A few months ago a fellow beat junkie friend of mine put me up on a podcast outta Philadelphia that was so damn funky and packed full of joints sampled in hip hop. There is nothing particularly peculiar about that, as I'm often sent CDs, mixes and recordings of radio shows by friends and also some of you readers here on DAILY DIGGERS. But the difference this time was that I was completely bugging out over many of the joints this dude was dropping. And not only was he dropping jewels on me, but he was doubling 'em up too. If you wanna get my attention then that's a pretty good way to start. A week or so later I caught up with this DJ's next podcast ... and sure enough he did it again! What is the deal with all these dope DJs hailing from Philadelphia - do they grow them over there?
The man I'm talking about here is Philly's BLAAK THE 9TH MAN aka B.NINE - a veteran record collector and producer with over 30 years of record digging experience under his belt. Experience that originated from his Father's own love for vinyl. This summer he played alongside BREAKBEAT LOU, DJ MURO, TOBY FRESH and his good friend DJ CA$H MONEY at the TOOLS OF WAR jams in NYC and brought his Philly styles to the Big Apple. It seems I'm not the only one recognises this man's wealth of musical knowledge.
Let's find out more about Philadelphia's best kept DJ secret as I throw a few questions at him to find out what makes him tick. And while you are reading the interview why not have a listen to BLAAK's "Straight From The Ville" podcast from last month. It's one for the sample spotters.
Interview with BLAAK THE 9TH MAN aka B.NINE
KID DYNO: First and foremost, thanks for getting involved and taking the time to participate in this interview. Please tell me "Who you be and what you do"?
B9: It's my pleasure good brother. For those who know I'm BLAAK THE 9TH MAN aka B.NINE: "The Resident Funky President of "Soulville" (The Human Google Search, The Guru of Groovy Thangs, Deep Crate Diplomat, Inch High B Fly.....LOL!) from Philadelphia. I'm a father before anything of 5 incredible children, I've been spinning since I was 9yrs old (I did my first job for $50 in 1979).I've been collecting records since I was 5 yrs old (my first pieces were an ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS LP, JOHN COLTRANE's "My Favorite Things" LP, THE SPINNERS "Mighty Love" LP, THE STYLISTICS "Rock & Roll Baby" 45 and two very rare ART BLAKEY 45s (and I still have them..LOL). I also produce with my manz FATNICE (THE BEATSMIFS). I've had the pleasure to work with BAHAMADIA, MECCA STARR, DJ CA$H MONEY (who I also toured with) along with a few others but I am a serious junkie when it comes to collecting records!!
KID DYNO: How comes Philly always breeds such incredible DJs?? Do you guys grow 'em over there or something?
B9: No disrespect to other cities but you can tell a Philly DJ from any other DJ in the world simply we are like producers when it comes to this..we take a simple scratch and turn that shit into something amazing. Plus we are big on "rocking the party". If you notice every single show has an intro of some sort..that's some Philly shit! Blends, style and timing are very important to us. There are so many great DJs who are unsung and it kind of bothers me that we still don't get the props we deserve. When DVDs come out we are never mentioned or it's real brief!
KID DYNO: What made you decide to collect records, and what were your first acquisitions?
B9: Like I said I looked up to my Dad so whatever he did..I wanted to do! We would go record shopping(i.e Diggin'..lol) every Saturday and Sunday. We would hit a least 5 or six posts in one day ,go to Fat Jacks for comic books and go home. Whenever I had money I bought records (I was buying records at the age of 6 or 7 and the stuff I was buying wasn't the radio stuff..lol! My first job was at a record store (King James Records) and I don't think I was even 11 yet..LOL! I would get a few dollars and some records for sweeping the store..LOL!
How does your collection look right now? Please break down the genres you have? You can reveal quantity if you feel inclined to tell.
