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Phonte Coleman
Phonte performing in Atlanta 2.jpg
Performing in Atlanta in March 2008.
Background information
Birth name Phonte Lyshod Coleman
Born December 29, 1978 (age 37)
Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
Genres Hip hop, contemporary R&B
Occupation(s) Rapper, singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1998–present
Labels Foreign Exchange Music
Associated acts Little Brother, The Foreign Exchange, The Roots, Eric Roberson, Murs

Phonte Lyshod Coleman,[1] better known as Phonte (born December 29, 1978),[2] is an 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.[3]


Little Brother[edit]

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.[3] 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.

The Foreign Exchange[edit]

Phonte "met" (virtually) Dutch producer Nicolay on an OkayPlayer message board. The two released their debut album, Connected, having never met face to face. The Foreign Exchange has released four albums and has garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the track "Daykeeper" (feat. Muhsinah) off of the second album, Leave It All Behind.

Solo work[edit]

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 tracked 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 appeared on RJD2's 2013 album More Is Than Isn't.

He released his solo-debut titled "Charity Starts At Home" on September 27, 2011 through FE Music.[4]


Little Brother[edit]

See Little Brother discography

The Foreign Exchange[edit]

  • Connected (2004, BBE)
  • Leave It All Behind (2008, Foreign Exchange Music LLC/HBD)
  • Authenticity (2010, Foreign Exchange Music LLC/HBD)
  • Love in Flying Colors (2013, Foreign Exchange Music LLC/HBD)
  • Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey (2015, Foreign Exchange Music/Empire)

Zo! & Tigallo[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

Collaboration albums[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]

List of guest appearances
Title Year Other performer(s) Album
"Clap Shit Up" 2016 Torae Entitled


  1. ^ "5th & Fashion (skit)". Warner/Chappell Music. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  2. ^ "Phonte Coleman - Raleigh, NC | MyLife". Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  3. ^ a b "MVRemix Urban Interviews Phonte of Little Brother - Online Rap Magazine". Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Phonte on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  5. ^ Hernandez, Victoria. "Phonte Announces "No News Is Good News" Album". Retrieved 2016-02-25. 

External links[edit]