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Phonte & 9th Wonder Discuss N-Word Controversy [VIDEO]

Last night (April 6) Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg continued with his acclaimed Noisemakers series by welcoming former Little Brother members Phonte and 9th Wonder. It was a packed house at downtown Manhattan’s 92Y Tribeca cultural center, where fans were given the opportunity to hear about anecdotes about the group’s origins and their outlook on the present state of hip-hop.

Both guys spoke about their musical origins growing up in the Raleigh-Durham area both of North Carolina and how their love for late 1980’s and early 1990’s East Coast acts like Pete Rock & CL Smooth, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest influenced their lives. They also spoke about connecting with their fans via new media sites like Twitter and how older artists are less comfortable with the amount of access now available to fans.

Specifically Phonte spoke about his early encounters with Kanye West and 9th talked about how he developed his production style and why he’s working with up and comer Lil B, but both guys were most animated discussing the complexities of the “n-word” in hip-hop. Speaking candidly, both guys acknowledged that while it’s a multi-layered argument, ultimately it’s a violation for White people to use the term.

Always a top-notch production, Rosenberg’s Noisemakers event is slowly becoming a must see event for both artists and fans. —Khalid Salaam

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