Since the early 2000s, 9th Wonder has been steadily revolutionizing the production game, when he wittingly found his niche in chopping up soul samples. His penchant for linking his soulful beats with the perfect artist has always been a sight to see. After remixing Nas' God Son and creating God's Stepson in 2003, 9th Wonder's status elevated rapidly. He would then craft beats for the likes of Jay Z, Drake, Ludacris, his group Little Brother (with Phonte and Big Pooh), Murs and more, including iconic R&B acts like Destiny's Child and Mary J Blige.

After bringing over Nottz to his production crew Soul Council, it seems the mighty 9th Wonder of the world is ready to get things off the ground, one beat at a time. But, before that happens, he spoke with XXL about his favorite beats that he wished he produced.—Carl Lamarre


"Maybach Music III"

Rick Ross featuring T.I., Jadakiss and Erykah Badu
Producer: J.US.T.I.C.E League
9th Wonder: Rick is the homie. We talk from talk to time. If anybody knows anything about me, I don't have any problem giving it up when credit is due, bro. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League have revolutionized production and soul productions to no end. If a professor or composer tells me hip-hop is not music, then I'll play them "Maybach Music III." Just the instrumental. I'll play them that. It's like, listen to the music man. You can't tell me hip-hop is not music.



Common featuring Talib Kweli and Sadat X
Producer: Hi-Tek
9th Wonder: Man, listen. Like this is... [Laughs] That beat was nuts. You know, Hi-Tek was just making his climb at the time with Rawkus. You know, when they put that song out, it just made them...come on, man. [Laughs] It was unfair.


"Return Of The Crooklyn Dodgers"

Crooklyn Dodgers '95
Producer: DJ Premier
9th Wonder: I mean, that joint sounds like a Spike Lee movie, you know what I mean? [Laughs] Like, just the progression of the piano and all that. It just sounds like, at the time, the type of movies Spike Lee was making. It just sounds like that.



"Love It Here"

Producer: J. Dilla
9th Wonder: It's crazy. Questlove tells the story. There's a story behind it. The thing behind Dilla was, they say Dilla would do beats and a producer had a certain style. He would do beats his way in that person's "style." Not saying we originated the style. But he would do beats in that style and say that—by the way, this is only speculation—he's talking to you. Like, he sees you and hears you. So, when I first heard "Love It Here," this is back in the day when cats were using iChat. Questlove hit me on iChat and said, "He's talking to you."

Now, he sent me the "Love It Here" beat and I was like, "Oh my God!" I was known for chopping soul samples. But the way that he did it was totally Dilla's way. He took it somewhere else. I would even challenge that fact that nobody is as masterful as Dilla's ear was. I would say the only person who could hear samples like Dilla is Pete Rock. That's the only person I could say in my opinion. Like I said, this is all speculation. That was Questlove in 2005, 2006. That's probably my favorite Dilla beat of all time.

Related: 9th Wonder Thinks Nottz Will Be A Great Addition To His Production Team Soul Council
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