entertainment lambs among wolves ft Dj booman vote New artist of 2012 trauma

  • Dylann17

    One of the best albums of 2011. 5 Stars.

  • Kyron John

    Album of the year unless Common has something to say about it

  • Luke Davis

    My album of the year currently. I don't get how some people are saying it wasn't great but are still giving it 4/5. With the swathes of commercial plastic hip hop tracks at the moment, this album was a breath of fresh air, but that's just me.

  • Melo007

    Also i gave it a 4 Stars should have been better with the features on there. Badly executed i guess, needs to get back to that Foreign Exhcange Connected album and Little Brother The Listening Flow both 5 Star Classics cuz of Phonte!

  • Melo007

    Surprised how much people rave about it i thought some songs weren't his style at all like commercial or trying to come hard that ain't phonte i have heard better and personally he is better than Big Pooh but Listeing to Pooh's new album that deserved 5 Stars and the style Phonte should have been raping with what a surprise. Just do what you do phonte don't get commercial or rough.

  • Anonymous

    can someone explain to me whats so great about this album. . I thought it was a 4/5 after a couple of listens. what makes this album a 4-1/2 outta 5

  • Austin Burris

    5 Stars and I found it on accident.

  • ThoughtB4Action

    This album is def 5 stars. Its great to have hip hop that you can just sit and listen to. Music that hits you on a mental level. Little Brother has been great since starting. For ahead of mainstream. Too intellectual for some ears, but I hope this album reaches peeks where it should. This is the type of music that people need. And how many emcees tell you thank you for listening at the end of their album. Thats being humble. Support Phonte, 9th, and Big Pooh as they do their own things. NC stand up!

  • KevinFoleyVT

    Thank God for Little Brother...luv these Carloina 9th Wonder album was great and this was even better. If u ve never heard Phontes album with Nicolay u gotta check out Foreign Exchange...i need another album from them. Also this album is better than Big Pooh's Dirty Pretty Things...But still appreciate all of the good music coming from these guys..Please come to VERMONT..we need some good music here. Fav tack: The Life of Kings ft BIG KRIT(Hottest Rapper in the game,besides Freddie Gibbs)

  • Fishbone

    pre-ordered this album, as a fan of Phonte, and the album does not disappoint.

  • jeremy

    Best LP in second half of '11.

  • $am

    sick from the first song on the cd to the last 5 starsssss

  • Kev

    I bought this album because of DX's rating... this is actually one of the greatest rap albums I've ever heard. I'm an 80's baby and I havent felt this way about an album since blueprint 1

  • cudidaynnite

    In my top 3 of the year. No doubt.

  • Anonymous

    grown folk hip hop

  • Trey J. J. Brown

    Love this album. Just don't like Eternally, the rest is really good.

    • Mu

      Really? I expect everyone's opinion, to each his own and all that shit... but did you hear the shit Phonte be saying on that song? Please, go back and listen again. The back and forth with him and Median is pretty sick

  • tty

    "sigh" I so needed this!!!

  • badhalf

    Finally other rate Phonte as highly as I!

  • bigo75

    I heard the album, then bought it. Support it or lose it

  • bigo75

    Tiggalo did it for real. This is grown folk hip hop. No bullsh!t

  • A.O.N

    Its so nice to see a dope artist push his way to the front through all the whack ones and get the spotlight. Good job Phonte. This album is a classic. 5/5. All these other artists fell off. Jay-z, Kanye, even Cole, his mixtapes surpassed his album by far. But Phonte is killin' it

  • JayRock

    5 Stars ALL DAY >>>Phonte top 5 MC's Of ALL TIME !!!! New tiggalo new tiggalo new tiggalo

    • Mu

      The more verses I hear from Phonte, the less crazy it sounds to put him in the Top 10 dead or alive... maybe even Top 5 like you said. He's THAT nice

  • Kev

    not the biggest tigallo fan but i really dig nthe album.

  • Q

    might end up being album of the year--- keep in mind Kendrick Lamar dropped a retail mixtape, not an album!

  • dl

    It's a good album. 3.75 on 5. People are crazy if they say its a classic, but still its a nice album that you can listen from start to finish without skippin

  • kendrick

    okay album 3 out of 5

    • Anonymous

      you must be a drake fan. you must like to spoon with niggas while listening to drake. yeah, don't deny it, you have seen both ends of a blow job haven't you? it's ok to admit it.

