Rapper Big Pooh - Dirty Pretty Things

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For Pooh, this is his moment to escape the Little Brother umbrella while adding to its legacy; "Dirty Pretty Things" is an ambitious effort in every regard.

The brand of Little Brother has remained equally as relevant as it is critically acclaimed in 2011. With both Phonte and 9th Wonder dropping LP’s that lived up to the expectations that The Listening built eight years ago, Rapper Big Pooh finishes off the year with Dirty Pretty Things. For Pooh, this is his moment to escape the Little Brother umbrella while adding to its legacy; Dirty Pretty Things is an ambitious effort in every regard. Pooh refuses to cater to pack back or commercial audiences and instead creates a project that draws from both. At times it mimics its namesake and ventures away from its potential, but when it succeeds (“They Say” or “Right With You”) it’s as good as anything you’ll hear all year. 

Pooh's ability to be light-hearted but completely genuine makes him one of the more endearing emcees in the culture. On "Real Love" - a song written about his incarcerated brother - he spits, “Little Brother ain’t the little brother any longer/ Big brother being absent made me much stronger.” It's a line like this that a lesser emcee or personality would be accused of taking a subtle shot at his former group, but Pooh makes it a dope tribute to a sibling. “Free” hears him deliver some of his best work over a dope Siege Monstrosity beat, while speaking the language of everyman. No one can argue with the class of a hook like, “I just want to be free/ at the end of the day I can only be me/ open up your eyes and maybe you’ll see that I am who I’m dying to be” but a line like “somethings you’ll never know if you spend all day hearing only 10 songs” remind us why Pooh is so important. When Pooh is in his element, he has the ability to say the things that we all wish we could.

The most disappointing aspect of Dirty Pretty Things is that the flaws are fixable. “Put You On” features a terrible guest appearance from Ms. Kris, while “Money Getter’s” hook and vibe are on point, but Pooh delivers his most forgettable verses on the album. Other moments, like the dope "5.13.11," hears a lady screaming at the end of the track taking away the suspense from the ending. A simple choice makes one of the better story-telling tracks of the last few years overly theatrical.

Dirty Pretty Things is exactly what the title implies: a flawed project that with a bit of polish would have been beautiful. Rapper Big Pooh demonstrates what most of us knew, that he is one of the most endearing emcees to bless the mic but proves that even that isn’t enough. The music itself stands alone, free of Phonte or 9th comparisons, but ultimately fails to meet the expectations that Pooh set for himself when The Listening dropped in 2003.



  • Juan

    'they say' ..is nice. Props, Rapper.

  • Scott Dolla

    This album at first did not hold its own b/c me and bro were so excited to hear Torae, but driving one day two weeks ago on my way to Danville VA I was finding myself rewinding tracks. He has 18 cuts on the Deluxe version, with "They Say" on twice with the Bonus verse from Choklate. SO I will say 13 tracks are serious with 7 of those as hits and 4 are classics. Overall his album is shows growth and it leaves you with the sense that half of Pooh's Album with Phonte's would have been The Love Below and Speaker Box all over again. Tay would have done his thing on Pooh's album, He has better TRacks then Tay did although Tay's album was going somewere Pooh's went. He has some Boom Bap on his and Tay was lacking in that area. Fuck yall if you don;t like my opinion but they is 336 and 919 and so am I. Randleman Road and 85 27406

  • Nuno Andrade

    must have.......

  • Marvin Evariste

    just listening to this album and rapper pooh hasn't disappointed me...HOJ 4EVER!!!

  • zern

    Buggery. Agree with review. Sleepers is Pooh's best solo work.

  • ricedeenice

    been listening to and loving this album for the past couple weeks. pooh really surprised me!

  • teehagoe

    BIG POOP IS ASS never said one dope line in his life. zero hot flows. and now his beats suck. little brother fell da fuck off. 9th wonder is washed up phonte is a fat lounge singer and big poop drops albums that arent worth downloading. the internet allows these washed up bums with no fans to carry on the facade of being a working artist

    • rlx

      cosign. pooh is awful in all fairness ive heard worse he reminds me of 99 percent of the local artists scene straight garbage with a good work ethic i applaud him only for having the ability to put an album together its not an easy task..but hes still ass...and phonte is a good lyricist but his albums are ass ive attempted to listen and was sickened..lb period is overrated imo...to each his own tho.

    • Chad Bernard

      Your entitled your opinion. I am entitled to mine, and in my opinion what you said there is up there for dumbest comment of the year.

    • Speakin Real Words

      Fuckin clown. 9ths Wonder Years is dope, Phonte's newest joint was dope, I haven't given this a full listen yet so I can't comment on it. teehago is clearly a bitch ass skinny jeans wearing drake or weezy groupie or both.

    • Rain

      Dude I have no idea what the hell you are listening too, All the members of little are not washed up actually I think they are all in their prime solo wise.

  • Rain

    I've been a Little Brother fan for a long time and I always get tired of hearing people saying Pooh is weak. Pooh and Phonte make each better when they are in the group, but anyways on to this album. This album is a great showcase to everyone that thought Pooh is weak, its a pretty damn good album. I can listen to the whole album without skipping a track. I think it's a little long though. I give it 3.8 to 4

  • Quint

    Love Pooh's growth and it is so evident on this album. In my opinion I believe Phonte had much more to do with Little Brother's break up than we will ever know, but because of his pride and somewhat arrogance we begin to see that Rapper aka Mr. T. Jones has much more to offer as a solo artist than we could ever imagine. Pooh keep up the good work because from beginning to end Dirty Pretty Things flows better than both of your previous group members albums collectively and in the end you've stepped out and showed that you have much more to offer and are one to be reckoned with.

  • Melo007

    This was a great album even i thought he was the weak link in the group but this is what an album is suppose to sound like, this was better than Phonte's album and shocked just saying that i wish i could take it back for this instead!

  • Chad Bernard

    This is the third release from Lil brother alum and its fire again. people who thought Pooh was the weak link in the group now see that he wasn't. This a very good album better 3.5 for sure. This album makes it even sadder that Lil brother will not do another album.

  • dan

    sick album, only hated 1 song.

  • ignite mindz

    i was at that video shoot. Haunted warehouse in asheville. those girls were nuts. Im waiting for the physical to drop on 11/15 instead of downloading now. I heard They Say like 400 times in a row at that shoot, and it never got old.

  • Mario

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion , so I rarely bash critics......but are you serious!!!!!!!!!!! some of the releases I have seen with 3 and a halfs are nowhere near this in quality...Pooh cd is hot and Im not a big fan of his past work but he got it in, you dropped the ball on Cole World and on this very solid 4 ....

  • Ronald Tucker

    I'm pulling for pooh.

  • oldschhoold

    Dope album. You can let this album ride from beginning to end.

  • geez

    it would be nice to support it do you guys know where in Chicago I can get it? I went to best Buy on 87th st and the one on Roosevelt to no avail!! the fuck Pooh!

    • Anonymous

      ^got my phonte cd from 87th but honestly big pooh will nvr get my money as a solo artist his first album "Sleepers" was good because they kept pooh's bars limited, with a skill set like his he can't carry an entire album

  • Aya

    Disgree.. Thie album well well put together. The beats and variety in topics covered made up for the lack of intricate rhymes or dense metaphors.. deserves a 4

  • Grayson

    EXCELLENT review. Worth waiting for. I support this album, and can still see it's chart on Pooh's evolution. Review gets that. Props.