When asked to choose between a promising career in boxing and his love for hip hop, 9th didn’t think twice about following his heart. Born on Staten Island, NY, and raised between the notoriously dangerous neighborhoods of Brownsville and Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, and the state of Ohio, music was always a major force in his life. The classics his mother played around the house – from Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield to Mtume and Atlantic Starr – became 9th’s first real musical inspiration, piquing his interest to pursue his passions further.
Generally reserved when growing up, 9th Prince’s respect for the classics later spawned an excitement for real hip hop: Rakim, KRS-One, the Juice Crew and Slick Rick were inspirations, and their work encouraged him to write his first rhyme with Shyheim (Wu-Tang Clan affiliate) at the age of 9. At 11, with his skills more finely tuned, he began performing at local talent shows, competing against adults more than twice his age, and yet still holding his own. His talent did not go unnoticed. RZA (Wu-Tang Clan) – 9th’s older brother and one of his 10 siblings – put him in the studio for the first time to record “Soldiers of Darkness” (1995), with Sunz of Man (Wu-Tang affiliates), and he later began touring to support the single.
9th Prince later went on to form Killarmy (Wu-Tang affiliate), and at the age of 20, the group recorded their first album, the critically acclaimed Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars (1997) with 9th Prince leading the majority of the production and A&R work. They went on to record 2 more albums together – Dirty Weaponry (1998) and Fear, Love and War (2001), both of which, much like their predecessor Silent Weapons, had 9th simultaneously acting as artist and producer.
However, even as a member of this very successful group, 9th was beginning to discover his individual voice, and needed an outlet to express it. In 1999, anxious to show the world his unique perspective, 9th began to contemplate a solo project, and the Grandaddy Flow album concept was born. Independently released in 2003, Grandaddy once again successfully merged 9th’s skills as an artist with his resourceful business savvy – he assumed the roles of executive producer and A&R – to create the quintessential album. The response to Grandaddy was incredible, with the first single garnering heavy radio rotation and media attention. This led to 9th Prince being named “Independent Artist of the Month” by Source magazine in the April 2004 issue.
At the height of Grandaddy Flow’s success, 9th was unexpectedly incarcerated. Upon release, he emerged stronger than ever with his highly anticipated follow-up album, “Prince of New York”. Now in 2009, 9th Prince is back with a vengeance with a new album, entitled Revenge of the 9th Prince, featuring guest appearances by the RZA, Killah Priest, Shyheim, Planetasia, Killarmy and Boy Jones – who is the late Ol’ Dirty bastard’s son. The 9th Prince strikes harder than ever this time and considers this his best work so far. Rich with infectious beats as the backdrop for passionate lyricism, 9th’s rare, honest love for hip hop has become the template for more future endeavors.
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