  • Anonymous

    i wanted this to fail deep down cause i felt phonte broke up little brother but i can't deny this shit is banging. this might be the best hip-hop album since the rensiscance from q-tip. i expected 5 or 6 good songs and a bunch of bullshit (liek getback and left back) but i was dead wrong. good luck finding it though in stores.

  • Celtzz Boy

    incredible album

  • mr. tibbs

    So after all the Carter 4, Watch the throne, J. Cole, RED album hype we finally have a classic. Phonte is a man of many faces and is multi talented. This album trumps everything I heard all summer and the year for the most part. Gone Phonte with your bad self.

  • khristyles

    This album is definitely worth buyin. The wordplay and production are nice

  • Nii Martey


  • Ismail Izzyoda Holmes

    is it really dat good i never herd of the guy not hating but im all ears to music but is it really worth buying?

  • ahman

    lol, you people call anything rated higher than a 4 a classic...... we have alot of fucking classics wouldn't you agree? The word just sounds like an insult now. but i did like this cd...

  • e

    Charity Starts At Home is a classic

  • Glenn

    and Phonte does it again, classic album

  • ErikMiles1987

    Yo, 9th wonder makes a lot of artist better, and even though Phonte gets monogamous,the production makes this album extremely listenable. 4/5

  • micfuna

    I had doubts about this album when it came out. I was expecting Foreign Exchange with Phonte singing. I listened to 2 of the 20 second samples on Amazon and I was hooked. Album is really good. One of the best I have heard this year.

  • Tycoon

    Wow this album is amazing! Incredible. This has been one of the best years in Hip Hop History. Great music all around! Just peep people's lists on this very page if you don't agree.

  • Ramiro

    Warning Shots 3 coming out November 22.

  • Ramon

    Love this album. Finally an album gets 4.5 on this website. It is now on my top ten for this year. 1. Big KRIT-Returnof4Eva 2. Shabazz Palaces- Black Up 3. Kendrick Lamar- Section80 4. CunninLynguists- Oneirology 5. Pharoahe Monch- WAR 6. Phonte- Charity Starts At Home 7. Beastie Boys- Hot Sauce Committee Pt. II(slept on) 8. Danny Brown- XXX 9. Saigon- Greatest Story Never Told 10. J Cole- Cole World:The Sideline Story

  • DJJ

    From the first song I figured Charity Starts at Home would be something special. This album is really really good, and I love every single song on it start to finish. DOPE DOPE DOPE JAMS. NEW TIGGALO NEW TIGGALO NEW TIGGALO, GO GET THIS ALBUM NOW!

  • hiphopper

    this is a dope album dont sleep yall . not little brother but half of it is better than nothing . nice beats and nice rhymes my type of hip hop

  • Anonymous

    Damn. Elzhi DEMOLISHED that whole album with ONE verse. Every single verse he spits is STRAIGHT FIRE! People talking whack tracks or whack albums, this dude didn't drop one whack verse in his career. Most amazing rapper out there.

    • illcritic

      peace to that dude Jake. You are the man, you need to teach some of this internet thugs some real hip hop. Every rapper you mention right there is in my top 20 no doubt, the order might change. Its a blessing to know that there's people out there who enjoy the same music as i do. Peace Jake, One!

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, one of the best songs of the last years. Really great. That beat was also amazing.

    • micfuna

      Elzhi is always on point. I always knew he was good but didn't realize how good till he went head to head with Royce Da 5'9 on "Motown 25". Classic shit

    • Anonymous

      Great post, Jake. I agree with everything you said. Good to see a dude who has knowledge about HipHop on this site. Some of the absolute best rappers you named there. Yeah, El's guest verses are amazing beyond belief. I can't wait for his next album, this dude has the potential to drop several classics.

