AllHipHop.com: One of the big issues surrounding The Minstrel Show has been magazines album ratings. What are your opinions on the reviews?
9th Wonder: Regardless of what people feel, those magazine ratings definitely help record sales. Credible or not, they help.
Big Pooh: When you go into a bookstore, you may not even buy the magazine. You pick it up, and whats the first thing you do? You flip to the back, and you find out who got what rating. No matter how you feel about ratings, thats the first thing you do when you see a new magazine issue has dropped.
9th Wonder: Its talk for weeks. If you get a 2.5 or a 2, theyll be talking about you for a long time!
AllHipHop.com: Sounds like youve seen the 2.5 rating that Rolling Stone gave The Minstrel Show. Why do you think they reviewed the album so low?
9th Wonder: They just dont get it!
Phonte: To me, they dont get it, and I dont even think they listened to the album. The review read like they didnt even hear the album, just as their review for The Listening read. So, that magazine just doesnt seem to get Hip-Hop.
AllHipHop.com: In the magazines that specialize in Hip-Hop, the album has received nothing but critical acclaim. The word classic has even been used, but how do you feel about albums being hailed as classics before being given time to age? It seems like 2005 has had a series of classic albums.
9th Wonder: I think its because the music today is so bad, that people really want something that they can latch on to and call a classic real quick.
Phonte: This generation never had an Illmatic. So, theyre really looking hard for one.
9th Wonder: A lot of the kids who are calling albums classics are the ones on the Internet. Thats because a lot of these kids are born in 1988, 1987. They werent around to experience the day that Illmatic came out. They are really trying to re-live that, badly, but theyll never be able to have that feeling. They were like four years old when that came out.
Big Pooh: You cant really call something a classic until after awhile. After you see if it stands the test of time. If you can listen to it the same way years later that you did when you first bought it, then thats a classic. Like me personally, I give albums awhile, and then Ill go back and see if I can still bump it the same. I can do that with Jay-Zs Reasonable Doubt. Thats a damn classic.
9th Wonder: A lot of albums that people call instant classics just dont age well. It happens all of the time.
AllHipHop.com: One album that came out to instant classic talk was Commons Be, but a lot of people admitted to hailing it prematurely as time has gone on.
9th Wonder: People are just happy to hear Common rapping again, without all of the extra stuff. I dont think the classic talk for his album has anything to do with the actual music. No offense to any of these artists, but Common, The Roots, Mos Def, Talib Kweli for these new Hip-Hoppers on the net, those are their heroes. They dont want to see them go down. They want something to believe in, whether their new music is good or not. On the same page, some of them have a hard time believing that three dudes who used to be on these Internet sites chatting with them are on a major label now. For some of them, its a hard pill to swallow.
AllHipHop.com: In what ways do these people address you?
9th Wonder: Everybody got opinions, and some people know how to express their opinions in the proper way. But if you say, I dont like Little Brother cause theyre wack, or if you say, I dont like their music because of the following reasons, dont do no nitpicking, man! You can tell when somebody is being an a**hole. Somebody had made a post the other day, a friend of mine, saying, Yall just mad because it isnt you. You didnt have the idea that they had, and youre just mad about it. After that, nobody replied. Usually, somebody will copy and paste the quote, and then comment negatively. The following posts were like, Real talk, and True.
Phonte: In this culture now, there are very few just fans left. The age of the Internet has changed that. I remember going to see A Tribe Called Quest in 1996, when Beats, Rhymes, & Life came out. Tribe, Outkast, Busta Rhymes, and The Fugees. Even then, I knew I wanted to MC, but I was still just a fan of the music. I wasnt going to the concert and saying, Ahh, Tip f**ked up that verse. Lauryn was off for that note. I just went to enjoy the show, and when I got home, I couldnt log on to a website and be like, That show sucked! I couldnt type, LaurynHill@thefugees.com [and say,] Lauryn Hill, you f**king suck! I hate your guts, and that was the worst show Ive ever seen. P.S. Check my beats at That Producer So-N-So on myspace.com. [laughs]
AllHipHop.com: So do you think the Internet is indirectly hurting Hip-Hop?
9th Wonder: Really, man, the Internet is a place where everyone can be somebody. Outside of the computer, theyre nobody, so the net is their chance to stand up on that podium and be somebody.
Phonte: Its definitely not a bad thing, because it helps a lot of music to be heard. But I think, with the Internet now, that fans have lost that knee-jerk reaction to the music, like simply saying, Thats hot! People now log on to message boards and write thesis statements about the music. If you like it, you like it. If not, cool. Let it be what it is. Its just Hip-Hop.