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

Little Brother “Nighttime Maneuvers” (2003)

9th Wonder: “That was a beat I made before Little Brother. Phonte really liked that beat. And I remember Talib Kweli had come into town around 2000. And he wanted to get something to eat. And this too was before we formed Little Brother. We were lucky to be able to go with him to get something to eat. And it happens to me because when I’m in cities doing functions, some lucky fan gets to take me to get something to eat. So that’s basically what happened with Phonte, Yahzarah, Kweli, and me.

”We took this guy to Waffle House. While we’re going to Waffle House, of course we’re going to play him some music. And we played him some beats. And I remember one of the beats we played him ended up being ‘Nighttime Maneuvers.’

”So ‘Nighttime Maneuvers’ was one of the last songs we recorded for The Listening. Phonte and I spent three weeks talking about what kind of snare we were going to use in that song. I’d put a snare in there, he’d listen to it, and he’d be like, ‘Nah.’ And we finally found a clap-type snare that would work. And I put in that Mos Def sound bite from the ‘Respiration (Remix).’

”If you noticed the second song off The Listening, that’s Pooh’s solo, and second to the last song off The Listening is Phonte’s solo. In the Minstrel Show it reverses. The second song is Phonte’s solo, and the second to the last song is Pooh’s solo.

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