Who Dat Rapper 9-11-16
Bronx representer Nine (9 Double M) got his start as Funkmaster Flex’s protégé. Flex put him on one of the “Funkmaster Flex and the Ghetto Celebs” singles, “Six Million Ways to Die” in 1993. The song was your standard 90’s East Coast braggadocios single. 9 Double M’s raspy voice was new to the scene. The single did well which this led to his debut. A new moniker was also created. This prolific MC was now known simply as Nine.
Nine – Nine Livez (1995)
“Nine Livez” started off with a smack to your face with “Ova Confident”. Over a hypnotic organ riff, Nine lets all the MC’s in the game know what he thinks of them. He shows that he’s more than just deep voice when he spits
“My name is Nine, recognize, remember you’re too tender
To get slick with the number one contender
I flow like diarrhea when I’m dropping shit; mamma mia
Ain’t no cure for the pure lyrical gonorrhea
Overconfidence is popping
I’m like the hourglass, turn me over and I still keep dropping”
One of the best songs to ever kick off a debut hip hop album in the 90’s. Has someone done that list yet?
A video was also released for this gem and was slightly different then the album version. The beat was the same, but some additional bass was added; which sounded quite lovely in my Suzuki Sidekick at the time. The KRS-One voice sample on the hook just blasted this song to the cosmos.
“Who you gonna rip without that confidence?
I really believe you’re weak and overconfident”
Do yourself a favor and go listen to this….and prepare to use that rewind feature.
Nine “Ova Confident”
Nine used a same formula for his next single. He used a vocal sample of another legendary MC, The God himself , Rakim on the hook. Simply put:
“Any MC that disagree with me, wave your arm”
Nine again flexed his rhyming prowess on this one. Over a familiar Spinners sample, he let all his peers know Nine has arrived and is one of the best. In the event you didn’t follow who Nine thinks is the bests, he ends the song with:
“NINE!!!!!! The number one contender!”
Nine “Any Emcee”
Nine’s piece de résistance was without a doubt his smash single “Whutcha Want”. This got major rotation on both BET and MTV and featured an infectious hook. Producer Rob Lewis also cooked up a lovely audio treat for us. He used the beginning of the classic Staples Sisters “Dock Of The Bay” and looped for the entire song. The heavenly violins are glorious and is my addition to the soundtrack that will play on my way to heaven.
Nine “Whutcha Want?”
Nine – Cloud 9 (1996)
Off the success of Nine’s debut, Profile Record was ready to proceed with a sophomore album, “Cloud 9” which came the following year. The album was basically a continuation of his debut; more of his harsh flow, Rob Lewis production, jazzy samples and rough rhymes. The lead single was “Lyin King” and was an indirect audio assault on the rappers during the mid 90’s, specifically the ones who were labeled “Mafioso Rap”. The hook illustrates his message perfectly:
Who the lying king talking about his diamond ring
Flipping keys killing all his enemies, please
All you do is write rhymes
This fronting with yours is making it harder for mines
You lying king
Nine again uses a legendary MC’s vocal sample. This time we hear DMC on the hook
No-body out there be mislead
So no-body out there be mislead
Stop lying y’all
Nine “Lyin’ King”
His next single featured the energy of the often forgotten Smooth Da Hustler over a sample created from jazz saxophone maestro Ronnie Laws. My father would be proud.
Nine “Make Or Take” feat. Smooth Da Hustler
Nine – Quinine (2009)
Cloud 9 didn’t move what Profile anticipated, so Nine was dropped. Hip-Hop continued to evolve and 13 years later, Nine made his return to the game with “Quinine”. This album showcased a more mature Nine along with a new production team. If you were wondering what he has been up to the last 13 year, he vividly explains on the albums intro, the triumphant “What’s Done Is Done.”
With a flow so illusive it can’t be caught
I just walked out the game; I can’t be bought
And I will not refrain I will retort
And I will respawn and you will not eat
Like it’s Ramadan I’m a phenomenon
With a firearm you need to listen to this G
Get your guidance on
The next 15 minutes your pride is gone
The next 15 minutes then I was on
And you can guess who everyone’s eyes is on
And that’s when you’re realize your demise is on
When your vibe is gone, so long
Nine “What’s Done Is Done”
Nine is still making music. Check out some of his most recent releases. He still has that signature voice, but has slowed down a bit. What do you think? Does he still have it?
Nine “Reintroduction” / “Cold”
Nine was certainly one of the most underrated MC’s out of the 90’s. That signature flow along with his ability to rhyme over refreshing production thrust him to the top echelons of popularity. The younger generation may compare Nine to Ja Rule or DMX because of his unique voice, but NINE was at the height of his career, when they were both searching for their first elusive deal. Thanks for the gems Nine!