When you think of a man behind some of the beats and instrumentals we all love that many people will consider to be legendary. There’s one producer you have to mention no matter what, yes I’m talking about Patrick ‘9th Wonder’ Douthit. He has been apart of some of the biggest records that we’ve all enjoyed at some point in our lives if you’re lucky. Thankfully, after blessing the world with classic hip-hop albums like, The Minstrel Show, The Listening, and Tutankhamen (Valley of the Kings) he’s proven himself to be a bonafide hustler producer that can make any record sound beautiful.
In this short, 9th speaks on the power of having a mother that was an educator, his thirst for knowledge, and his view on the importance of wanting to learn with other intelligent black students. After going to schools where he was the one of the only black students in the class, he found comfort in being a part of the majority while attending North Carolina Central University (NCCU) dating back to a start date of August in 1993. I believed this was destined to happen as 9th would later find many of the talented artists he worked and works with presently at the Historically Black University and College, including his co-stars in the group Little Brother. He’d later go on to find Rapsody after crossing paths with her at several open mics in the Durham, NC area.
When I think about 9th Wonder’s music the first song I heard that he produced that made me a super fan of his music was Threat by Jay-Z. I can remember the first time I heard it I was in high school and it literally made my head spin. Instantly, I remember being excited about coming across the track as I’m a huge R. Kelly fan as well, so I just remember playing it over and over and over again. Still til this day many of the albums that 9th has touch, had a huge impact on my life as they helped me get through college when hearing Phonte and Big Pooh crush the beats that 9th Wonder was lacing them with at the time. Fast-forward to this time and day it still amazes me I had an opportunity to meet him several times before and each time feels surreal.
I have to say there’s not many producers and or artists that can have that kind of affect on me but 9th Wonder does. When you listen to someone’s music a million times it almost makes you feel like you know them even when you don’t. I’ll never forget the first time I met 9th Wonder I was in Annapolis, MD going to the Right On Record Fair and he was sitting outside chilling in front of the Metropolitan Kitchen shooting off a few text messages. As I introduced myself he gave me some dap and pointed behind me and said, “There goes PeediCrack right there,” he then said, “This is my first time meeting him as well.” I was so excited to meet 9th I don’t even remember what PeediCrack looks like haha but I def still got mad love for what he was able to do for Philly music. This was back when Stereo Champions was still just a few weeks old and I wasn’t as confident in my videography and photography ability so I shied away from taking his photo and or shooting an interview with him. I did the same think the following year. After sharpening my skills I’ll definitely be sure to link with him to make it happen.
Definitely be sure to press play and enjoy the story that 9th shares with his fans, students, and faculty about his decision to work at North Carolina Central University and his unwavering gratefulness for being an eagle.
Special thanks goes to North Carolina Central University Office of University Relations, Omari Collins, Briana Lawrence, and Patrick Douthit.