    • jake

      Completely agree man...Elzhi has been ill since mid to late 90s (I first heard him on classic Binary Star "KGB" track where he One Be Lo and Juice, both slept on underground legends as well), but ever since he's focused more on being solo he's been the most consistently super duper dope emcee alive. Out of Focus (back in 98), The Preface, Europass, Leftovers Mixtape, Elmatic numerous features w/ ppl like Phonte (He MURDERED Hiding Place on their classic "The listening" album with BY FAR the sickest verses on that album as well), Binary Star, Royce, Phat Kat, Joe Buddens/Pharoahe Monch soon... He's in my personal top 5 ALL TIME in terms of technical super duper dope emcees w/ his patterns/multis/holy shit rewind that moments/how smooth and easy his flow is... Others in this are Em (for his 96/97-2002/03) AMAZING PRIME where he killed everything, kinda like Elzhi from 2006-2012 although Em had more material...His 2 overdoses that almost killed him while being out of the game for 4-5 years which started around 04 Encore changed him forever lets be honest here...he shows flashes here and there like "The Warning", BET Cypher, Westwood Freestyles in 09/10, Deja Vu, On Fire, but overall he's not 10% of the super dope MC he was from 97-02 in particular...Even Elzhi has said Em was a rhyme animal who he looked up to from 97-2002, especially late 90s) Big Pun Big L Nas That's a pretty hot top 5: Em @ his best, Elzhi, Big L, Big Pun, Nasir Jones Others in my top 6-20 include Kool G Rap (he's actually in my top 5 as well usually and for all those Em haters out there guess where one of the GOATs G Rap ranks him? 2ND ALL TIME! Vinnie Paz just did a thing where he asked alot of ppl like G Rap their top 5 and G Rap's was Rakim, Em, Nas, Big Daddy Kane and KRS-One), Pharohe Monch, Masta Ace, Black Thought, Common, Kweli, Tonedeff, Diabolic, Jay-Z @ his best (Reasonable Doubt), Pac/Big (not out of this world lyrically, but both legends), Andre 3000 (94-2000), Rakim, Juice (underground chi town legend), Percee-P (ditto to juice, but NY), Louis Logic, One Be Lo

    • DA TRUTH

      Not sure if he the "best rapper" out...(whatever the fuck that means)...But Elzhi is damn sure tight and far overlooked...and I have to agree i have yet to hear him spit anything but dope

    • Hod_guy

      ^Once again Roc is a very good rapper but doesn't possess a skillz set to compete will Elzhi(flows or patterns)

    • Anonymous

      actually Roc Marciano is the best rapper out!

    • mc ultra

      COSIGN. Elzhi is the best rapper out.

  • Jack Merridew

    what the fuss all about ?

  • CJ

    Section.80 is no longer the year's best album. This album is incredibly fresh.

  • Anonymous

    Best albums 1. Saigon- Greatest Story Never Told 2. Phonte- Charity Starts at home 3. Pharoah Monche- W.A.R. 4. J. Cole- Cole World 5. Jay-Z/Kanye- Watch The Throne 6. Skyzoo- The Great Debators 7. The Game- The Red Album 8. Kendrick Lamar- Section .80 9. Blu- Her Favorite Col(u)r 10.9th Wonder- The Wonder Years 11.The Cool Kids- When Fish Ride Bicycles 12.Reks- Rthymatic Eternal King Supreme 13.Raekwon- Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang 14.Median- The Sender 15.Tyler the Creator- Goblin

  • starky love

    yo phonte is crazy. beats rhymes subject matter all on point. i'm even feelin the rnb joints. all four albums are dope but im personally going 1.phonte 2.9th wonder 3.j.cole 4.evidence and evidence is ill but he kinda reminds me of a little worse version of roc marciano. either way that shit was a great tuesday for hip hop

  • really doe

    Salute. This and Evidence's album aren't even in the same galaxy. This is what happens when the joint burns out.

  • Jersey Finest Kings

    Great job Phonte

  • Jersey Finest Kings

    Classic music.....

  • Sweet

    This was an instant hit with me.

  • Kwestion McFly

    what i needed

  • Timoteo Roberto

    I love this album for sure, and I agree with the rating, but I still think EV's album was better IMO.

    • hod_guy

      u guys saying evidence album is better are nuts, Mr. Slow Flow is good but Phonte Coleman is an all-time great.

  • AyA

    27th September should go down in history as one of the greatest release dates in Hip-Hop... so much quality music...

  • FINALLY!!!

    God damn!!! First 4.5 review since Joell Ortiz's Free Agent (which btw did not deserve 4.5 stars). 2nd 4.5 star review this year- u r pathetic HHDX. This totally deserves 4.5 stars. Thank you HHDX!!!

  • Jg

    gave this a listen yesterday, definitely a quality release but not a rated better than a lot of classic albums...and i dont know how yall gave it a 4.7. Ghost and EXile both dropped today, where is the review?

    • Cuda B

      I'm not sure how they decide to review albums but this one was released last week. Both will probably be up within the week though.

