If you really wanted to experience Chicago Hip-Hop at it’s finest and see how much of a roll Chicago is on in the whole spectrum of Hip-Hop right now than The Shrine in Chicago’s south loop was the place to be this past Friday November 22nd. As legendary producer 9th Wonder of Winston-Salem, North Carolina along with fellow North Carolina natives Khrysis and Rapsody of 9th’s Jamla Records label welcomed Chicago native Add-2 as the label’s newest signee in a showcase at the club/lounge/concert venue, which was Add’s first major hometown performance since announcing his signing to the label in early October. As Khryis, whom Add recently released his very amazing collaborative Between Heaven and Hell EP with in conjunction with L-R-G put on one amazing beat showcase to open up before Rapsody came to open up for her new labelmate with a pretty convincing opening act that convinced me I now for sure need to check out her material I have been meaning to, but kept putting off.
9th than came to the stage to spin some classic Little Brother and other classic records he’s produced/and or contributed to such as Jay-Z, Jean Grae and Buckshot, as well as personal favorites such as Nas, De Le Soul and Tribe among others. Add was than introduced by 9th as the newest signee to his label before went into his very amazing set that included new material from Between Heaven and Hell such as Club Church/Club Hell, Death of Chicago, Its Ok and some of his classic material from last years Save.Our.Souls project such as One Of Dem Girls, Modern Day Coons, Love Jones and Losing Me, as well as The Almighty Add-2 and Get Up Get Down from last year’s More Missed Calls mixtape among others.
Before the event got started I actually got a chance to go along with the rest of the media and ask 9th and Add a couple questions as part of a quick Q and A session with this current Hip-Hop legend and soon to be future legend. Such as 9th’s involvement with Duke and how he became a college basketball fan and advice from Add for others progressing in their fields of career they chose.
Nello for TheHipHopDemocrat.com to 9th Wonder: I know your big on college hoops and Duke *9th Wonder interrupts me before I can ask what’s his thoughts on Jabari Parker?* Yeah I was actually just going ask your thoughts on Chicago native Jabari Parker going to Duke?
9th Wonder: Jabari came down during his recruitment visit and one of the first things he wanted to do was visit my studio. And he came and he had on a Wu-Tang shirt and that just I don’t know if y’all noticed about Jabari Parker, but he has Low End Theory in his i-Pod. He’s probably (and he’s blessed to have older brothers), but he’s a [Hip-Hop] head. Like we talked about what’s the better Tribe album, Midnight or Low End Theory and we talked about like he ain’t hear Mecca and the Soul Brothers, but he had Main Ingredient and this is this 18-year-old kid we are talking about. So you know he’s well versed on his music, but past that he’s a humble kid. Him coming to Duke I’m ecstatic. Since I teach their you know, I’m ecstatic cause I’m friends with Jeff Capel (the assistant coach) and than we just got Jahlil [Okafor] (another Chicago native) so it’s like a pipeline. So you know I hope he stays, but if he goes. Than he goes next year. It’s what it’s, but he’s an immense talent man. People call him one of the best freshmen, but he’s one of the best players in the nation right now. And that’s why I’m just really impressed by his poise and he’s a very humble and good kid. He’s use for knowledge is out of here too.
Nello for TheHipHopDemocrat.com: Question for Add. I know you’ve been going at it for a long time and I’ve been one of the people that’s really followed you and seen your progress a lot through the years. I wanted to know what advice you would give to people that want to quit, like what would you tell them to help them to keep going?
Add-2: I think an important lesson I had to learn and this is something that Minister Farrakhan said. He said, “The importance of time.” Because you can be doing the right thing at the wrong time and not get the right results. And what you do it’s like, the timing and even within that time you learn how to get better. If I looked at myself like three or four years ago and if you would asked me now if I was prepared, I would have said no. You know like without the issues that I had went through that made my skin tougher. Like those times when you have to learn. Those times you have to fall on your face and pick yourself back up. Like those things made me the man that I’m. So when good things come around now I know how to handle it, now I know how to put it in perspective. You know you give a kid who never had money before money, they going to blow it and get rid of it. You give it to somebody who then went through it already, they going to be like while let me put something away. So that’s where I’m at right now and I think that as you grow as an artist or you start to grow as a person you start to learn how to be resilient and you start to figure out the ins and outs of everything. Unless you want to keep on hitting your head up against that wall, but I don’t think that would be pretty good. So I think if anything you just gotta stay encouraged. You just gotta keep on going at whatever it’s and whenever the time is right, whenever God sees it’s fit. He will save that time and it’s going to be that time.
Nello for TheHipHopDemocrat.com: Follow up question for 9th. Kind of going off what somebody else had said about you working with Chance The Rapper, Is there any other artist from Chicago that you would really like to work with that you haven’t yet?
9th Wonder: You know what man, it’s funny that you say that man. I had a conversation with somebody. I had a conversation with his camp and a long time ago when I first got into the game, he was a fan of my beats and we talked and we talked and than you know things happened, and that’s Bump J. Like that’s somebody that I talked to and I came up to a couple of times and he just said what’s up man and I met him a few times and he said he was a fan of my music. And you know like I said it’s unfortunate what happened, but that’s somebody that I haven’t worked with yet that I think is a cat that’s on my list. So yeah, that it’s, Bump J.