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If it hadn’t been for the legendary Pete Rock, the world might never have heard of Little Brother or Phonte.

In an interview with Red Bull Music Academy, the Little Brother rapper recalled back when the trio were grinding their way into the rap industry, he received a call from the Chocolate Boy Wonder praising their music.

“Pete Rock was a fan,” Phonte told Jeff “Chairman” Mao. “Pete Rock was actually the reason I quit my job. We started getting props from a lot of places, people that I grew up listening to. It was all breath-taking, man.”

At the time, Phonte was still working a 9-to-5 at a department but as soon as he heard from Pete Rock, he dropped the job and put everything into his music.

Phonte: I had a job at Belt, a department store. I don’t know what the Australian equivalent would be, but they sell shirts and tops, china and all that shit. I was working in the Tommy Hilfiger section, selling polos, and I called home to check my messages one day and there was this message going, “Yo, yo, yo, yo, what’s going on, Phonte? This is Chocolate Boy Wonder Pete Rock. Your album is crazy, classic. Yo, I’ve got to get you on this album, son. Peace.”[Looks blank] I had to listen to it again. Beep. “Yo, yo, yo, yo, what’s going on, Phonte? This is Chocolate Boy Wonder Pete Rock. Your album is crazy, classic. Yo, I’ve got to get you on this album, son. Peace.” Beep.

Phonte | Red Bull Music Academy

It wasn’t long before Little Brother signed to independent record label, ABB Records, and dropped their debut album, the critically acclaimed The Listening, which put them on the map to becoming one of the most important hip hop acts of the 2000s.

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