In the mid 90’s, legendary Bronx emcee, Nine emerged on the hip hop scene with five prominent singles off his Nine Livez and Cloud 9 albums — “Whatcha Want”, “Any Emcee”, “Ova Confident”, “Lyin King”, and “Make or Take”. Due to label issues with Profile Records, Nine took a hiatus from hip hop to focus on other things in life. But hip hop is something you just can’t stay away from. Recently linking up with the Snowgoons, Nine returns to the scene with a brand new album entitled King entirely produced by the German production monsters, Snowgoons. We recently sat down with Nine to discuss his hip hop history, his friendship with Funkmaster Flex, and which new artists he’s feeling.
What has Nine been up to over the years since your last release?
Been chillin’. Wrote a few commercials for Burger King and Luvs Diapers. I had to fall back in love with hip hop.
What are your thoughts on hip hop today?
I don’t like that everyone is on some parakeet shit. You know, copying everyone else.
Your latest singles “The Revenant”, “Pull Up” and “Killmongor” are being received very well. Did you expect it to be like this?
Let’s get into this new album and one of the new singles, “Pull Up”. The new album is called King and it drops this Sunday, September 9th. I can tell you now, these are light compared to everything else on the album.
Watch Nine’s latest singles off the “King” album below
What’s the vibe of the album?
That hip hop shit. No singing hooks. Nobody is fuckin’ with this album. I wouldn’t call it King if I ain’t believe it. September 9th y’all gonna see.
Stream/Buy “King” Album (Click here for album links)
How did the Snowgoons collaboration come about?
Snowgoons hit me up a few years ago about doing a joint. I had to get my mind back right. They sent me some beats and said, this is some of their best production. And then we went to work.
Any guest appearances?
I got a few guests on here — Kool G Rap, Conway the Machine to name a few. Kool G Rap gave to me one of the illest verses ever. And Conway is a beast.
Being a part of that 90’s hip hop scene, what was it like?
Back then you really had to rap and be original. If you halfway sounded like someone, you wouldn’t make it.
Nas shouted you out on the record “Where Are They Now”. How does it feel knowing you left an impact and cats still remember you?
It’s a good feeling because he mentioned me with dope niggas. I feel like I didn’t kill it like I should’ve, but it’s good to still be remembered.
It seemed like after Cloud 9 you disappeared. What happened with your deal at Profile Records?
Profile Records got bought out by Arista, so me, Smoothe Da Hustler, and Camp Lo ended up on Arista. Arista didn’t wanna put me out because they said my sound was too much like DMX, and they didn’t know what to do.
You came in the game with Funkmaster Flex. Do you and Flex still have a relationship?
Let me start off by saying this. George Aston Taylor is a hip hop nigga all the way. It’s just now he’s a businessman. But Flex is my man. I’ll be on his show freestyling soon.
Besides for Flex, who else do you have relationships with in the industry?
I’m what I like to call hip hop’s stepchild. I don’t have a lot of industry friends, but Cappadonna is my man. We did a joint together. I might put it on my mixtape that’s coming after the King album.
What was the song that made you say, “Yo I gotta step it up”?
Eric B & Rakim’s “Eric B for President” made me wanna throw my whole rhyme book away. Kool G Rap was another one.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Kool G Rap, Rakim and Big Daddy Kane.
Your style and voice is very unique. How did you hone your skills?
While I was locked up, I was singing this reggae song and this old Jamaican cat told me, “Aye boy, rap like dat in ya Yankee style”. And that’s how Nine was born.
Who is Nine listening to right now?
Westside Gunn, Conway and Meek Mill.
On your classic record “Any Emcee” you sampled Rakim for the hook. Have you had the chance to meet him?
Yeah. Sure did and he appreciated the money for the sample clearance. I tried to get Ra for the album. Couldn’t get him. He was busy.
How do you want the world to remember Nine?
As one of the greatest. When bringing up Biggie, Jay-Z, and Nas, I want you to say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up! What about Nine?!”. I’m one of the best period. September 9th y’all gonna see. That’s all I gotta say.
Stay tuned for Nine’s new album King. It’s going to make you rethink your top emcees list. King will be available September 9th on all digital platforms, as well as physical copies at Goonsgear.com.
In case you’ve missed his music, here are a few joints to bring you up to speed.