Big Pooh

While Rapper Big Pooh hasn’t been rapping as long as Nas, Rakim or even Eric Sermon, he is still a veteran emcee in today’s day in age. Emerging with Phonte and 9th Wonder as part of Little Brother in 2003, the crew held the throne at the top of the underground Hip Hop arena at a time when the Internet truly began having a significant impact in the music industry. After years of success that included world tours, and acclaim from everyone in the game, including the legends they had admired, the group called it quits and split up for respective solo endeavors. Big Pooh, the emcee who effortlessly attacks a mic, dropped his critically acclaimed solo LP Sleepers in 2005, and is focused wholly on his upcoming November 1st follow-up, Dirty Pretty Things.

Six years later Pooh exclaims, “from top to bottom I put Dirty Pretty Things together, and you know when I first started I was just a guy going in spittin’ verses. And now I am able to construct whole songs… things I wasn’t able to do when I first jumped onto the scene.” His growth as an emcee stems from a lot that has happened over the past six years, including the break-up of Little Brother and other personal issues we all deal with. Pooh stated “that’s just what Dirty Pretty Things is all about.  It’s about my personal strife that I was going through. Even though people saw me, you may not have seen that, you may have seen the smile, you may have seen me acting like everything is all good, looked like I was having the most fun in the world, but that wasn’t reality.”

Read on an learn more about what Pooh thinks about Littler Brother’s legacy, new projects with Roc C, and his unique view of the Tribe Called Quest Documentary, having spoken to both Phife and Q-Tip the night of their infamous scuffle at the Seattle Rock The Bells show in 2008.  Rapper Big Pooh’s sophomore LP Dirty Pretty Things drops November 1st. via his label For Members Only, you can pre-order it here.

Ruby Hornet: Can you speak on the evolution of your solo material, from your debut Sleepers LP (2005) to the projects in between and now with Dirty Pretty Things in 2011?

Big Pooh: Yeah, it’s sort of funny, all of the previous projects I did in between (the LPs) besides The Purple Tape, up until now was the material I originally had for Dirty Pretty Things. And that’s why I put it out, that was kind of like an evolution of some of the different styles, beat choices I was experimenting with, and things of that nature.  I was just trying to find the right direction for Dirty Pretty Things. But overall, when I think from Sleepers until now, you’ll hear my growth as a person and as an artist. Basically from top to bottom I put Dirty Pretty Things together, and you know when I first started I was just a guy going in spittin’ verses. And now I am able to construct whole songs, and put songs together, things I wasn’t able to do when I first jumped onto the scene.

Ruby Hornet: If I’m not mistaken, you got the title based on the movie?

Big Pooh: Yeah, yeah not mistaken at all, I definitely got that from the movie. I saw it probably six years ago, and it was just one of those movies I was intrigued by. I happened to turn it on one day. There wasn’t anything else on and it just grabbed me. I thought the whole set up of the movie was dope; I loved the title, and adopted it for the title to my album.

Ruby Hornet:
So if you saw it six years ago, what is it about the film and/or Big Pooh gives it this longitudinal affect. You know, a lot of people will get inspiration for a project and scrap that a year later, so what about Dirty Pretty Things stands out now in 2011?

Big Pooh: A couple different reasons, but the main reason is I think that movie kind of describes every person. For those that haven’t seen the movie, when you first turn it on, you see the hotel, a main setting in the movie, where they operate. How everything is put together, you got the doorman outside, waiters and all that, but then you get to see some of the things going on inside this hotel. It’s like when you see a person, you only see the outside, the smile or outfit, the perfect figure. You don’t know what’s going on inside of that person, they could really be going through hell, and that’s just what Dirty Pretty Things is all about.  It’s about my personal strife that I was going through. Even though people saw me, you may not have seen that, you may have seen the smile, you may have seen me acting like everything is all good, looked like I was having the most fun in the world but that wasn’t reality. So that’s what I took most from the movie, and why it has stuck all these years.


RubyHornet: I want to get into the scene in the south now.  It seems like there is more of a responsible sound coming from below the Mason-Dixon now, and it seems that Little Brother definitely had a hand in starting that. Do you feel at all responsible for this wave of this new southern sound?

