by Eric Tullis
The Wonder Years LP? Who cares anymore? While we’ve all been impatiently waiting on 9th Wonder to deliver his long-awaited album, we have a surprising new distraction here—9th Wonder as 9thmatic, the emcee. Yes, Mr. “Make-Me-Hot-P,” Pat Douthit, is rapping now. Oh, hell.
When hip hop producers decide to pick up the microphone and start rapping, they’re suggesting, in essence, that they’re just as verbally endowed as their rap peers, or they’ve come to the conclusion that sitting behind the production boards all day and making beats isn’t as thrilling as it used to be for them. The producer-slash-rapper title has become a venerable résumé builder and clout hoarder taken up by famed producers like Diamond D, Madlib and Pete Rock, just to name a few. They’ve all managed to turn emceeing into a mistress they parade around in hip-hop while also maintaining their production duties.
Oftentimes though, these producers have one of their go-to emcees ghostwrite their rhymes for them, which doesn’t really carry the stigma it would if the producer were a full-time emcee. In 9th's case, however, it’s doubtful that anyone else had a hand in writing his verses. 9thmatic raps with the same down-to-earth enthusiasm that the producer offers in person and, at a few spots, his Winston-Salem, N.C. -bred Southern accent is highly effective. Skill-wise, he’s obviously not in the same class as many of the artists that he provides beats for, but at least now, we know that he can at least hop on a track with his favorite emcees without us wanting to skip over his verse.
After the break, you'll find three fairly new tracks with 9thmatic. Also, notice that fellow Justus League producer and one of NC’s premier beatcrafters , Khrysis, picks up the microphone for his own, impressive, “fraggle naggle bullshit”. For now, in 9thmatic's words, “Me and Khrysis are having LOADS of fun....fun fun fun...LOL …. workin on my 'flow' so to speak.....so it's fun and a new challenge.....”