Singled Out: "Hip-Hop Is All About Representing Where You're From"

Tuesday, Oct 4, 2011 3:30PM

Written by J. Bachelor for 9th Wonder

[SOHH highlights a single each week and offers a unique look at the song. After Statik Selektah broke down why he decided to ask Freddie Gibbs and Def Jam MC Big K.R.I.T to "Play the Game", 9th Wonder discusses his role on producing the Phonte track "Life of Kings".]

Hip-hop is all about representing where you're from. Evidence is from the West Coast and Big K.R.I.T. is from Mississippi [who are both featured on the track];  Phonte wanted to try to capture all sides of the map when it comes to Hip-hop. But I wanna focus more on the music that is now coming out of North Carolina more than the shine we are getting. I'll be real about my state: Where I'm from is not the most shiniest place ... entertainment does not live there. In North Carolina there's NASCAR, there's religion and ACC basketball. That's what drives out state. So I want everybody to really focus on the music that we're making.

The West Coast and the South have more in common than they think, because we are both car cultures, which means we don't have mass transit in the south (other than Atlanta) like that. We drive in our cars and listen to music, as opposed to New York where most people ride the subway. So ridin' around and [vibing] with our music is a big thing to us.

"Life of Kings" is all about where you live and where you're from and why you refuse to leave, because you feel like home is your kingdom. Its like, "Why move somewhere else to get my career started ... [home] is where I need to be. This is what's feasible for me."

That's what the life of kings is about. I see alotta people at home, and when I give 'em my phone number, the say, "Man, you still got a 919 number?!" Yeah. That's where I live. If we keep leavin', then nothing here will ever be established. Nothin'.

9th Wonder was once one-third of the North Carolina rap trio Little Brother. Since the late 90's, 9th Wonder has released music as a member of Little Brother, taught at Duke University as well as worked with artists including Buckshot, David Banner and Jay-Z. His latest effort "The Wonder Years" is available now.

Check out "Life of Kings" down below:

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