My collection is pretty big (I have records pretty much everywhere). It's not as big as it used to be (a lot of records have been stolen, sold, damaged due to 3 floods etc..) My collection would be one of the greatest if I had my father's entire collection (My dad had a few storage units full of sealed joints, rare grooves, funk, latin, jazz 45s by the tons)never released pieces of everything..DJ CA$H MONEY can vouch for this. He was the only young at the time who my Dad would let go thru his collection) but his best friend stole everything the day after his funeral. I left out of town and he was supposed to bring the LPs to my mom and grandmother's house but he sold a whole of the stuff, kept what he wanted and moved. I haven't seen or heard from dude in about 17yrs. The last I heard he's somewhere in Cali. I still have a sick collection but I have no idea how many records I have! LOL!
What are you most prized pieces of vinyl, and please elaborate on why each is such a special record?
That's a tough one..lol!!
1) My promo copies of MAGNUM "Fully Loaded" (When it came out my Dad gave everybody in my family promo copies of that LP!) I still have original copy he gave me and his also.
2)KOOL & THE GANG Self Titled LP(It was the first record I bought with my own money.
3)My father's promo copy of JOHN COLTRANE's "My Favorite Things"
4)KOOL & THE GANG "Light of Worlds" (I buy that record every time I see it!!
5)BWANA (It's just an incredible LP. My dad played this a lot)
6)RAMP "Come into Knowledge" (It's just a flawless LP!)
7) GARY BARTZ "I've Known Rivers" (It just reminds me of my childhood. This was played all the time!!)
8) * WAYNE MCGHIE & THE SOUNDS OF JOY (It belonged to my dad also and is very rare.)
9) GATO BARBIERI "Fenix"( I used to love this LP as a kid!)
10) * WAYNE SHORTER "Speak no Evil"( I play this everyday!)
11) My ART BLAKEY and other Blue Note 45s
12) My 12inch copies of I Can't Stop, Pussy Footer, Funky President, Apache, Bongo Rock, Chinese Chicken, Impeach the President etc.(I bought these at the world famous record spot Funk-O-Mart when I was about 13. Shout out to UNCLE CHINO!!!
KID DYNO: I know you attended and played at the NY Tools of War jams this summer. How did that go down for you, and describe the vibe at those jams?
B9: That was crazy because I was just going to chill with my man DJ CA$H MONEY (that's like my big bro. I've known him since I was 15.) and he called me a half an hour before he was coming to get me and said Yo! Are you ready to do this Soulville shit? I'm like yeah..let's make it happen. He goes good..pack a bag..you're spinning today. WHAT???? NO THE FUCK I'm NOT!!(EXCUSE MY LANGUAGE DYNO LOL!) He was like, Stop trippin' and pack a bag ,you're going on after me! Needless to say..I WAS SHOOK!! MURO, BREAKBEAT LOU, TOBY FRESH and CA$H??? Man it was like sink or swim for a cat,on top of everything nobody knew who I was or that I was spinning. I just zoned out and did what I do best..Drop joints! I was nervous the whole time but once CAZ shouted me out, FABEL was rockin' on top of the speaker,the diggin' cats were giving the head nod and the crowd was open..I was good! The vibe that was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had. For LOU, DAN THE BEAT MANN, GM CAZ, MURO and so many others to show my love was a big deal for me. I'm still riding high from that day. The vibe was nuts not only did I meet a bunch of legends but I met a whole lot of my Facebook fam that day for the first time. That was a great day for me. CA$H was real proud of a cat!
KID DYNO: Name one record that you play which always gets a big crowd reaction? And which gets the best reception from other deejays?
B9: "Doin' It" by THE MINX, "Patch it up" by ROY LEE JOHNSON and the VILLAGERS, any of the various versions of "I Want You Back", "Pistol" by RON DANIELS (that bugs out the DJs). Anything off of THE INVADERS LP, my 12inch version of "Make it Good to Yourself" by JAMES BROWN just to name a few. THIRD GUITAR "Baby Don't Cry", CREATIVE FUNK "Funk Power", BILLY GARDNER "I got some" etc..
KID DYNO: What has been your best ever bargain dig?
B9: My copies of EDDIE RUSS "Fresh Out", TOM SCOTT "Honeysuckle Breeze", RAMP, THE AMBASSADORS, My promo copies of SKULLS SNAPS and real rare funk 45s. I will never tell what I spent on those. I almost forgot a few more favorite LPs SIR JOE QUARTERMAIN and THE FREE SOUL ( My parents took me to see them when he first came out with the LP), LAFAYETTE AFRO ROCK BAND (2 copies that belong to my dad) and my entire Black Jazz & Strata East Collection.
