Last Wednesday (Mar. 9), the hip-hop blogosphere was thrown another curve ball. The hated and loved rapper-phenom, Lil B, released a track produced by 9th Wonder, with guest features from Phonte and Jean Grae. Topped off with a classic Flavor Flav sample, the track titled “Base For Your Face” introduced skeptics to a caliber of rhyming that many thought B lacked.
VIBE spoke to the producer responsible for the record to find out how this based collabo came to fruition.
“Lil B reached out to me 3 or 4 months ago on Twitter and told me he’s a big fan of myself and Murs,” 9th tells VIBE. “At the time I didn’t know who he was, so I Google’d his stuff, and I was like “ooo-kay” [Laughs]. I saw “Wonton Soup“ and all that. Then, the Twitter world started going crazy off the fact that I was even talking to Lil B.”
“It wasn't until he released a record with Tony Yayo called “Based”, that Khrysis told me to check out. I heard it and he was saying some stuff on there — I was digging it — so of course I hit him back on Twitter to tell him. He was just really adamant about getting up. I told him if we get up — you can’t do no ‘Wonton Soup’ [Laughs]. And he knew it.”
9th Wonder revealed that a phone conversation he shared with B convinced him that the rapper was destined for hip-hop greatness. He credits the newcomer’s rising success partly to a genuine respect and knowledge of the culture, which is lacking in many up-and-coming rappers.
“I told [Lil B] that he could be the reincarnation of Too Short. Like I always thought Wiz Khalifa was the reincarnation of DJ Quik. B could carry the torch. I got a lot of respect for that kid — he’s brilliant,” says 9th Wonder with assurance.
After sending the Berkeley native several beats the following day, 9th received completed verses from B about a week later, which would eventually become the unexpected cut, "Base For Your Face."
“I got the “Base For Your Face” joint back and I let Phonte hear it — after that he wanted to get on it. He actually sent me his verse the next morning. Jean, apparently had already been talking to B. Really, we’re just trying to bring the balance back," says 9th.
Though the highly respected producer is aware of the criticisms he faces from his core fans, he regrets nothing about working with the contested artist.
“I was on Twitter all day, and I heard everything people are saying. But the people that listened to the record can’t deny it. The entire Internet is talking about it, “ 9th continues.
"Phonte already talked about doing a record with B for his solo project before this. I don’t think we expected B to come off the way he did. It’s needed in hip-hop [today]. There should be no boundaries, if you can rhyme, you can rhyme. Here’s a kid who’s very smart and does certain things because he knows what works."
Fans can expect more 9th Wonder and Lil B music to be coming in the near future.
“We did one more record and I think it’s going to have Murs on it. It’s about to make people even more upset — we’re working on that now.”
Listen to “Base For Your Face” here.