DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Rappers Big Pooh and Phonte make up the rap group Little Brother.
They formed the group while students at North Carolina Central University in the late 1990s. In 2003, they released their debut album, The Listening.
“You know, you didn’t think about what was to become of it. You didn’t think about 20 years later,” Big Pooh said.
“It was just all about the moment,” Phonte added.
“Yeah, it was just the moment. Those were some of the best times I had making music,” Big Pooh said.
The 18-track independent album, produced by 9th Wonder, is tied together through skits and interludes of a fictional FM radio station.
GQ described it as “grounded in the yearning of middle-class, college-educated, earnest artists treading water.”
The album received critical acclaim and it helped the group gain national attention.
Fast forward 20 years and several albums later, the group is hoping to continue to leave an impact on the city they still call home.
They are organizing a one-day music festival called Made in Durham: A Little Brother Block Party.
CBS 17’s Nick Sturdivant asked what Durham means to the pair.
“Man, Durham is the city that made us who we are. Durham is the city where we founded Little Brother. Even more than that it’s the city where we found ourselves,” said Phonte.
The festival will be hosted by comedian Sam Jay and feature performances by artists like Big KRIT and The Cool Kids.
“It probably won’t be something we really think about the magnitude of until a couple of days later. That day I’m probably going to be all over the place. I’m not going to be thinking about anything. I’m going to be trying to remember lyrics,” Big Pooh said smiling.
The duo said they drew some inspiration for the festival from their friends — the hip hop band The Roots.
That group does an annual festival in Philadelphia called Roots Picnic, which draws tens of thousands of people.
“We don’t want to do multiple days. Roots Picnic is huge. But Ahmir (Questlove) has always been one of our biggest supporters from day one. The Roots organization has always been a huge inspiration for us,” said Phonte. ”We know we are going to bring it on stage, but we also want to make sure our people are taken care of and that our fans are walking into something that is enjoyable and that is safe and fun.”
Made in Durham will take place Saturday, October 7 in the 300 block of East Main Street.
Doors open at noon. For information regarding tickets and performances, click here.