9th Wonder Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

God’s Stepson (2003)

9th Wonder: “God’s Stepson was a record that didn’t have a real agenda. If there was an agenda, it was simple. I just wanted Nas to rap over better beats. He’s done joints with Primo I loved, he’s done joints with The Alchemist I loved, and with L.E.S. he did a couple of joints. But everybody can argue that beats on his albums haven’t been the best since, phew, It Was Written.

”And it came to the point that a lot of Nas fans were saying, ‘Well, I already know the beats aren’t going to be great. I just want to listen to the lyrics.’ So I got tired of that. Not as a producer, but as a fan, dude!

”So a homeboy at the time, this cat named Bum Rush, brought some acapellas to the house, and said, ‘Let’s see what you could do with these.’ It was a Saturday. By Monday, I had an entire jam remixed.

”I didn’t even have a name called God’s Stepson. I was just so appalled that people were sharing music on the Internet, I said, ‘I’m going to email one fan of mine on each corner of the United States, and have them pass it around by email.’ But that failed. [Laughs.]

”Then I sent it to this guy named Ian Davis, who used to work at ABB Records. He said, ‘Let’s call it God’s Stepson.’ Then he sent me the cover, and I just laughed at it. And then HipHopSite picked it up. Fast forward, I went to Japan in 2004, and I remember signing like three hundred copies of God’s Stepson. Once again, I didn’t expect it to turn out that way. And it’s better that way for me."

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