  • realhiphop360

    great music phonte hiphop lives

  • Jonathan A. Cooper

    Music like this just doesn't come out often enough.

  • NJ

    First time in a while they have gotten one of these good albums right, Section.80 and Greatest Story Never Told should have been 4.5 and Free Agent shouldn't have been. This is about as dope as music can be without being a true classic.

  • cjrocker

    Ketchum III? I know that name, didn't he used to write blogs for this site? He had some good ones too, back when that blogger Meka or something was pretty big. Surprised to see this guy, his writing is still top notch; good fucking review.

  • kay


  • timo

    Im not kidding when I say it's 7:33 am and I just finished getting dressed to hop on the bus in this rainy ass morning in London, England just so I can get this album before the day starts and smoke to it. That's how much this album has gotten me excited. I feel like Im 10 buying casettes again. Been waiting for Phonte's solo album since I heard him on The Listening. I didnt expect it to be solely produced by 9th but are you complaining? this is the first time ive felt like getting up and buying a RAP album first thing in the morning in a while. Thank you Te and 9th. Shout out to Pooh. Yall three were the De La and Tribe of the 00's young underground generation. Thank you thank you!!

  • mrbangbang


  • L0S

    I love this shit right here. My homeboy is real big on Phonte and he would always tell me that he's one of his favorites and now i understand what he meant. This dude has that Hip Hop that makes you feel good and just listen. I wanna spark a joint and just let it burn while listening to this whole album now. Phonte just made a new fan!

    • Mu

      I'm like your homie to my group of friends. I discovered LB around the time that their 2nd album, The Minstrel Show, came out. Since you're a new Phonte fan, PLEASE go back and check out everything in the Little Brother catalog, including the mixtapes. The mixtapes have all original music so they're basically albums.

  • John Davis

    After a week of spins at the house and on my commute, I'm convinced that this is my album of the year so far. Te's truth is harsh, and can come off as a little 'woe is me' at times, but it's so grounded in heartfelt emotion that you can't shrug off. The production is classic LB/FE stuff, which doesn't hit you over the head at first. But it's familiar and amazingly well done. Congrats to Phonte on a great debut.

  • Chad Bernard

    Real hip hop lives.


    this is good album but the EVIDENCE joint is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better and ya give it a 3.5 and this a 4.5???????????????

    • Chad Bernard

      Ev's is good but lyrically he can't compare to Phonte. Sept 27 2011 could be the day that hip hop came back. So many great albums, but i think this one is the best and that's sayin a lot. I hope this changes the game.

    • Mu

      I haven't heard the new Evidence album yet, but I can say with some level of certainty that EV ain't fucking with Phonte. He may have some crazy beats on his album, but just based on the talent of the 2 emcees lyrically, I can't imagine a scenario where Ev would create a better album than Tigallo. that is all

    • vinnie vee

      I'd say evidence's album is on par with with this

  • Anonymous

    dope album, first good review by hhdx in a while, ill be bumpin this & cole world for a while

  • foreal

    Blessed to see him down in TO a few weekends ago. Humble and talented artist and a well polished album indeed. I love how if anyone asks me who the hell Phonte is I can just give them this cd and tell them straight up this is Phonte. From soul samples, dope lyrics, typically funny ass narration ("nothin open at this time but legs and hospitals"), and great singing CSAH really showcases Phonte's diversity on the mic.

  • Cuda B

    Bought this the day it came out, and this has been in constant rotation since. For the first time in a long time I've been able to listen to an album repeatedly without skips. It's too bad he won't light up the charts even with songs like Sendin My Love and Gonna Be A Beautiful Night.

  • Andrew Sass

    This album is dope Phonte is one of the best lyricist

  • Chris Newberry

    THe Album is great, hopefully it will be one of those slow burners that picks up steam as people become more aware of it.

  • Provocative Audio's Wesblizy


  • Rodney Jermaine Scotton

    Phonte is solid on every track. His concepts and subject material for each track is level. Lets not forget the 336 Soldier is still Your Favorite Rapper's Favorite Rapper (Drake, Kanye, etc) This Album only has one set back, He should have gave us some bonus joints and maybe a few more tracks with the FE style songs. Hell he should just do a 3 Disc Record.

  • Jamal Mash

    I bought a copy. very pleased. rekindled my love hip-hop. I'm ready for more!!!!

