The Minstrel Show

The Minstrel Show

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The Minstrel Show

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The Minstrel Show is the second studio album by hip hop trio, Little Brother. It followed the critical success of their 2003 debut, The Listening. The album was highly anticipated and touted as a probable breakthrough for the group, even before its release. The title is a reference to the minstrel shows that were popular in America during the 19th century (see Minstrel show).

Themes

The album has a running concept based on a fictional television network called "UBN" (U Black Niggas Network), which is a satire of stereotypical programs and advertisements. For example, on "Cheatin", Phonte (performing under his alter-ego "Percy Miracles"), spoofs the over-dramatic R&B sagas performed by singers such as R. Kelly and Ronald Isley. Many of the skits contain tongue-in-cheek references to black pop-culture in America.

Controversy

For many reasons, the furor surrounding The Minstrel Show overshadowed the music itself. On August 16, 2005, hip hop magazine The Source's Editor-in-Chief, Joshua "Fahiym" Ratcliffe, announced his retirement due to conflicting opinions on the rating The Minstrel Show was to receive in the next issue of the publication. According to Ratcliffe, his original rating of 4.5 (out of 5) was reduced to 4 by the magazine's Chief Brand Executive, Raymond "Benzino" Scott and CEO Dave Mays because Ratcliffe gave then-upcoming artist Young Jeezy a rating of 4. After they refused to change the rating back to...
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