Jean Grae "Love Thirst" (2008)

9th Wonder: “I met Jean Grae at a Roots' function. They were doing a tour at the beginning of 2004. Little Brother, Jean Grae, and Pete Rock & CL Smooth were also on the tour around New Year’s.

”So I met Jean Grae when we were in D.C. and I was coming out of the hotel when she was walking in. She said, ‘9th, what’s up?’ Then we talked for a minute and she said, ‘I want to come to North Carolina and rock with you.’ So she came to North Carolina in April 2004 and we recorded Jeanius in four days.

”So ‘Super Love’ and ‘Don’t Rush Me’ that are on This Week were actually recorded back then alongside stuff on Jeanius. We cut all those songs in four days at Missie Ann.

“That was an album that we just got in the studio, and recorded like crazy. She was recording two or three songs a day. And she wrote all those verses at the spot. That’s why I don’t understand how some of these kids take two, three, four, or nine days to do a verse. As Phonte would say, ‘I fuck with the ones who really do this,’ and she really does this.

”She picked the beats and we went from there. I trust MCs to do what they do. Jean's just super focused. She's a workaholic. She drinks and smokes, all that. But that's what keeps her focused.

"'Don't Rush Me' was one of the first records that we did. The part that I said, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah,' was when I was testing the microphone. We just left that in there. 'Billy Killer’ was about a guy she was dating at the time, who would go and try to holler at her people to buy deals for her. The feeling of ‘Billy Killer’ sounds like a Kill Bill sample. So we just called it ‘Billy Killer.’

"I wanted to channel the direction where they were chopped samples, but I wanted females to get it. I wanted females to really hear the beats I was making. I wanted to make sure I picked samples that weren’t so dark and even if they were moody, like a record like ‘My Story,’ I really wanted them to feel it. But, yeah, that’s a personal record that only Jean could tell you about, to be honest with you.

"My favorite cut off that record is 'Love Thirst.' That's one of my favorite beats I've ever done. It just came out dope, and the way she came off on that joint. Busta Rhymes actually got on the remix of that joint. I'm a sucker for nighttime beats, and that's a nighttime beat for me."