In April, DJ Critical Hype made a lot of noise with a mixtape called The DAMN. Chronic that blended Kendrick Lamar vocals over Dr. Dre beats. The project blew up on social media and has racked up over four million plays since its release.
The two worked together once on Drake's "Think Good Thoughts" from 2007's Comeback Season mixtape and he said more 9th Wonder beats would show up on his sophomore album, but that never materialized. As recently as this weekend, 9th Wonder tweeted admiration in the direction of Drake, but the two haven't collaborated since 2007. So, like he did on The DAMN. Chronic and Chance The Dropout before that, Critical Hype decided to imagine the collaboration himself and create an entire blend tape of Drake vocals over classic 9th Wonder beats.
"9th Wonder has a lot of soulful beats and Drake sounds amazing on them," Critical Hype says. Then, explaining why some of Drake's biggest songs didn't make the cut, he says, "The thing is, most 9th production is 90 bpms and up so I wasn't able to mix a lot of the slow Drake verses I wanted ('Versace,' 'Worst Behavior,' 'God's Plan,' etc). So I used a lot of mid-tempo and up-tempo Drake songs on this project."
Listen to the premiere of More 9th and read our Q&A with Critical Hype below. As usual, shout out to Ian Klarer for the incredible artwork.
You've done a few of these mashup projects now. What made you want to blend Drake and 9th Wonder next?
Drake was heavily inspired by Little Brother/9th Wonder early in his career so it made sense. I know after doing one song together ("Think Good Thoughts" from Comeback Season), Drake & 9th said they were working on music but nothing else ever came out. I thought it would be cool to make it happen myself. It also made sense to me because the last couple projects I dropped had that dynamic as Chance was inspired by Kanye and Kendrick was inspired by Dr. Dre early in their careers.
What about each of their music do you think makes them go so well together?
9th Wonder has a lot of soulful beats and Drake sounds amazing on them. The thing is, most 9th production is 90 bpms and up so I wasn't able to mix a lot of the slow Drake verses I wanted ("Versace," "Worst Behavior," "God's Plan," etc). So I used a lot of mid-tempo and up-tempo Drake songs on this project.
After working on this project, do you think you know Drake and 9th Wonder's music better? Did anything surprise you?
I definitely learned a lot about Drake & 9th Wonder's music. I knew Drake was heavily influenced by Little Brother and Slum Village. There was even the "What up, Lil Bro? What up, Slum Ville?" Drake quote from the song "Fear," but I never realized he actually had old songs where he kinda rapped like SV. Like "Share" from Comeback Season. I also learned a lot going through 9th Wonder's discography. In my opinion 9th really elevated his sounds and production around 2011. I also didn't realize he did a couple beats for Chris Brown (Boy In Detention mixtape) where he's straight rapping, I thought that was crazy and unexpected.
How long did this one take you?
I worked on this project for just under two months. As soon as I finished my last project I started working on this one. To be honest, it's been intense non-stop work, but even more so after Drake announced his new album mid-April. There are also so many other crazy June releases, I wanted to make sure I got this out before then. I haven't had much of a life recently. All I do is work on this 90% of my time, but at the same time I really enjoyed it.
What was your favorite part of this process?
After I've made a new Drake acapella, I get to try flipping it on a bunch of 9th beats. I love that part of the process and I worked a lot trying to find mixes that worked well together. Making acapellas is the part that takes the longest so I'm having so a lot more fun when I'm actually mixing. I also had a lot of fun going through 9th Wonders discography and learning his catalog even more and getting to see his growth as a producer.
Keep up with DJ Critical Hype on his website here.