When Kenneth Price set out to complete his master’s thesis, he decided to profile the Most Interesting Man in the World…and we’re not talking Dos Equis.
We’re talking about the many sides of son, brother, father, CEO, professor, Grammy award winner and proud member of the Zulu Nation, 9th Wonder. As part of Battle of the Beatmakers 2011, Toronto had the chance to get a stirring, in-depth look at a year in the life of the producer; at the Canadian premiere of “The Wonder Year”.
Intimate and beautifully shot, the film takes us through 9th’s beginnings in North Carolina to his Grammy win and beyond. 9th shares the stories behind some of his most beloved tracks, such as his work as part of the trio Little Brother, as well as his collaboration with Jay-Z on thecritically acclaimed Black Album. Going beyond the boards, 9th shares anecdotes on his family life, his pursuits in academia and his plans for the future.
The Wonder Year is rife with cameos and interviews by everyone from DJ Premier to 9th’s own Jamla Records camp. With sharp, clean visuals and a score using 9th’s luscious boom bap sound, the film is a serious treat for hip hop lovers everywhere. Studio footage of 9th bouncing behind the MPC is especially pleasing to watch.
After the screening, 9th and Price sat down to talk shop with viewers. There, we learned even more interesting facts about 9th: he is the first-ever hip hop ambassador for the NAACP; he is currently working on a screenplay about history, and when he thinks of beats, he see shapes and colours in his head. 9th stressed the importance of understanding music theory with regards to production, and when asked which one of his own beats he likes best, he named “Is She The Reason” by Destiny’s Child without a moment’s hesitation.
The opportunity for dialogue and fellowship after the film is one of the main reasons why there aren’t immediate plans to release the film on DVD. Both Price and 9th agree that if they were to throw the film up on the internet, the opportunity for community and discussion may be lost. While they haven’t completely ruled out a future DVD release for now the best way to catch The Wonder Year is to visit http://thewonderyear.l-r-g.com/ and find out when the film is coming to your town.
This film was a pleasure to watch and is definitely a must see as far as hip hop documentaries go.
Check out the film if you have the chance, and don’t forget to checkout 9th’s new album, The Wonder Years!