  • Adrian Chatham

    What hiphop should sound like. A testament to a multi talented artist in a mundane rap scene doing what he does best. To quote him succintly, "Dope beats dope rhymes what more do y'all want?" Get em' Te!

  • lloyd

    You guys never give fives

  • obatron-one

    Oh well if Pooh is absent at least Phonte & Median are bringing back that early LB/Justice League feeling. As much as I want to see LB reunite I'll take Median/Tay over a 9th track anyday. Can a brotha get a 9th/Phonte/Median EP?

    • Mu

      Yooo, I was thinking the same thing when I heard that "Eteranlly" joint. Phonte and Median's styles compliment each other much better then Phonte and Pooh. I odn't think we should hold our breath for a project tho...

    • hod_guy

      Yes can A brother please get a Median/Phonte ep or lp like asap, rather hear median than pooh anyday of my life

  • Thatishisdope234

    The album is dope, a good little r&b vibe to it, while still keeping it hip hop certified, because unlike most other rapper-r&b singers he CAN actually sing, and doesn't come off as corny. Fav songs off the album The Good Fight, Not Here Anymore, and Eternally. No song that I dont like. I say its a 4.5/5, but to fit this sites rating system i'll boost it up to a 5/5

  • e

    if there is anyone who isn't feelin this do not know hip hop.

  • Mu

    Little Brother fans, including myself, have been waiting for this album since we first heard LB's music. I think the elephant in the room has always been the fact that Phonte is light years ahead of Pooh as an emcee. I fuck with Pooh, but I honestly believe LB would have done more damage in the game if Phonte had been paired with a more talented lyricist. I listen to Phonte's rhyme schemes and creative metaphors and wonder why I'm not seeing him on anybody'd top 10, or even top 5 dead or alive lists. For example, take this line from "Dance In the Reign" from Charity Starts At Home "Flow so addictive, its like habit forming, Flow hair (hare) raising, its like rabbit farming") Who says shit like this?? Another stand out line from the song "Eternally" is "..ain't come for glory, show love to the ones before me; it's like the truth is overrated, you know the narrator's a fuckin' liar but you still love the story." In the same song, he rhymes "happenstance" with "ampersand". C'Mon Man!! Overall, I give this album 4.5/5. If he would've dropped a full hip-hop album it would've probably been 5/5, but I understand that the R&B is a big part of who he is as an artist at this point of his career. If you're already a fan of his, there's no reason not to have this album in your collection. If you're not a fan yet, first slap yourself, then cop this album, then go back and cop EVERYTHING in the Little Brother and Foreign Exchange catalogs... like NOW!

  • bigtybeatdowns

    I can't wait to get this! The previews on itunes are gonna have to hold me over until pay day!

  • Donnie Wesley

    Honestly, Sept. 27th was the best release date for (true) hip-hop!!! Good album w/ great-keen lyrical awareness and great production!!!

  • Anonymous

    I skipped all the sing-along tracks! He needs 2 stick with Hip Hop! All the hip hop tracks were straight! He tried blending Hip Hop with that "Foreign Exchange" sound on the same album & that shit ain't gon work. Drake gets a pass because he started out like that. Phonte didn't start singing like that until years after he was already established as a rapper

    • foreal

      He tried blending Hip Hop with that "Foreign Exchange" sound on the same album & that shit ain't gon work Dude go listen to connected and tell me that shit didn't work.

    • Mu

      I agree with you that he should definitley continue to rap more, but to say that he just started singing is not really accurate. He's been singing hooks on Little Brother songs since "The Listening".

    • Donnie Wesley

      Couldn't disagree more with your opinion....Actually, most industry people loves Phonte's crooning ability...Hell they almost gave him a grammy for it!

    • AxeMurder

      But Phonte actually has a good voice compared to Drake. nigguh

  • Jg

    kinda weird, it given a 4.5 rating but from what I read the review is mostly negative?average..anyone else get that vibe? I dont understand how this album can get a 4.5 and Fashawns BMW only a 4. thats a trip. I download and give it a listen.

    • Mu

      What review did you read?? I didn't see anything negative about it at all. The only thing they said was that some fans will skip the R&B songs, which is probably true. That's only because he's an OK singer, but he's an above-average emcee.

  • John Bell

    Woah, this album is amazing! I really think this is the best album made this year. Better than All 6s and 7s, better than Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang, even better than the man Pharoahe Monch's We Are Renegades. This debut is better than Saigon's, I am glad that Phonte finally made an album. BUY IT!

