In the midst of “philosophical” differences with record label Atlantic, Pat Douthit (a.k.a. 9th Wonder), has announced his departure from hip-hop trio Little Brother, in a decision apparently meant to ensure that other members of the group can pursue individual careers.

The Durham, NC trio–whose other members are MCs Phonte Coleman and Thomas Jones (Big Pooh)–has seen a handful of releases since The Listening in 2002, but it was 2005’s The Minstrel Show that got them signed to Atlantic and put the group on the map as an important one to watch in hip-hop. The group’s main conflict seems to be–imagine this–a scuffle with the big men at Atlantic that’s prevented a release date being set for their latest album.

Insofar as 9th Wonder’s departure is concerned, Phonte and Pooh claim there is no beef between any parties, but didn’t indicate if the conflict over the new album’s release date was anywhere near being resolved.

Cameron Octigan