KID DYNO: You have continually impressed me with many of the records you play during your "Straight from The Ville" podcast. And then KAPOWWWW you then hit me with doubles of that shit! It's obvious you love to share your wealthy knowledge of music, so please tell me your take on that, and how it feels to educate others on some dope shit that they didn't know about?
B9: It feels great that people love the show and "get it" you know. I was never one to be put in a box and just play one type of music. With so many DJs playing the same thing I have to be different but at the same time educate the uneducated. But my crew stays on about pushin' the envelope. That's why the show is received so well I guess plus we have fun and the entire show as far as the music (it's one great big freestyle..I never know what I'm going to play.) I don't go..I'm gonna play these records tonight...I just play whatever hits me at that time. It's all about fun for me and educating and entertaining people fam!
What B.NINE projects can we look forward to in the future?
Welcome to Soulville V2(I did volume 1 in 2004 which is available now.)
The BEATSMIFS "The Brothers Darkness Project" (which showcases myself and FATNICE's production)
FATNICE "It's Nice to meet You"
...and a bunch of soulful boom bap treats coming out of Soulville!
KID DYNO: While we are here, what one record would you give a week's wages for without even blinking or thinking?
B9: STARK REALITY!!!!! LOL!
KID DYNO: Any shouts you wanna give?
B9: First I'd like to shout you out DYNO for even considering me for an interview (I'm just a regular guy with some records fam...LOL!) MY Pop (PHIL COFIELD SR.) for everything (I know he's proud). My Mom (RITA COFIELD) who has been my biggest supporter, fan and inspiration for 41 yrs. My children (who are my reason to keep going), my baby TISEE, ILLVIBE COLLECTIVE, DJ CA$H MONEY, RECORD BREAKING, DJ JAZZY JEFF, DJ RANDY FLASH (R.I.P.), FLEX DOC, DJ GROOVEDAMOST (a true Philly Legend), SKEME RICHARDS, everybody who was involved with the TOOLS OF WAR event(too many to name) all of my cousins and my AUNT ROSALIE & AUNT INEZ (R.I.P.) the CRATERAIDERZ CREW, P.O.G., My DEEPER THAN ATLANTIS Fam, The brothaz from the Ville (FATNICE, SAMMY COOK, DJ CUT PRECISE, LINX, TYSKE, TONY TANN, RAY PREME & KENCUT). My entire Facebook fam (who I truly appreciate more than they know!) DJ MERCURY, OXYGEN, ILL MILL, BRIZZO, BROTHA RON, JASHED, INFINITO 2017, BIG RICH MEDINA and THE MILKCRATE CAFE, all of those who have been supporting the "Straight from the Ville" podcast and the entire Soulville Movement and last but not least all diggers collectors, DJs, producers, emcees, singers, b-boys & b-girls and lovers of music worldwide!!!!! SOULVILLE IS NOT A PLACE...IT'S AN EXPERIENCE!!! SHOUT OUT TO LONDON!! MR. JERKS IS MY FAVORITE SPOT TO EAT..LOL!
Peace and Blessings..The Most High Makes All Things Possible!
BLAAK THA 9TH MAN. Philly all day...Everyday!
KID DYNO: Thanks a million BLAAK for getting involved. But before you go BLAAK, how DID you meet up and become firm friends with DMC Champ and Philly legend DJ CASH MONEY?
B9: Real Quick: CASH and I had a mutual friend who was a rapper. We met on the phone and he started throwing out titles with the wrong artist on purpose.I was like "Yo...that's wrong homie."(LOL) he was like you sure, I'm like yeah, I'm looking right at it (mind you we are on the phone). So I started playing shit and he's like are those your records? How old are you and where do you live? How do you know about these records? The next day..he came to my house, chilled with my mom, saw my collection and was blown away and made me official, got cool with my dad and we have been fam ever since!!! I got mad love for that cat!!
Check out more of B.NINE's "Straight From The Ville" podcasts right HERE.