When we hear the name 9000 or 9K we think famed engineer for several Grammy award-winning albums, popular Hollywood films such as Despicable Me and Fast and Furious, and business relationship with Jermaine Dupri and other major hitters and vets in the Entertainment Industry. 9K has many surprises in store this year for fans so be sure to stay tuned…
MJ: Let’s take it back a bit. You were born in Queens but raised in
Atlanta. Tell us as a young boy how was that adjustment for you?
9000: Difficult! I didn’t understand why we had to move. I was 13 and my mom was a
single parent with me, my 2 sisters, and 1 older brother. He got caught up and now is serving
his prison sentence, hold your head bro! My mom got a new opportunity at
Deutche Banc Broker Firm so we had to move. Imagine a tall snot nose
hard headed kid changing his universe which was Queens, to enter the
unknown drenched with Southern Hospitality. Mobb Deep, Nas, and Wu
Tang Clan were and still play as my soundtrack to my childhood to present. Then
I go down south and all I hear is Master P, Scarface & UGK, and Goodie
Mob, and Dungeon Family. It was like figuring out a Rubix cube or solving
it, not everyone can do that. It was my gift and my curse.
MJ: As a young teenager you found a “home” in Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def
Recording’s Record Company. How did that come about? As a teenager there
must have been a million different emotions running wild!
9000: I did what seems like everything for free for 4 months just to get acquainted
with Mel Testamark. I still have the emails and phone voice messages from him
after he saw my initiative. Mel knew I wasn’t accepting the answer no for anything!
It was like God showed me a body of water and all I had to do was move a
plateau to that empty body of water, I got on JD nerves till he knew I
was bubbling and where you go I’m going. In Atlanta you can pretend
to be this and that but the streets of the “A” will let you know they
don’t mess with you so I had to gain the respect from the streets before
the corporate aspect, understood my vision. It was bittersweet everyday but I
met everyone from Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Bow Wow, Usher, Jay-Z, even
Travis Barker. I didn’t know how to approach them, but I did know I could
write and had a keen ear for sound. If I didn’t know the basics of
anything I had a week to coach myself, practice, and develop the skill so
I’m a novice the next go. The bitter part? It took a while for JD to see my
potential but when he did! instead of just being a fly on the wall, I
networked my ass off and gave my number to everyone. I was a teen but I wasn’t star struck till I was at arms-reach from Nas. That’s when I knew okay its either now or never. I prayed heavy
and just matched the work ethic with what I requested from God.
MJ: From there you built a relationship with Matthew Knowles and began
to create Grammy award-winning albums for Justin Bieber, Pharrell, Snoop
Dogg, and The Game. Talk about a whirl-wind of dynamics with those
names! What was that experience like to work with so many versatile and
9000: I wanted to be everywhere a session was going on, I wanted to be in and needed to be in. Scooter used
to work for Jermaine, so it was just repertoire and not asking for
money, but getting experience and lessons, The Game I met through Black
Wall Street East Nu Jerz Devil. He thanks me in the “Doctors Advocate”
linear notes go check it if you have the album. That s/o definitely got my feet wet. Pharrell was
a mutual friend who knew Roscoe P Coldchain and Fam-Lay. I still talk to Pharrell for
advice from time to time. This was my training, my college, and thesis every month.
Snoop is JD’s best friend and I was trying to be better than Snoop’s cousin
Daz because he made the best recs for 2pac and if I could just be some
part of Tha Dogg Pound I made I knew I made it! Period Knowles clan #allweaskistrust
MJ: I’m a huge fan of Andre 3000! Here’s a fun fact for fans…Andre 3000
is the one who actually coined your industry name as 9000 or 9K. A story
we would love to hear!
9000: I met him through Tracy “The D.O.C” Curry, yes the legend the 6th member
really of NWA. I had an attorney court battle and lost my first stage
name Some Other Skills, associated to somebody who is respect from
Chicago. My name is so boring, Ramon being my first name. I told Andre how
about I go by my middle name Sean… He laughed and told me if your
microphone abilities were as close as your pen abilities you could be a
top 25 rapper! You paint ideas, scenarios, and situations so eclectic with a vivid vocabulary!
He said your name is 9K and charge 9K for ghostwriting! I just stuck with the name, it’s who I am now.
MJ: As mentioned earlier, you have worked with an array of different
artists. Is there anyone who you haven’t worked with you’d like to
9000: Dead or alive you mean oh I get you MJ! I’ll keep it very simple Gloria
Estefan. My father is Dominican and he used to tell me when he was around,
that lady is our Virgin Mary, voice wise. There is no higher Icon than
MJ: You have a few surprises up your sleeve before this year ends. Can
you share some inside scoop without giving too much away?
9000: I feel so “Outkast” at this question just like, why is my life so “Outkast” …next question
MJ: Talk about the balance of it all! Another fun fact, you are not only
an engineer but you are also a father, husband, Writer, and you play six
instruments! In this industry balance is crucial and can wind up making
or breaking careers! Please share some key elements for not grasping
insanity, if you will.
9000: Fly your kids to you! Make love, cater, adore, and admire, remember “Happy Wife Happy Life”.
Here’s another tip, if your overseas, book your better half a ticket to come see
you. My balance lately is my little daughter Kali, who is 4 and is known as
Lil 9000 the Princess. I always been blessed with joy from my other
kids (I have all girls and a beautiful wife) but she brings out the heart in me and
all I want to see is her just grow and blow bubbles until she walks across
that stage and receives that degree. Insanity? Not really, I don’t
entertain bullshit or any drama from other females or anyone for that matter. All of that motivates me, pushes me harder to create what I speak into existence. #ProvePeopleWrong daily!
