Being on the verge of releasing a major-label debut with your indie hip-hop group would be enough for most MCs, but not Rapper Big Pooh.

Being on the verge of releasing a major-label debut with your indie hip-hop group would be enough for most MCs, but not Rapper Big Pooh. Even though he and Little Brother cohorts Phonte and 9th Wonder are already hard at work on their Atlantic Records debut, "The Minstrel Show," Pooh found the time to craft his first solo effort. "Sleepers," like previous Little Brother side projects, gives Pooh the opportunity to establish his identity outside of the trio. The result is a hard-hitting, straight-forward effort. Pooh tosses one lyrical jab after another over a head-nodding, syncopated rhythm courtesy of Big Dho, Nicolay and Khrysis. Highlights include the melodic "On My Mind" (featuring O-Dash and Darien Brockington), "Heart of the City" and the thought-provoking "The Jungle." For true Little Brother fans, "Every Block," featuring Phonte and produced by 9th Wonder, is a taste of what's in store from the group. This is one solo debut not to be "slept" on.—RH