I've got to hand it to George W. Bush: I didn't think it was possible for our president to turn worldwide support for the U.S. after 9/11 around 180 degrees, but he's done just that with his inflammatory rhetoric on Iraq. Am I for or against the war? What difference does it make? It's not like the people who matter would hear my voice either way. It sucks when a select few individuals dictate the lives of millions. (I voted for Chuck D as a write-in anyway.) I'm not for protesting in the middle of the street either, as that accomplishes little and increases the chances that I'll flip out in a road rage when I hit another fucking red light because the streets are clogged with people. Big ups to all my people in the armed forces, though. Ain't nothing wrong with supporting friends and family in the military, and I have a few close friends there. They're just doing their jobs. Our current war with Iraq definitely gives OutKast's big hit from a few years ago, "B.O.B." (Bombs Over Baghdad), a morbid new feel each time I hear it now, though. Although a lot of people missed the point of that song entirely the first time around, hopefully this time they'll get it.

Those of you waiting for A Tribe Called Quest to get back together (and were duped into really believing that it was going to happen after that interview with Phife Dawg on Tha Formula.com), stop waiting. Little Brother and the Justus League crew have taken over where that act left off. With incredible production from 9th Wonder--who is drawing some serious buzz as the next Pete Rock, although in my mind, there will never be another Pete Rock--Little Brother's debut, The Listening, is solid. While some of the producers out there might be skeptical of the record because of how Little Brother make their beats, all I care about are results, and the fact is that The Listening is already one of my favorite albums of 2003.

Does anybody care about the Wu-Tang Clan anymore? It's a crying shame, but the only cats I will check for from that crew are Ghostface, Gza, and the Method Man. I remember the days when all I needed to see was an obscure Wu symbol and you could consider my wallet $15 lighter. Nowadays I question whether or not their music is worth the time it would take to download. Speaking of Wu-Tang, though, what happened to Raekwon? Only Built 4 Cuban Linx was one of my favorite albums, but then his next one, Immobilarity, was so bad I almost forgot the name of it (although I admit "Sneakers" was my joint). Why am I bringing this up? Well it seems that Raekwon is rocking the Northgate Theater Friday, April 11, the same day as the All Natural show at the Vera Project. Any bets on which show has the bigger crowd? I wouldn't put my money on Lex Diamonds, that's for sure, not unless the Ironman Tony Stacks has his back.

Sharpshooters are making some solid moves coming up, opening for Peanut Butter Wolf this week and performing at Soulsonic Wednesdays next month. It's kind of weird when a group like Sharpshooters is opening for someone like Peanut Butter Wolf. If this were five years ago, it'd more than likely be the other way around. However, times change, and now Supreme, Sureshot, and the fellas are Twice as Nice. I would have loved to see them get some emcees on that album to bless a couple of those ridiculous beats, but who knows, maybe the third time will be the charm for a project like theirs.

Just so everybody doesn't pigeonhole me as "the hiphop guy" exclusively, I'm telling you about Darrius Willrich, who some of you might recognize as the keyboard player in the Soulsonic and Jumbalaya house bands every Wednesday and Friday. He has a new album out called Love Will Visit, and the man Vitamin D produced the title track (peep last week's issue and damn near every future issue to get news on him). The album is ridiculous--think Rahsaan Patterson with a touch of Maxwell, with the obvious Stevie Wonder and Prince influences. Definitely check out his website when you get the chance, www.darriuswillrich.com, but those of you who went to his record release at Chop Suey last month already know how dope the shit is that he puts down. Cats need to start booking this singer some shows for real and stop sleeping on Northwest talent.

That's it this time around, peep the science next week--and thanks for the feedback. It's appreciated. SAMUEL L. CHESNEAU

hiphop@thestranger.com

REQUIRED LISTENING 1. Little Brother, "The Yo Yo" (ABB)

2. CNN feat. MOP, "Stompdashitoutu" (Def Jam)

3. Pharoah Monche, "Ghetto Music" (White)

4. Baby feat. the Clipse, "What Happened to That Boy" (Universal)

5. Common, "Soul Power" (MCA)

6. Semi Official, "Crime" (Rhymesayers)

7. The Roots, "Thought at Work" (MCA)

8. Talib Kweli feat. Smif-N-Wessun, "Gun Music" (Rawkus)

9. Keith Murray feat. Def Squad, "Yeah Yeah, U Know It" (Def Jam)

10. Brother Ali, "Room with a View" (Rhymesayers)

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