9th Wonder Defends Wale Against Critics, Explains Lil B Collaboration

During an interview with GoldenUndergroundTV, 9th Wonder encourages fans "not to put people in boxes" and that labels don't matter.

Having gained critical and commercial success for his respective work with Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Little Brother and his own stable of artists, 9th Wonder has seen the full spectrum of urban music. And while people may label some of his contributions as everything from “underground” and “backpack” to outright pop, 9th doesn’t particularly see the need for such labels.

In a recent interview with Christian Hernandez of GoldenUndergroundTV, the North Carolina beatsmith explained how that philosophy applies to working with artists like Maybach Music Group’s Wale. After working 9th Wonder on 2009’s Back To The Feature, Wale drew criticism for signing with Ross and MMG—where he rhymed over a decidedly different style of beats.

Check out the full interview below.

“People gotta understand that if you wanna sell a mass amount of records, your style is going to change,” 9th explained. “If you want to sell 2-3 million records…you’re almost considered pop if you sell that many records. It didn’t used to be like that. But now, if you sell 3 million records you’re a pop artist. Period. Whether you rap or not, you’re listed in another demographic. In order to attract those people, you have to change your sound. It’s just up to you if you want to do that or not.”

For his part, 9th said he would still consider working with Wale and that the DMV spitter is still dope to him. Much like the 2011 track, “Base For Your Face” that paired him with Lil B, Jean Grae and Phonte, 9th said he was more interested in the final product that people’s perceptions of the artists involved.

“It came out dope,” 9th added. “I didn’t change my style…[Lil B] could always rap like that. ‘Chicken Noodle Soup’ got 3 million views on YouTube. Does that say more about what he’s doing or what the people like?”

RELATED: Phonte & 9th Wonder Announce Several Southern Dates With Median & Rapsody



  • still best rite now!!

    I think 9th meant "Wonton SouP" with millions of views, compared to B's real stuff w/ views in the thousands

  • Anonymous

    Rap music will get better when you negative ass fans shut up. Rap is not about one sound or one type of flow. And get the TMZ out your systems worrying about who these cats date or beat up or if their gay or not.

  • ETK

    Back to the Feature was dope IMO. I think Wale & 9th made it work. but 9th touched on something good. it's crazy to think about it but yeah, sellin three million records today equals you're going pop. that's how bad it's gotten and niggas on here still wondering why rappers sell out. no even worse, not many of em necessarily do so, as soon as there's a bit of fuckin melody and guitar, the word "sell out" gonna get thrown around. there's no room to breathe with hip-hop purists, because either way they won't buy no CDs. now it takes some hustlin and a half to get 2 million sales. lil wayne had to get half a fuckin dozen singles on charts to get there. not sayin this makes everything (or lil wayne) okay, just sayin that at the end of the day, all the average nigga wants to do is make some paper...

    • Anonymous

      People dont understand this concept I remember when Nelly was selling 10 million doin pop rap, Jay & Nas were still capable of doing double platinum with some pretty authentic albums like "The Blueprint" & "Stillmatic" Now, the pop rappers are overjoyed when they see double platinum, where the fuck you think that leaves everybody else?? As a fan shit like seeing Slaughterhouse doing "My Life" dissapoints me but damn man, dudes gotta at least pay the rent off this rap shit. Most these underground dudes gotta tour 250 days a year to come up at all, so its like say goodbye to your kids if you wanna do this & "Keep It Real"

  • Anonymous

    Lil B is overhyped for his "Positivity" I get the marketing behind what he does and I respect everything about him EXCEPT his music, because his music sucks, no matter what he raps about, his rhyming is beyond mediocre. he could get an entire album of DJ Premier beats, Rap about the meaning of life, and with his voic, flow & Cadence it would still suck Even on his best day he sounds like an educated Soulja Boy, he aint as dumb as people think but the mechanics of the way he raps are like nails on a chalkboard If I wanna hear positive rap, I'll get it from somebody who can actually rap a lil

    • Anonymous

      ^^^^ No dumb ass, it would mean he found a level of mediocrity then needs another word to define it, he broke the mediocrity threshold and went to a level of mediocrity previously unknown to man.... Beyond mediocre You simple simons need everything broken down for you, lol

    • Jack

      "Beyond" mediocre?? So that would mean that he's good then.

  • Anonymous

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  • UltimateMegadon

    Real talk is real you gotta understand if more real hip hop heads was supporting there artists like spending money and supporting the true shit nobody wouldnt have to switch they sound up thats how i see it is about survival out here and if nobody cant respect a nigga trying to survive they weren't fans to begin with any artist that trying to do better with there life deserve tons of success you cant listen to these bloggers and so called real hip hop heads they not loyal anyway

    • UltimateMegadon

      maybe you right but i realize alot of artists that dont get proper shine is usually overshadow by people that just download there stuff and not really buy it cause is not popular but to each is own you got some points i aint gonna even front

    • Anonymous

      Son, It doesn't work like that. Its all to do with ratios. E.g. Nicki Minaj video does 3 mill on youtube= 300000 sales Random lyricist does 100000 on youtube= 1000 sales A lot real hip heads buy cds, there's just not enough of us to compete with the gimmick rapper sales and promotion. Who is being played 24 hours a day on radio? Who has their video advertised all over youtube and tv?

  • wales

    Wale first two tapes = half decent, showing a little potential , but nothing major wale after his two tapes = absolutely nothing interesting at all wale attitude in general = spoiled little shhtkid that throws more tantrums than mr west. = not a good combo.

  • Anonymous

    i aint going to lie wale was nice and still is, i got disappointed when he signed to rozay but in the end i know a lot of us,as fans we say he or she has to get signed and when they do and they start making shitty music with other ppl we start complaining this and that. regardless change is going to happen if you want to eat better

  • Anonymous

    wale is a clown to me, seems like the kinda guy who would do anything to sell a few records,

  • Anonymous

    wale sold out big time and yes william called him in the room and said this is what you gotta do

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