May the Lord Watch

May the Lord Watch is the fifth studio album by American hip-hop duo Little Brother. It was released on August 20, 2019 by Imagine Nation Music, For Members Only Records and Empire Distribution.[5]

May the Lord Watch
May the Lord Watch - Little Brother.png
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 20, 2019 (2019-08-20)
RecordedOctober 2018 - August 2019
StudioThe Autumn Attic
The Burlap Place
Raleigh, North Carolina
Length37:15
Label
  • Imagine Nation
  • For Members Only
  • Empire
Producer
Little Brother chronology
Leftback LP
(2010)
May the Lord Watch
(2019)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic86/100[1]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Exclaim!8/10[3]
HipHopDX4.5/5 stars[4]

The album is the duo's first album since 2010's Leftback release.[6]

BackgroundEdit

The album's development secretly began during the previous year of 2018, after Rapper Big Pooh, Phonte and 9th Wonder reunited during September's Art of Cool festival. However, this wasn't made public until shortly after Big Pooh and Phonte announced the group's reunion as a duo in May 2019.[7] Like the previous album Leftback, there was no production input from 9th, who went onward from the group to embark on a solo career as a producer and CEO. Instead, the album was primarily produced by longtime collaborators and Soul Council members Nottz, and Khrysis. Producers Black Milk, Focus..., Devin Morrison, Blaaq Gold, and even Phonte himself also contributed to the album's production.[8][9][10] Sharing continuity with The Minstrel Show, the album's theme continues the running concept of a fictional television network called "UBN", which is a satire of stereotypical programs, advertisements, and pop-culture for African-Americans.[11] One notable moment on the album was a skit from Peter Rosenberg announcing the death of Phonte's alter-ego Percy Miracles, which served as a tribute to the fact that the death of Phife Dawg was the event that brought Phonte and Pooh back together.[12] The character previously appeared on The Minstrel Show album track "Cheatin'".

In multiple interviews and podcasts - including the Premium Pete Show - it was revealed that 9th Wonder was originally supposed to be a part of the reunion album, under its original title Homecoming. The title was changed due to Beyonce releasing Homecoming: The Live Album to coincide with her concert film Homecoming. Phonte and Pooh decided to continue the project without 9th after several disagreements over beats and production on the album.[13]

Critical receptionEdit

May the Lord Watch was met with universal acclaim reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, this release received an average score of 86, based on 5 reviews.[1]

Track listingEdit

Credits adapted from istandard producers[14]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."The Feel"Khrysis2:43
2."A Word from the President"Devin MorrisonMorrison0:58
3."Everything"Khrysis3:41
4."Right on Time"
Nottz3:16
5."Black Magic (Make It Better)"Focus...2:34
6."Life After Blackface"
  • Coleman
  • Jones III
  • Lorenzo Ferguson
Zo!0:40
7."Goodmorning Sunshine"
Focus...4:00
8."Dyana Change My Life"
  • Coleman
  • Ferguson
  • Zo!
  • Phonte
0:37
9."What I Came For"
  • Coleman
  • Jones III
  • Tyson
  • Khrysis
  • Phonte
3:00
10."Inside the Producer's Studio"ColemanZo!1:03
11."Sittin' Alone"
  • Nottz
  • Phonte
3:14
12."Picture This"
Black Milk3:55
13."Niggas Hollering"
  • Coleman
  • Jones III
  • AbJonian Sanders
Abjo0:49
14."All in a Day"
  • Coleman
  • Jones III
  • Michael Redict
King Michael Coy3:50
15."Work Through Me"
  • Coleman
  • Jones III
  • Trevor Payne
  • Edwards, Jr.
  • Blaaq Gold
  • Focus...
2:57
Total length:37:15

SamplesEdit

  • "The Feel" contains a sample of "A Man Alone", as performed by Alan Hawkshaw
  • "Everything" contains a sample of "In My Life", as performed by Mahavishnu Orchestra
  • "Black Magic (Make It Better)" contains a sample of "The Chase", as performed by Anderson .Paak
  • "Goodmorning Sunshine" contains a sample of "Eternal Love", as performed by Utopia
  • "Sittin' Alone" contains a sample of "Open Your Eyes", as performed by Bobby Caldwell

PersonnelEdit

ChartsEdit

Chart Peak
position
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[15] 11

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Metacritic Review". Metacritic. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  2. ^ Kellman, Andy. "AllMusic Review". AllMusic. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  3. ^ Harmony, Ariss (September 4, 2019). "Exclaim! Review". Exclaim!.
  4. ^ Ivey, Justin (August 25, 2019). "HipHopDX Review". HipHopDX. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  5. ^ Breihan, Tom (August 20, 2019). "Little Brother Reunite & Release New Album". Stereogum. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  6. ^ Strauss, Matthew (August 20, 2019). "Little Brother Release First New Album in Nine Years". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  7. ^ Scott, Dana. "Phonte & Rapper Big Pooh Are Returning As Little Brother". hiphopdx.com.
  8. ^ https://www.stereogum.com/2055382/stream-little-brothers-first-album-in-9-years-may-the-lord-watch/music/album-stream/
  9. ^ Williams, Aaron. "Little Brother Comes To Terms Their Elder Status On 'May The Lord Watch,' Their First Album In Nine Years". uproxx.com.
  10. ^ Sanfiorenzo, Dimas. "Stream Little Brother's First Album in Almost 10 Years, 'May the Lord Watch'". okayplayer.com.
  11. ^ https://www.okayplayer.com/music/little-brother-may-the-lord-watch-review.html
  12. ^ https://tidal.com/browse/video/118638179. Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  13. ^ https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.52769/title.little-brother-reveals-why-9th-wonder-wasnt-part-of-reunion-album. Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  14. ^ "Little Brother - May The Lord Watch (Credits)". istandardproducers.com. istandard, inc. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  15. ^ "Little Brother Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2019.