9th Wonder Biography
9th Wonder Biography
Growing up in Winston-Salem, NC, the boy who would become producer 9th Wonder, Pat Douthit, performed in the school band and also played the keyboard at home. Initially, while a student at North Carolina Central University, Douthit planned on saving his money for the producer's favorite tool, the MPC, but after a friend showed him that he could make the beats he wanted on a computer, he decided to use that instead. In 1998 he met classmates and future bandmates Phonte and Big Pooh, and with them soon formed Little Brother. Their first album, The Listening, was released in 2003, and 9th Wonder began to receive further attention after he remixed Nas' 2002 album, God's Son, naming it God's Stepson, as well as the track "Threat," which he produced on Jay-Z's seminal The Black Album. Work with Murs, Buckshot, Jean Grae, Destiny's Child, and Mary J. Blige followed, as well as another Little Brother record, 2005's Minstrel Show, the same year his proper solo debut, Dream Merchant, Vol. 1, came out. In 2007 9th Wonder left Little Brother, and spent his time not only producing tracks for the likes of Erykah Badu and Sean Price, but also teaching a class on hip-hop at NCCU.
In the mid-1990's, 9th Wonder was a DJ at the radio at North Carolina Central University while attending school there. He was doing production work for local artists with his keyboards. By his senior year, he was introduced to a relatively new music DAW production software called Fruity Loops (now FL Studio) by a friend who was also a producer. Around the same time, he met two younger schoolmates Phonte and Big Pooh, who were local emcees in the Durham area and joined to become the group known as Little Brother. He then began DJ'ing for them at shows and produced a number of their beats on underground records during the rest of the 1990's. As an up-and-coming producer, he released a remix album of Nas' 2002 album God's Son entitled God's Stepson. This album began what is now a regular trend of remixing whole albums.9th Wonder has a smooth and soulful production style that relies on samples from artists such as Al Green and Curtis Mayfield. He attributes the bass lines that he uses in production to DJ Premier, Pete Rock and J Dilla, while he claims to have learned "moans" from RZA. With the help of filmmaker Tee Smith and sound engineer Young Guru, 9th Wonder landed a coveted production credit on Jay Z's then highly-anticipated The Black Album. The producer continued to produce for Little Brother and many other Hiphop artists/groups, including Jean Grae, Skyzoo, and Murs. 9th Wonder has also produced for more widely known artists such as Destiny's Child, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, De La Soul, Mos Def, Memphis Bleek, and Buckshot from Black Moon and more recently, artists such as The Game, Lloyd Banks, and Sean Price. Recently, 9th Wonder, along with Christopher "Play" Martin from the Hiphop group Kid-n-Play, were appointed Artist-In-Residence by the Chancellor of North Carolina Central University, and instruct a Hiphop history class in NCCU's Music Dept. 9th Wonder still resides in North Carolina. He has announced his dedication to the community in Durham, NC by joining P'Tones Records [www.ptonesrecords.com], giving students the opportunity to learn about the music industry and further their education by earning scholarships to NCCU. Professor Kawachi Clemons and founder (of P'Tones) Oren Rosenbaum will be opening their project January 2008, with 9th serving as spokesperson. He recently released his second solo album entitled The Dream Merchant Vol. 2. On January 29th 2008, he will release his new album entitled The Wonder Years.