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Rapper Big Pooh emerges from Little Brother’s shadow 

Phonte’s significant other preps solo stance

There's nothing like living in your brother's shadow – especially your Little Brother. Just ask Rapper Big Pooh.

"People tend to want to always compare people to other people, or in my case, with LB," says the rapper who makes up half of the acclaimed rap group Little Brother. "I think a lot of people feel that I was the throw-in guy in LB, that anybody could've filled that role, and that's not that case."

While he spent the majority of the last decade playing the unassuming sidekick to his partner-in-rhyme Phonte's more gregarious role, 2010 offers new opportunities for Pooh to showcase himself. LB recently announced that Left Back, due in April, will be its last official album, leaving the lane wide open for Pooh to step into his own.

"You can't have two people [on stage] competing for attention," he says, explaining why people often misconstrued him as the quiet one. "I know how to play the role. [Phonte] gets up there and goes crazy, so I gotta be the guy to keep us moving. I don't have to be that guy anymore. It's about me."

Longtime fans have already seen glimpses of his blunt, everyday guy-rhyme style via his first two solo releases, 2005's Sleepers and last year's lyrically sound Delightful Bars. But Dirty Pretty Things, slated for a fall release, brings him full circle. The West Coast-tinged album embodies his persona more than any of his previous CDs.

"My content is a little more aggressive than LB content," says Pooh, currently on tour promoting his collaborative mixtape (The Purple Tape) with Detroit producer Black Milk. "From the way the beat sounds to some of the things I talk about, there's no compromising. Instead of getting 50 percent of me, you're getting 100 percent."

When asked what he ultimately wants listeners to learn about him, he replies tongue-in-cheek, "I'm an Aquarius [and] I do accept drinks at the bar," before turning serious again.

"Really, I just want people to take the time to hear what I'm doing. I think people will be pleasantly surprised if they take the time to listen."

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