Why Wonder, Ask 9th

Ever wonder, "Who is 9th Wonder?" Well, if you ask him he'll tell you that he is a producer, DJ, lecturer, husband and father. So basically, he has the whole world on his shoulders. From putting in work in the studio with urban music's top Hip-Hop and R&B artists, to spinning your favorite old school jams at the hottest parties, then preaching what he practices to an up and coming Hip-Hop generation, it's safe to say that 9th Wonder is an expert at what he does; An expert who still finds time to catch the latest action flick with his homeboys, and cater to his wife and kids at home base.

We asked 9th to share some of his Southern hospitality with the readers of AllHipHop.com. So each month, 9th Wonder will be answering your questions about love, life and Hip-Hop. Who made him an expert, you ask? We did, check the credits. Welcome to the first edition of "Why Wonder, Ask 9th."

Dear 9th,

I've been doing music and trying to break into the industry for years now (about 5). I recently got married and my wife seriously wants me to give this all up. She sees no use for it since I have not made any substantial amount of money from it. She hounds me when I'm on my equipment for longer than one hour. She also tries to make me feel guilty for continuing to attempt to make something happen with my music. I love my music and production, but I also love my wife. How should I handle that? Thanks, NewLyfe


Brother, Brother, Brother...

When it comes to women and marriage, there is one very important thing to remember: can you pay the bills? Not all of the bills, but people, including your wife, are used to a nine to five, consistent bill-pay situation. If you are paying your bills, then your next dilemma is trying to convince your wife that it’s not just your "lil' music thing," which is what your family and friends would also like to call it. It will always be your "lil’ music thing" until you begin to show up in magazines, on TV, and most importantly, start to receive checks for your music. Right now, what you are doing is just a hobby to your wife, and she is ready to get on with marriage, which is something real and concrete to her. It would have been much easier to deal with if you would have gotten on before you got married.

The last problem is: does your music sound good? If she doesn't think so, boy, you are really climbing an uphill battle. If she doesn't believe in your product, that’s a problem. That's home, and you always need home team. Brother, the only thing you can do is continue to talk to her and explain that everyone, including 9th Wonder, started from somewhere. Until then, pull out the boxing gloves (figure of speech), 'cause this one is going for twelve rounds.

Dear 9th Wonder,

My brother, my best friend, and I rap together in a group called 3rd Degree. We've been rapping more on a recreational level since high school. Just recently, we decided to record and put out an independent CD. The problem is that my friend tends to rap off beat. His lyrics are great…he's a great writer. However, his delivery sometimes doesn’t exactly flow. We have known this for a while, obviously, and have expressed concerns in the past. He is unwilling to accept the criticisms and continues on with his "style." Now the stakes are higher because we want to release an actual product. I've known this friend since the 2nd grade. What should I do? Sincerely, Emphatic


First, ask your friend who are some of his favorite MCs and why. Take those MCs and their songs and use those as an example of what is consistent with classic Hip-Hop records, and what is not.

Hopefully, by doing that, he can see that it pays to stay on beat with a consistent flow, instead of being consumed with his style. Then maybe he can incorporate some structure to his style, which can turn into a nice compromise, and a brand new MC. Dear 9th,

I feel I've got some serious heat. When I listen to other's beats on the radio, I feel I can compete in this industry, but I live in Indiana. There isn’t much Hip-Hop going on here on a major level. What do you suggest is the best way to get my beats heard so I can get a break? Sincerely, Knockoff


The radio is so tricky, especially urban radio. It used to be that radio was the only thing you had, the only outlet. Also, the climate of radio changes so fast. Right now, “snap” is in. In about six months, it may be something new. Then you find yourself changing to fit whatever the radio climate is. You gotta do music that has feeling to it. That is the only type of music, whether it be The Temptations, The Bee Gees, Parliament, Public Enemy or Tupac; whatever music has stood the test of time has had to create an emotion other than just the club emotion.

The next thing for you to do is to find consistent artists and work with them, because it is easier to be heard in a large bulk, instead of beats here and there. MySpace can also be a big help to you as well, but with the millions of artists on MySpace, you have to be exceptionally dope to break through and be noticed.To participate, in "Why Wonder, Ask 9th," click here and let the good times roll.