While platinum certifications have eluded Phonte Coleman, he has built one of the richest and most consistent discographies in post-millennial hip-hop and R&B. The Greensboro, North Carolina native established himself in Little Brother, a Native Tongues-inspired trio that developed into the leading alternative rap act of the 2000s. Coleman became known for casually clever wordplay that projected vivid realism with rare depth and sharp humor. While the group was still thriving, he and Dutch multi-instrumentalist/producer Nicolay established the Foreign Exchange, who debuted with the accomplished multi-genre synthesis Connected (2004) and made a convincing shift into moody, left-of-center R&B with Leave It All Behind (2008). Among the latter album's highlights was "Daykeeper," a spine-chilling ballad on which Coleman shared lead vocals with Muhsinah. The song was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Urban/Alternative Performance, a validation of Coleman's artistic diversification.

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