In a whirlwind six-years, 9th Wonder has already been a vital-cog in the success of Little Brother, been hailed as one of Hip-hop’s most ingenious producers, started a “Hip-hop in context 1973-1997” course at his alma-mater North Carolina Central University (alongside Chris Martin from Kid N Play) from the ground up and participated on a Grammy Award winning LP (Mary J Blige’s 2005 The Breakthrough) and worked with two other Grammy Award winners (Jay-Z and Destiny’s Child).
In addition to crafting the beats for Little Brother (2003’s The Listening & 2005’s The Minstrel Show), 9th Wonder has gone on to become one of Hip-hop’s most sought after producers, working with a wide-array of artists such as; Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige, Lloyd Banks, Mos Def, De La Soul, Memphis Bleek, Jean Grae, Masta Ace, Murs, Buckshot, Masta Ace, Royce 5’9, Ras Kass, Consequence, Saigon, Sean Price and his Justus League cohorts among others. The vast diversity of the artists and genre’s 9th Wonder has worked with and in further demonstrates his ability as one of the most talented artists in music today; as his sound is infused with soul loops and jazz sentiment. 9th’s background in classical music and music theory gives his music a sonic breath and maturity that surpasses his years. Like the jazz greats Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, 9th “feels” his music and because of that intimate connection, he creates a sound that transcends Hip-hop, and becomes one with soul, jazz and R&B.
While 9th Wonder may have previously spent the majority of his time collaborating for other artists or in a group-setting, on 10-09-07 he finally strikes out on his own with his debut LP Dream Merchant Vol. 2. Littered with some of the finest established lyricists (Saigon, Royce 5’9, Mos Def, Memphis Bleek, Jean Grae, Camp Lo , Buckshot, Sean Price) Hip-hop has to offer, alongside some of the most-promising newcomers (Skyzoo, Torae, Joe Scudda and Kidz In The Hall’s Naledge) and former group-members (Little Brother) as well, making Dream Merchant Vol. 2 is a sonic and lyrical tour-de-force. When it came time to decide who he would collaborate with on Dream Merchant Vol. 2, as 9th relays the formula was pretty simple “basically it came down to who wanted to work with me. I wanted to work with a group of artists where some you had heard of and some you haven’t, but all in all wanted to work with me, without having to go thru 50 different people to get to the artist. The artists that are on the album are cats who genuinely wanted to do music with me. That was more important to me then anything else.
Though Dream Merchant Vol. 2 is 9th’s debut, the concept for the LP was masterminded many years ago and like many things in 9th’s life, devised by fate “this record means allot to me! The crazy thing is, the actualization of Dream Merchant is an idea that is six-years old. My Uncle Fred has crazy records; he was an avid collector from his days in NYC back in the 70’s. Back in 1987, I went to visit him and my Aunt, they lived in the South Bronx (East 169th and Grand Concourse) and it was my first trip to NYC. I was only there for a week when the newspapers flashed “Scott La Rock killed” (crazy right). In 1991, my Uncle and Aunt moved to Winston Salem ( North Carolina ) and I was working in a UPS call-center in High Point ( North Carolina ) and made a crazy decision to quit my job and pursue music full-time. I went to visit my Uncle Fred afterwards, because I remembered all of those records he had when I was a kid. I went downstairs and the first record I pulled out of the crate was Jerry Butler’s “Dream Merchant.” I though the title was so fly, that I decided to do a compilation album with me doing all the beats and cats I knew that rhymed. I think more then anything; fate sparked my decision to do this all the way—just from that cover and that moment.”
While 9th is shouldering allot of expectations from critics and fans alike for his debut, he has a more subtle goal for the project, as he laments “I put expectations to the side and just focused on giving the people something to listen too that they can enjoy.”
9th Wonder’s Dream Merchant Vol. 2 will be released on October 9th, 2007 on Six Hole/Hall of Justus Records, so save the date for 9th on the 9th!
Tracklisting and credits for 9th Wonders Dream Merchant 2:
1.) Mr. Dream Merchant Intro
2.) Shots f/Big Dho & Sean Price
3.) Merchant Of Dreams f/The EMBASSY, Skyzoo & Torae
4.) Brooklyn In My Mind f/ Mos Def, Jean Grae & Memphis Bleek
5.) Sunday f/Keisha Shontelle & Chaundon
6.) Baking Soda f/Big Treal
7.) Reminisce (Take Time) f/Big Remo & The Great Novej of the A.L.L.I.E.S.
8.) No Time To Chill f/Little Brother
9.) It Aint Over ft. Jozee Mo & Tyler Woods
10.) The Last Time f/ Royce the 5’9, Naledge & Vandalyzm of the MIDWEST WRECKIN’ CREW- The D, The Chi & The Lou
11.) Saved f/Saigon & Joe Scudda
12.) Milky Lowa ft. Camp Lo
13.) Backlash f/Sean Boog & Buckshot
14.) Thank You f/ D.O.X & O-Dash
15.) Let It Bang f/Ness & Skyzoo
16.) What Makes A Man f/Rapper Big Pooh & Buddy Klein
(All Tracks Produced By 9th Wonder)
To obtain a press copy of 9th Wonder’s Dream Merchant Vol. 2 for feature or review purposes, please contact:
Matt [email protected] Movement Marketing
Business #: 410-903-7568
E-Mail: [email protected]
AOL IM: Matthewbrn