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This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the amazing rapper, actor, producer, podcaster, and personality Phonte - whose new album No News is Good News is available for streaming everywhere now - to the Upper West Side! We discuss Phonte's youth in Greensboro, North Carolina, his East Coast musical influences, what Biggie's Ready to Die album and Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle album meant, being bused to a mostly white high school, focusing on sports, performing with his first rap group, The Fu-Tang Clan, making beats on a TASCAM four-track recorder in his room, how his creative writing developed significantly in 11th grade, and attending college, where he met Big Pooh and 9th Wonder. Phonte talks about how he and 9th and Pooh were friends way before they were making music, giving up football, joining the school's drama program, starting a college rap group G.I.M.M.E. (God, I Murder Many Emcees), watching in awe as 9th made beats on Cool Edit Pro, and making records on records on records until they felt their song "The Finest" was about to hit. Phonte speaks on having a child right out of college and balancing his 9-5 at Blue Cross, Blue Shield with the freedom that his budding music career brought, moving forward as Little Brother, the power of the internet and specifically Okayplayer, touring California, taking meetings with Jive Records, ultimately signing with Atlantic Records, what it's like to turn in an album like The Minstrel Show, and how quickly their support system at the label fell apart. We get into the expectations, the environment, the fallout, the bounce back, and ultimately the dissolution of Little Brother, and how Phonte found himself in a place in 2011 where he was ready to create and release a solo album. Phonte talks Foreign Exchange, doing 80's covers, losing loved members of his family, getting married, producing music and TV, writing music and TV, and championing others, finally determining that he had a second solo record ready for public consumption in 2018, and the overwhelmingly positive reactions it's garnered. All that, plus stories about Kanye, Drake, Jeezy, Combat Jack, Oprah, Danny Glover, South of the Border, Petey Pablo, The Source, BET, The Breaks, Sesame Street, and so much more!