Big Pooh: I don’t really feel a certain responsibility for it, but I’m proud of the fact that what we started really opened up the door for a lot of other artists to come through. And it branches off of the same tree of all the groups we looked up to and followed after. I think it was just a magnificent thing that all of these artists, especially from the south, were able to come through and put their own spin on it, like I said, we are from that same tree. I won’t say we started it.  We didn’t originate it, but we followed the tradition of those that we looked up to and they’re doing the same. And it feels good because that’s the type of music I’ve always wanted to hear, and that’s what they’re providing outside of our own music, and it feels good.  It sounds good, and I just really respect those young dudes coming up, and I wish the best for them.

Ruby Hornet: You are a Ruby Hornet Closed Session alum – (Dutch Dalton – CS Vol. 1)  – Is there anyone out of Chicago you are rocking with right now.

Big Pooh: I mean, you know just the normal people that I rock with out of Chicago, Naledge, Rhymefest, shout out to Radhid Hadee, I haven’t spoke to him in a minute.

Big Pooh

Ruby Hornet:
Can you speak on your upcoming project with Roc C. as The Young Americans crew, is that still in the works?

Big Pooh: We decided to put that on hold right now since both of us have solo albums coming out, mine November 1st, his album drops December 6th. So we got to let it marinate, because a lot of the material we had was older material we recorded when we first started. The chemistry wasn’t exactly there, but we still are going to come through with that sometime next year, we just set it aside for the moment to concentrate on our solo endeavors. Hopefully after people hear these, they will be more interested and more in-tune with what we got going on. So when we do our thing together, it will be more powerful. That’s definitely still the plan. Like I said, my album comes out November the 1st with him and Oh No on a track, and his December the 6th, and I’m on his a couple times I think, but there is a joint with me, him, and Blu that Madlib did so…

Ruby Hornet: Can you go into more features on your album… Joe Scudda, Ty Pennington any more…?

Big Pooh: Joe Scudda is  on the album, Torae is on the album, those are the only two rap features I have. Some of the production um, Nottz, DJ Khalil, my man Cuddi Fresh, Family Biz,  these kids out of Denver, Food Chain, Mass Prod they got a couple joints on there. I got some unknowns, some known, I kind of mixed and matched it. I was always one of those dudes who isn’t scared to step out of the norm and work with lesser known names. I was never scared to do that and I did the same with this record.

Ruby Hornet: I wanted to ask, have you seen The Wonder Years documentary?

Big Pooh: Na, I haven’t seen it. I’ve heard about it, but I haven’t seen it.

Ruby Hornet: Do you plan on seeing it at all?

Big Pooh: I might check it out eventually, but it’s something that hasn’t really been on my radar at the moment.

Ruby Hornet: Most definitely. Did you peep the Tribe documentary?

Big Pooh: Yeah, I saw the Tribe documentary, it was really good. The thing that that is crazy is the Seattle Rock The Bells show where Tip and Phife had a little confrontation, we were at that Rock The Bells. We were in the trailer with De La, Mos Def’s tralier was right next to ours, and the illest thing, I saw Michael Rappaport walking around with the camera, and to see it happen and then to look at the actual documentary and see some of that footage, you really come to grips with what was going on.

Ruby Hornet: So was that depiction real in the documentary? Was that the vibe surrounding them at that time, very tense etc..?

Big Pooh: Oh yeah that was the vibe you could tell… I went up on stage, and obviously I watched Tribe rock and I went up and talked to Phife for a few minutes after they finished their set and I ended up talking to Q-Tip a little later. You could definitely tell that was the vibe. There was no secret, and this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen them, it was the 2nd time. And you know when there is a problem when guys start having separate trailers. That’s when you know what the vibe is.

Ruby Hornet: After the album are there any certain plans? Any tours lined up?

Big Pooh: We’re working on a couple tour things right now, trying to get those straightened out. But with this record man, just period I want to be able to go out and touch as many cities as possible because I haven’t really honestly toured since 2008. I got other projects that are ideas right now, and hopefully will be in the works probably towards the end of the year, but right now my whole focus has been on Dirty Pretty Things.

Big Pooh