WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02: Record Producer, Record Executive, Lecturer, and Rapper 9th Wonder speaks during a panel discussion at The Recording Academy Washington DC Chapter's Intersection of Music & Sports event at the Kennedy Center on March 02, 2020 in Washington, DC.

9th Wonder Reflects on His Career for 25th Anniversary of Fruity Loops

9th Wonder Reflects on His Career for 25th Anniversary of Fruity Loops

Published Tue, December 20, 2022 at 8:05 AM EST

Acclaimed, Grammy-winning producer 9th Wonder recently reflected on his storied career while celebrating the 25th anniversary of popular digital audio workstation program FL Studio (formerly Fruity Loops). The North Caroline producer went on Instagram shared a picture of the program’s user interface, detailing his production history with the software.

"Sign of the Times. I never thought that I would end up being a music producer," he wrote. "That never was a goal of mine as a kid. Did I love music? Yes. Did I think I was gonna be a part of the story we call “Hip-Hop”? No. Everyone’s path is different into the culture. Mine was by way of a computer program in 2000. Some things you just do, out of necessity, not knowing the ripple effect it would have on culture. I was introduced to @flstudio in 2000 by my brother @khrysis_, and it all fell into place from there. Heavily ridiculed and looked down upon? Yes. Did it stop me from making slappers? No.”

FL Studio was partially released in December 1997 and had an official launch in 1998 under the name FruityLoops. The program quickly soared in popularity, largely because it made beat-making and sampling so accessible and user-friendly.

9th went on to detail just how greatly times have changed. “Now, many moons later, making beats WITHOUT a computer is now almost obsolete; there are still hardware users in the culture, but I see more laptops and controllers than ever before," he said. "Either way, me stepping into a studio making Jay-Z's “Threat” in 25 minutes was the beginning of a revolution. Sitting in a studio in front of half of Rocafella and make a beat with an @ibm ThinkPad in 2003 for such a legendary album, was mind blowing to some, but for me, it was just something I had been doing, over, and over, and over….making slappers on a PC.”

9th, who got his start with the North Carolina-based group Little Brother, and has produced for everyone from Beyoncé to Kendrick Lamar, Jean Grae, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Murs and KRS-One, has a long history in higher academics. Earlier this year, he joined the Wake Forest University African American Studies Program as a professor for the 2022-2023 academic year, where he is teaching an undergraduate seminar entitled “Where It All Began: A History of Hip Hop.” He's also also participating in special programming for both the Wake Forest and Winston-Salem communities during his teaching semesters.

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