Memphis Bleek f/ Denim “Smoke the Pain Away” (2005)
9th Wonder: “I wasn’t with Bleek in the studio during those records. That was the Internet. I sent them joints and that’s something that Guru recorded. But Jay-Z wanted me to do six songs off that album. Memphis Bleek played ‘Alright,’ which I produced, for Jay and he was like, ‘You need to let [9th] do half your album, dawg.’
”But we ended up just doing “Alright” and “Smoke The Pain Away.” It’s funny because ‘Smoke The Pain Away’ was another Gamble and Huff sample I used. So that led me to meet Kenneth Gamble.
”I talked to him on the phone, and I met Leon Huff face to face. They were tripping saying, ‘Your name has come across our desk a couple of times. Why do you stay using our songs?’ I’m like, ‘Because they were jamming to me.’ He’s like, ‘But they weren’t hits.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but them parts that I picked were jamming.’ And I guess that’s when Mr. Gamble and Mr. Huff really started to understand the art of sampling. So I was able to forge a relationship with those guys."