Producer 9th Wonder, who’s latest album, The Wonder Years arrived in stores yesterday, took some time to speak with SOHH about the inner workings of a great album.
Rather than blending catchy rhymes over borrowed beats, Wonder believes that listeners should walk away from a body of work with a better understanding of an artist’s story.
“Your album has to be an event. It just can’t be a collection of songs. If it’s just a bunch of songs on a CD, it doesn’t flow together [and] no one will [play] it from front to back. I appreciate [projects] like Section 80, Thank Me Later and records like that. I praise records that you can put in, play and it becomes an experience. Records that allow you to find out more about that person. You can’t find out nothing about a person that just puts out a bunch of singles … and maybe that person doesn’t want you to, either. I praise those records. I praise Deeper Than Rap and Teflon Don. Records that are experiences. I want the Rick Ross experience … to go into his world, and when the album’s over, I come out of it.”(SOHH)
9th went on to point out that technology has diluted the art of creating a true album experience, and that the generation to come will reject “fast food” music in favor of a more cohesive sound.
“Technology has made music microwaveable. I was talking to someone about how the next generation is gonna rebel against the Internet. That’s how it works: One generation creates something, the next generation rebels from it. Know what I’m saying? That’s what it’s all about, and I think the new generation of artists want to get back to making music that is an experience. Frank Ocean put out his mixtape nostalgia,ULTRA, and the beautiful thing about it is when you listen to it, it sounds like he’s rewinding a tape back and forth. See what I’m saying? The generation that will rebel is coming.” (SOHH)
Virginia rapper Malice recently spoke on the importance of creating a genuine experience for listeners while working alongside his brother Pusha T.
“When [The Clipse] first came out, everyone thought we were twins, but what people were witnessing was the real personality of each one of us. And I think that was the dynamic of The Clipse: Pusha would give you the flashy stuff and I always came with the food for thought. That’s just our personalities. Even though there are alot of unsavory things within my rhymes, I always come from of a perspective of definite reality and I could never deny that part of who I am. Pusha and I have always been realists, our music is very real music and very genuine.”(SOHH)
Roc Nation artist J. Cole, who’s debut album landed in stores yesterday, credits much of his early success to the personal connection his mixtapes have made with audiences worldwide.
“I want people to love the album like I love it. The fact that I could go do shows before my album came out and I’m on a world tour just speaks to my fans, you know? I don’t really have a smash hit on the radio right now, so all of this is because of the fans that I have. It’s not like I came into the game with “The Best I Ever Had” [like Drake] or like a “Hustlin'” like Rick Ross. I didn’t have a smash … I’m still working at that. So this is all energy from the music.”(SOHH)
Check out a track from 9th Wonder’s new album below: