Phonte Coleman, better known as Phonte, is a Grammy nominated American
rapper, formerly of the now defunct North Carolina trio Little
Brother and one-half of the duo The Foreign Exchange. He has also
recorded R&B-flavored output as a singer (often under the pseudonym
Percy Miracles). His rhymes tend to be no-frills perspectives on working-class
Phonte first met the other members of Little Brother, Rapper Big
Pooh and 9th Wonder, in 1998 while attending North Carolina Central
University, as an English major.
The three shared common musical interests and decided to form a group.
"Speed", the group's first song recorded together, led to
them signing a deal with the independent ABB Records, and recording
their debut album, The Listening. The album's success led to the group
signing a non-exclusive deal with major label Atlantic Records.
The group's 2005 album, The Minstrel Show, was a concept album dealing
with the current state of hip hop music. The album received a positive
critical reaction but very little commercial success. During the recording
of their third album, the group announced the departure of producer
9th Wonder on amicable terms, as well as a parting of ways with their
label. Through a contractual clause they landed back on ABB Records
and released Getback in late 2007.
Phonte has appeared on numerous records by other artists, often as
a vocalist. He made a guest appearance on the song "Beats N'
Rhymes" from producer Kev Brown's album I Do What I Do, and has
also recorded tracks with producer Oddisee, both members of the Washington
D.C (DMV)-based Low Budget collective. In 2006, he was featured on
producer DJ Shadow's The Outsider album. In the following year he
contributed vocals to rap group Playaz Circle's "Paper Chaser",
from their album Supply & Demand. Phonte's recent projects include
The Foreign Exchange's third album, Authenticity, as well as a collaboration
(as Tiggalo) with Detroit-based musician Zo! titled Zo! & Tigallo
Love the 80’s. The latter of these is intended as an homage
to early 1980s R&B and pop music and features covers of popular
songs such as a-Ha's "Take on Me", Toto's "Africa",
and Joe Jackson's "Stepping Out".
He released his solo-debut titled "Charity Starts At Home"
on September 27, 2011 through FE Music.
See Little Brother discography
The Foreign Exchange
Connected (2004, BBE)
Leave It All Behind (2008, Foreign Exchange Music LLC/HBD)
Authenticity (2010, Foreign Exchange Music LLC/HBD)
Zo! & Tigallo
Love the 80's (2008, Hall of Justus)
Charity Starts At Home (2011)