Nine (born Derrick Keyes on September 19, 1969 in the Bronx, New York) is a rapper who started his career during the 90’s. He is known for his harsh, gravely flow and distinctive voice.

He got his first break in 1993 making a guest appearance on the Funkmaster Flex and the Ghetto Celebs’ song, “Six Million Ways to Die.” Nine originally recorded under the name “9MM” (or Nine Double M)” but changed it because he didn’t want to be named after the 9mm gun. His stage name refers to his birthdate, his shoe size, and his lucky number.

In 1994, Nine released his first single, “Whutcha Want” which peaked at #50 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart, #8 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #32 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart in February of 1995, staying on the chart for 18 weeks. The song was featured in Jeep advertisements, but Jeep never obtained permission from Nine and he pursued legal action against them.

In 1995, Nine released his debut album, “Nine Livez” on Profile Records which peaked at #90 on the Billboard 200 and #18 on Billboard’s Top R&B\Hip-Hop Albums chart.

His second single, “Any Emcee” missed the Hot 100, but managed to peak at #35 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart, #21 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and #82 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart in May of 1995, staying on the chart for 7 weeks.

The last single released from the album, “Ova Confident” failed to make any of the Billboard charts.

In 1996, Nine released his sophomore album, “Cloud 9” which peaked at #45 on Billboard’s Top R&B\Hip-Hop Albums chart.

The lead single from the album, “Lyin’ King” which peaked at #21 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart, #11 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #90 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart in August of 1996, staying on the chart for 2 weeks.

The second and last single released from the album, “Make or Take” failed to make any impact on the Billboard charts. Because of Profile Records’ financial problems, “Cloud 9” received no promotion except for the music videos for “Lyin’ King” and “Make or Take.” The lack of promotion is the main reason for the album selling so poorly.

In 1997, Nine appeared on the FOX police drama television series, “New York Undercover.” After that, not much was heard from Nine and it had appeared that he faded into obscurity. In 2000, Nine released the single, “It’s Ugly.”

In 2009, Nine released his third album in 13 years, “Quinine” on Smoke On Records. It was released on CD and digitally.

To see the music video for “Whutcha Want,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuvBpGVANYA

To see the music video for “Any Emcee,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrxZGwB5wB0

To see the music video for “Lyin’ King,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uql3rb4oOHY

To see the music video for “Make or Take,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYVcaQ1Bzu8

 

[updated on 08-17-12]

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