Patrick Douthit aka 9th Wonder has been an inspirational figure for me for a long time. I respect his beatmaking prowess, his business acumen and his role as an educator. He has worked with Grammy nominated artists and artists from around the world. He is a humble person who is well known because he interacts with his fans, he is productive and he educates. Let's take a look at three factors that will help you think like 9th Wonder.
9th Wonder is a luminary in the music world and he is adored by fans because he interacts with them. He has a legion of followers on Twitter, a successful UStream channel and he is a record executive for IWWMG and Jamla Records.
9th Wonder values people's time by responding to their tweets. 9th Wonder could easily shun interaction with the fans yet it appears that he understands the importance of interacting with people. 9th Wonder also presents content on his Twitter feed that gives fans an opportunity to respond (in the form of questions, music suggestions, label happenings and more).
9th's ability to interact has also led to his success as a businessman. He has established relationships with people because of his ability to interact.
Interaction is key! As an artist, businessman or business woman, photographer, graphic designer, etc you have to understand the power of interaction. You can't be afraid of people. The only way to forge relationships is to interact. I challenge you to interact (learning how to interact will be covered in another post), listen and most importantly make a lasting impression.
9th Wonder has worked with a variety of artists yet one thing remains consistent, he is productive. He does not become stagnant and think about his accomplishments (there is a time for that). Imagine if 9th Wonder stopped being productive after The Listening. I believe that there is a humanistic need to be respected and loved by people. We, as humans, crave attention, when we receive attention it can cause people to forget about what inspired them in the first place (a hunger, a passion to be the best).
9th Wonder continues to put out material because he still possesses the same hunger that he had when he first started making beats. The passion never left.
I challenge you to remain productive and gravitate towards things that you are passionate about. People identify with emotions. Back your creation with emotion. Your individuality is what separates you from the masses. Inject your individuality into your product and more people will buy into what you are presenting.
EDUCATE: TEACH OTHERS
Educate others, teach others, be open to accept knowledge. 9th Wonder has been afforded the luxury to teach at a prestigious university because of his individuality (9th taught at NC Central in the past). 9th Wonder taught a class with Professor Mark Anthony Neal that revolved around sampling soul. Talk about favor!
There have been various hip-hop artists that have taught in the past (J-Live, Random aka Mega Ran, iLLmind and more). The upward trend in educators with a hip-hop background highlights the need to reach the youth, the ability to bestow knowledge to the future generation and the opportunity to give back to one's community.
9th Wonder does teaching outside of the classroom as well. Budding Underground hip-hop artist Rapsody is definitely reaping the benefits of learning from one of the industry's best producers (shout out to Jamla Records!).
I have learned that it is okay to educate others, it is okay to understand your niche because people will gravitate to you if they feel your expression. I challenge you to think like 9th Wonder, if you have knowledge share it. Remember that education relies on the ability to listen. Be a sponge, soak up knowledge and add it to your repertoire.
Do not feel intimidated to share knowledge based on your age. There is no age requirement in regards to sharing information. I have learned from people younger and older than me. The key is that I keep my mind open and I EXPECT to learn something from everyone that I encounter.
Think like 9th Wonder
In order to be successful one must change his or her way of thinking. 9th Wonder has a thought process that allows him to build on relationships, remain productive and teach others.
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9th Wonder Image retrieved from HERE
Second 9th Wonder Image retrieved from HERE