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Little brother album listening party
Little brother album listening party
Photo Credit: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Little Brother Explain Why 9th Wonder Wasn't on Their Reunion Album

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. Album cover

 "There is no beef, there’s just clarity.”

Fans rejoiced over Little Brother's reunion this August with the release of their latest album, May the Lord Watch, but many wondered why 9th Wonder wasn't part of the project.

During an appearance on The Premium Pete Show,  Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh addressed their former member’s absence.

In the interview, Pooh said, “There’s no issue.” But despite 9th supporting the album, Phonte suggested everything wasn't as it seems, saying, “That was bullshit,” he said. “That was the get-in-front-of-it story.”

READ: Ten Takeaways From Little Brother's Brilliant Comeback Album 'May the Lord Watch'

Phonte noted that 9th initially agreed to be part of their reunion, but things changed.

“So, we start recording. Just to make a very long story short: we start recording and we get into it, and the beats he was sending just really weren’t speaking to us. And I’ll never go on record and say the beats were bad. It’s art. It’s subjective… I go to him and I have a conversation. And I say, ‘Look, man, I want us to bring other producers in on this project. He’s like, ‘Nah, I don’t wanna do that.’ And I’m just like, ‘OK.’"

He goes on to state that 9th said, "'Cause if the album is called Homecoming, what am I’m coming home to?’ In my mind, I’m like nigga, you coming home to the home that we maintained while you was AWOL. But, I just let it sit.”

“He didn’t want other producers on the album,” Phonte noted. “Then it became a thing of ‘Well when we tour, what if I just do the festival dates and [DJ] Flash do the regular dates?’ I was just like, ‘Dude, no.’ If we’re gonna do this, either you’re all the way in or all the way out. And if there’s any reason why you can’t do that or won’t, let’s talk about it. But this is the exact same problem we ran into 10 years ago when we became a duo.

“I see you. I see your authentic self. I see what you’re about. I see who you’re about, and I can accept that. And in my acceptance of that, I feel comfort in walking away from you completely and leaving that alone ’cause I just don’t need that narcissistic energy in my life.”

Pooh added that after this, they wanted to start anew with production on the album.

“And once we decided to start over, we told him, ‘You can take your beats back,'” Pooh said. “We’re gonna actually start over.”

Phonte continued, “We made every effort to do this shit right, to do this together, the three of us,” he noted. “We made every effort to be amenable and kind and open. We made every effort to do it with him. But once we saw that it wasn’t gonna be able to be done that way — and I stress this 100 percent — I say this loud and clear: there is no beef, there’s just clarity.”

Listen to the full interview below.