Phonte and 9th Wonder @ 1904

by Faith Bennett
While rivalries in the rap industry are far from hard to come by, few have the happy ending that Phonte and 9th Wonder share. After parting ways from the group Little Brother they spent four years avoiding each other but now, as Phonte put it, the two “now have a stronger friendship, partnership, and brotherhood than we have ever had.” Their current tour together is stopping at 1904 on the twenty sixth and Phonte was even able to speak with EU preluding the show.
When asked what got him initially interested in making music Phonte says “What sparked my interest in rhyming had to be Big Daddy Kane. I remember thinking ‘Hey, that’s me.’” But Phonte’s own rise to success was not what he imagined as a child. “It just didn’t happen the way that I intended. When you think about it at eight you have a fairytale view. But I’m blessed, I’m happy.” He asserts that “nothing happens overnight.” His fan-base was built over a long period of time and was built from “local cats, the online fan-base.. but there is no Phonte Fan Club. We don’t have a head-quarters.” He says that his fan-base was built “just putting out music, shows, and touring.” He also mentions that his Grammy nomination “didn’t really change anything. What speaks to you, speaks to you. I maybe got a couple more eyes.”
In addition to the friendship between Phonte and 9th Wonder evolving, they way they go about touring has also evolved as they’ve gotten older. They both have the opportunity to tour more at this age but they behave differently. “It’s all about business. With a young man its all about parties and girls. Watching the younger guys is kind of how we relive it.” But the change is not bad “It’s a lot more fun, you just do it for different reasons. You definitely have your business hat on more.”
In the future, Phonte’s semblance of a plan is “just more music. New music.” Ever passionate he closes the interview by saying “I’ve been working on new stuff. I’m just working, man.” Hard work has paid off for him in past and will certainly make for a fun and well-crafted show at Burro.
Phonte & 9th Wonder are playing at 1904, downtown on the 26th.