Little Brother “Speed” (2003)

9th Wonder:The Listening was done in Missie Ann. Cesar Comanche, who I met when I was attending North Carolina State University, lived not far from the school. He stayed in a two-bedroom apartment, and that’s basically our studio Missie Ann. [Comanche] named it after his sister. And we pretty much did that album in Comanche’s other room besides the bathroom.

"Every song on The Listening has a story to it, which is crazy. We started recording The Listening in August of 2001, which will make this August the ten-year anniversary when we started Little Brother.

“So the story goes like this. At the time Phonte was doing his 9 to 5 at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, the insurance company, and he would come into the studio, and then going back to his 9 to 5, sometimes without even sleeping. That was a repeating fashion.

”One day, Phonte and I were doing a song called ‘Speed.’ Phonte did his part, and we took ‘Take A Look’ by Joc Max and Grap Luva, put out by DJ Spinna, which has a part that goes, ‘I put my JBs on when I hustle with speed,’ and I really loved that part, so I put that in there.

”We asked Median to be on it. He said he was down to do it, but on the weekend we wanted to record it, we couldn’t find Median. Pooh, who was originally from Virginia, was in town at the time with his friends in Charlotte, North Carolina. Matter of fact, I think around March or April of 2001, Pooh asked Phonte to be a group, and Phonte said, ‘No.’

“But Median wasn’t around, so we were like, ‘Let’s just ask Pooh, he’s in town.’ So Pooh came in, and recorded the song, and we listened to the song like 18 times, and I looked at Phonte afterward and said, ‘Let’s try to be a group, man. Let’s see what it sounds like.’ Median could have been a member of Little Brother. ‘Speed’ was the first song we recorded as a group, because Median didn’t show up. But we thought it sounded good, so we just said, ‘Let’s be a group.’ And that’s the first song in Little Brother’s existence.”