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 life.
With Little Brother:
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Brother_(group)
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.