MJ: Is there anyone or anything in your life that you credit your
9000: My parents, Queens NYC, Lil Jon and BME, Mel Testamark for JD and So So Def, The D.O.C and Andre 3k for daily advice and guidance. Of course Snoop Dogg, he is like the uncle to everyone in the industry. Grandmaster Caz wrote the greatest lyrics in the universe which is why I like being behind the scenes writing. Mr Shawn and Mrs. Giselle for Black Excellence #AllWeAskIsTrust, Full Sail, State of Georgia, and Duro the Engineer for inspiration. Finally, the most important Trizzy, all my girls and my beautiful wife Michelle.
MJ: As we wrap up, is there anything else you would like the world to
know about 9K?
9000: I’m an enigma mixed with faith to believe in myself and my creator! I
just work! Iceis is coming, Ice Storms and Frozen Empire remember I told you. Be on the lookout for Four Pack Chill, Mondragon, Blvck Lvmbo. Always create the road you drive on! #Simmer Ruby Records shine like a Ruby not just a diamond.
Follow 9K @LifeOf 9000
TySoul x Maine the Medicine – Medicine for the Soul LP Interview & Serenity Video
TySoul and Maine the Medicine announce the release of their collaborative project titled ‘Medicine for the Soul.’ The 14-track album features Popko, Sweetness, Daniel Rosler, Suspect, Lambo Lo, Paulie, and GTS. Check out our latest interview detailing the album along with visuals for the leading single “Serenity.”
MJ: You hit fans with something different and innovative with this new album “Medicine for the Soul”. You curated a captivating blend of R&B and Hip Hop. Talk about the album and the mindset behind creating it.
Stream/download “Medicine for the Soul” here on preferred platforms
TySoul: Both Maine and myself already collaborated on multiple records before this album, and everything we made together came out great. So, we thought, why not make a full project together, and we did just that. Myself being a Chris Brown fan, I wanted to add a new school R&B flare to the album, while having Maine add his old-school influences along with his amazing lyricism.
Maine: being from New York, Hip-Hop and R&B go hand and hand. Like Nas and Lauryn, Meth and Mary, Father MC with Jodeci, and the list goes on and on. We just wanted to bring that feeling back.
MJ: You enlisted an elite selection of producers for the album, with an incredible ability to orchestrate soundscapes that heighten the raw emotion and impeccable lyricism. Talk about that, as well as how you two linked up.
TySoul: We originally linked up nearly a decade ago from a mutual contact, we never collaborated at the time, but we did a few shows together. Years later Maine called me to come into JL Studios to do a hook for Mercy Gang and after that, it was a wrap…
Maine: We worked with a handful of producers including Know- it beats and Da Leadgeon who helped us blend that Hip Hop and R&B with today’s twist. Plus, we both get busy with the pen!
MJ: Was the goal of the album to expand your fan base by stepping out of the box? Was it to display your versatility as artists and your agility to steer in different lanes?
TySoul: I think both of us somewhat stepped out of our comfort zones for the better. I was able to experiment with a more commercial sound rather than the old-school R&B type influences that were prevalent in my first album “Two-Sided.” I feel that we both displayed our versatility but also stayed true to our artistry.
Maine: I feel as an MC I should be able to adapt to any genre while still being me.
MJ: What single off the album do you anticipate taking off both on charts and with listeners/fans?
TySoul: I think that “Addicted” or “Don’t You” are two of our more heartfelt records. Both talk about relationship-based content but also have an upbeat flow and awesome production.
Maine: “Serenity” is going to make a statement because it deals with some crucial issues going on in the world now. “Addicted”, “Old Thing Back”, and “Move Ya Body” are extraordinarily strong records as well.
MJ: Take a minute to reflect and share anything else about “The Medicine for the Soul”
TySoul: This project personally helped me to experiment with rapping more. Maine pushed and encouraged me to spit a few bars, and I was able to rap a few good verses on this album. Even through this pandemic, we stayed motivated and in touch, which enabled us to finish this project strong and in time when we were able to return to the studio.
Maine: We want people and our fans to get that great feeling listening to our music. We’re just trying to put authentic Hip Hop and R&B back on the map.
Special thanks to Dan Rosler, Amanda Rogan, Lambo Lo, Suspect, Gus, and Paulie…#RIPHefty
Watch “Serenity” featuring Sweetness and Daniel Rosler (off ‘Medicine for the Soul’ album). The empowering lyrics and serene images of unity and innocence in the video along with the soothing, soulful vibe and classic drums are sure to raise neck hairs and touch hearts worldwide.
Mont’e Millions Is One To Watch
Mont’e Millions has a unique gift for defying genres and blending his vocals with any beat. He’s truly in a lane of his own and “Sally” is a prime example of him crossing the boundaries of several genres.
Millions is an independent artist who began singing at the age of seven and writing music at the age of 12. He recorded his first album in 2007 and recorded his debut single “Sally,” this year. The single has amassed over half a million streams and counting. He also released two additional singles called “Really” and “Hundred Bands” during the late summer.
His musical roots come from his mother, iconic soul/R&B singer-songwriter Betty Wright, who served as his instructor and mentor throughout his musical journey. In addition to his mom, his family also comes from a musical background. From his grandfather, who was in a late ‘60s gospel quartet, to his aunt who is an international Blues artist.
When asked about the inspiration behind “Sally,” Millions says that the song is based on his lifestyle.
“I have a ranch with many horses, and Sally is my real horse,” Millions says. “This song/video gives the audience a chance to see the nature side of me. I love my horses. This song has done over 4 million streams in just 4 ½ months. I feel the success came from the passion that I possess for my ranch life.”
Watch the video for “Sally” below.
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