  • Anonymous

    album of the year nuff said

  • The Ice Cold Phenom

    It's quite possibly the best album of 2011 thus far. 4.5 Stars!

  • hod_guy

    Thought this was a 4/5, I think tigallo was pretty good he's clearly the best singer/rapper and this album was pretty good. I rated this and j.cole the same but pose this question is this album on the level of food & liquor, chronic 2001 or only Built for Cuban Linx pt. 2? (All albums i'd rate 4.5). On the other side of the coin, glad I don't have to hear rapper big poohs raps on here or a regressing murs.

    • Anonymous

      Pooh is tight. A guest feature is what this album is missing.

    • Donnie Wesley

      Just remember that media influence plays a heavy part!!! It's on their same level; never forget that if you a song a thousand times and then hear it when your shaking your ass...Then you my friend might have just witnessed a classic.

  • MJ

    Been listening to it non-stop! Dope album.

  • Charles ExSavior

    Solid debut from start to finish. Enjoyed it a lot more than J. Cole's Cole World, but it looks like NC's finest emcees will have top 3 albums of the year!

  • Arii Price

    I believe in the 4.5, so I gave it a 5. Agree with the review totally. 9th gets exposed often when surrounded by other producers, old and new. Even still, his beats were tolerable.

  • bigra

    phonte did his thing with these album.i just wish more people would go and support real hip hop.and not that fake ish that they play on the stand up

  • thekidflames

    Few albums more deserving of this type of rating. Phonte balanced everything so well, solid production, rock solid lyrics and concepts and brilliance in weaving all elements together. Definitely one of 2011's best.

  • Hip Hop Addict

    D-------Town, I I I I i I......I Do It.... Boi..... Westside..... Finally Famous.... I'm Quagmire I Rape Hoes..... Boi I Do It... I Rape This Hoe Like It's My Last..... Boi... Phonte Album Is The Best Album This Year

  • g-sus

    Definitely buying this album. Heard it already, but Phonte's got my purchased. I was worried that Te's first solo album would be r & b, but he proved me wrong. It went in on this album and the production to back him is just perfect. This will go down as one of the more overlooked, underrated releases of the year. Hopefully too many won't sleep. One of the best releases in 2011. 4.5/5

  • Garreth Rowe

    its a great album alrite but for me the evidence album topped it slightly!! check out that median album too,its NICE!!!

    • Anonymous

      just my opinion thats all....and you know opinions are like assholes..everybody got 1! peace

    • Donnie Wesley

      Nope!!! Just heard evidence beats and first and foremost....There not evidence, but, alchemist beats...Second, while, Evidence is up and coming that album in no shape form or fashion can fuck with this album...PERIOD!!!!

    • hod_guy

      Evidence might have better beats but to me he doesn't possess the skill set to ever make better music than phonte, who btw is top 25 dead or alive. Median's is pretty good but his album wasn't mixed properly and had to many guest verses

  • Prophet

    Dopeness all the way through! Phonte has been one of the best for the past almost 10 years! MOre I listen, more I love it!

  • Anonymous

    This album was worth the buy. Phonte speaks truths in smart rhymes... elzhi and him should look into more duo songs or album. Their magic together

  • Ben

    Phonte Sole Album: the 3 words I have been waiting years to hear. And this did not dissapoint at all. Cant wait to see Tay and 9th at Sonar in Bmore

  • beingunderfire

    Solid. good production. By far on of the best albums out so far.


    Finally a good review from DX for a good album. One of the best albums of the year.

  • Hot-Rod Johnson

    I got a room and a microphone and family ain't seen in months!

  • junMaf*ckn

    Dancing In The Reign and Falling Down Get Maad Burn! Phonte got a distinctive flow and dope lines. Homie Getz Busy.

  • Bridgette

    This is is the BEST hip hop album I have heard in a LONNGGGGGGGGG time. I'm not saying this b/c I'm a huge LB, FE, Phonte fan. I'm sayin this because the album is DOPE as hell. Grammy worthy in my book. But who am I? See for yourself folks

  • Finally

    Finally... This is a good review. Really great album. 5/5

  • rudy

    HipHopDX got ballsy again. I love it. Couldn't give a 4.5 to a more deserving album this year. I love "Section.80" and all, but THIS IS AN ALBUM.

  • Google

    definitely a great Cd and worth the purchase