Former Little Brother member 9th Wonder is preparing to assume a new role, as he takes the spotlight for his debut solo album Dream Merchant Vol. 2.
The release is the latest achievement for the beatmaker, who has remained in the background, while creating music for artists like Jay-Z, Destiny's Child, Mary J. Blige, Lloyd Banks, Mos Def, De La Soul, Memphis Bleek, Jean Grae, Masta Ace, Murs, Buckshot, Masta Ace, Royce 5'9, Ras Kass, Consequence, Saigon, Sean Price and his Justus League crew.
Although Dream Merchant is 9th Wonder's first official offering, the album seems to have been on the producer's mind for quite sometime.
"The crazy thing is, the actualization of Dream Merchant is an idea that is six-years-old," he admitted. "My uncle Fred has crazy records; he was an avid collector from his days in NYC back in the 70's."
Things would change years later, as 9th Wonder found himself in North Carolina with his relatives.
It was at this point, once he decided to quit his job and pursue music full-time, that the concept of Dream Merchant was formed.
"I went to visit my uncle Fred afterwards, because I remembered all of those records he had when I was a kid," 9th Wonder revealed. "I went downstairs and the first record I pulled out of the crate was Jerry Butler's 'Mr. Dream Merchant.' I thought the title was so fly, that I decided to do a compilation album with me doing all the beats and cats I knew that rhymed. I think more then anything; fate sparked my decision to do this all the way---just from that cover and that moment."
Although Dream Merchant is produced entirely by 9th Wonder, fans shouldn't expect the producer to get on the mic.
Instead, the album's guest list will be comprised of artists who have worked with 9th Wonder throughout his career.
"Basically it came down to who wanted to work with me," 9th Wonder said about choosing the artists who would appear on Dream Merchant. "I wanted to work with a group of artists where some you had heard of and some you haven't, but all in all wanted to work with me, without having to go thru 50 different people to get to the artist. The artists that are on the album are cats who genuinely wanted to do music with me. That was more important to me then anything else."
Among those appearing on Dream Merchant are Saigon, Royce 5'9, MOs Def, Memphis Bleek, Jean Grae, Camp Lo, Buckshot and Sean Price as well as Skyzoo, Torae, Joe Scudda, Kidz In The Hall's Naledge and Little Brother.
As the days draw closer towards the release of the Dream Merchant, 9th Wonder is at ease with the long-awaited project and the expectations of fans and critics.
In fact, he keeps things in perspective saying "I put expectations to the side and just focused on giving the people something to listen too that they can enjoy."
9th Wonder's Dream Merchant Vol. 2 is scheduled to hit stores on Oct. 9.
The following is a tracklisting for the Six Hole/Hall of Justus Records release:
1. Mr. Dream Merchant Intro2. Shots f/Big Dho & Sean Price3. Merchant Of Dreams f/The EMBASSY, Skyzoo & Torae4. Brooklyn In My Mind f/ Mos Def, Jean Grae & Memphis Bleek5. Sunday f/Keisha Shontelle & Chaundon6. Baking Soda f/Big Treal7. Reminisce (Take Time) f/Big Remo & The Great Novej of the A.L.L.I.E.S.8. No Time To Chill f/Little Brother9. It Aint Over ft. Jozee Mo & Tyler Woods10. The Last Time f/ Royce the 5'9, Naledge and Vandalyzm of the Midwest Wreckin' Crew - The D, The Chi and The Lou11. Saved f/Saigon & Joe Scudda12. Milky Lowa ft. Camp Lo13. Backlash f/Sean Boog & Buckshot