Video Interview: Premier, Pete Rock, 9th Wonder – Smirnoff in the Mix Party

    We may argue all day about who the best emcee is — Jay-Z, Biggie, Nas — but the debate is no less wild when it comes to the men behind the boards. No disrespect to the doctor in the West, Dilla Dawg from the D, or B.O.B.B.Y. from Staten Island, but for nearly a decade Premier and Pete Rock had a Celtics-like championship run in hip-hop. From Rock”’s signature horns to Premier”’s surgical cuts, a track from either producer is instantly recognizable, and they”’ve released classic after classic after classic. For years, a production credit from either producer has been a stamp of approval, a stamp that can be found on two of the biggest and most influential albums ever released: Nas”’s Illmatic and Biggie”’s Ready to Die.
    Pete Rock and Premier where among the first super-producers in hip-hop, and they begot and influenced a slew of emcees and producers. One of them is 9th Wonder, who on the Little Brother debut paid homage to his mentor by chopping ””T.R.O.Y.”” and reincorporating it into ””The Listening.”” Despite recently leaving Little Brother, 9th is no less busy producing entire projects — with Jean Grae, Murs and Buckshot, but also entire solo hip-hop and R&B albums. His sound in many ways is a marriage of Pete Rock”’s hypnotic rhythms and Premier”’s banging drums. Despite his quick rise to the top through his work with Mary J. Blige, Destiny”’s Child and Jay-Z, 9th is humbled to be mentioned alongside Premier and Pete Rock, as this video interview — the three sat down with us hours before performing at a June 22 tribute (Smirnoff in the Mix) to them in New York City — makes evident.

    DJ Premier

    • Jazzy Jeff, Cash Money, DJ Aladdin, DJ Miz, Q-Bert, X-ecutioners, Kool Herc
    • “I just piece it together until it sounds right…”
    • “I understand every era from my generation all the way to the new cats like Fabolous. I know snap music, I know what ‘A Bay Bay’ is. I know those records, but I just don’t do that style when I create production.”
    • “Pete (Rock) has a certain bounce that it’s an extra pain in your neck when you do this.”
    • “9th to me is like a new up and coming version of all of us combined.”
    • “Let the kids ‘Popl Lock Drop It I ain’t mad at that my knees hurt
    • Upcoming projects – Year Round Records, NYGz, Blaq Poet Best That Never Did It, Kalil, Nicky Javis, Big Shug Street Champ

    Pete Rock (Part 1 of 2)


    • Background in music
    • “T.R.O.Y.” is perfect
    • Live instrumental albumis in the work
    • “Shut ‘Em Down” (Remix)

    Pete Rock (Part 2 of 2)

    • “I like Ayatollah, the Beatminerz, of course J-Dilla, Madlib, Primo, 9th, Just Blaze”
    • Shopping beats
    • RZA, Wu-Tang
    • Secret project
    • Upcoming/recent projects – Redman, Ghostface, Red Cafe, Slum Village, MF Doom
    • “I’m definitely ready to take on the world again.”

    9th Wonder (Part 1 of 2)

    • The break up of Little Brother
    • “I’ll just have to continue to do what I’ve been doing.”
    • Working on complete albums with artists
    • “Jean (Grae) can write a song so fast.”

    9th Wonder (Part 2 of 2)

    • Making RnB tracks
    • The Destiny’s Child learning experience
    • Late Registration
    • Tyler Woods
    • Kanye West
    • New projects – Jean Grae – Jeanius, Murs – Sweet Lord, Buckshot – The Formula, solo album – Wonder Years, first single off the upcoming Erykah Badu album, maybe on the next Mary J. Blige album