Gangster rapper 9th Ward may be named after the most famous ward in all of New Orleans, but he grew up living all over the city, or at least anywhere that had a project or ghetto. Turning this hard life into rhymes came naturally, but he never took it seriously till Hurricane Katrina came along and decimated his city. Relocated to Atlanta, 9th Ward began seriously using and practicing on the recording equipment he bought back home. He signed up for every open-mike night he could and was handing out demos to anyone who would take them. Luckily, one was handed to producer Nitti, who was having a major hit at the time with his work on Yung Joc's "It's Goin' Down" single. When 9th Ward moved back to New Orleans, he was unaware the producer had been singing his praises till he turned on the BET television network and saw Nitti declaring the rapper his new protégé. 9th Ward moved back to Atlanta and work began on his debut album. In early 2008 his street single "Chopper" made an impression and then the follow-up, "Add It Up" with Nitti and Jermaine Dupri, became a hit. Dupri's So So Def label signed 9th Ward and announced that his album would arrive by the end of the year. ~ David Jeffries

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