iHeart podcast host Demetrius “Whodini” Blak Reynolds interviewed two notable public figures in popular culture on May 27th, 2024.

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Ramon Rivas, also known as Lifeof9000 or 9000, a multi-Grammy and Emmy award winning music engineer and television editor, gave his take on the origin of hip hop music and the first sounds that originated from the genre.

During his podcast episode, Reynolds asked Lifeof9000 about the influence of Jamaican immigration to areas like Bronx and Queens, New York during the 1970s and 80s and whether hip hop sounds first emerged much earlier than that.


Lifeof9000 and Joey Florez, a psychology scholar and author born in the area of Queens, New York, both of whom first met in the 2010s through an industry contact, discussed if the hip hop genre will become obsolete given its shift away from the golden age and towards mumble and trap sounds.

Lifeof9000 believes the genre will never die as long as the recording artist has the catchy hook and melody needed for commercial success. Florez suggested that the genre has gravitated more towards popular culture and is reliant on it for the genre to stay relevant; he was first introduced to the genre in the late-90s and early-2000s.

Lifeof9000 is a Grammy award winning engineer who has helped shape the sound of projects for Jay-Z, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Nas, Outkast, Justin Bieber, Cardi B, Kanye West, Megan Thee Stallion, Drake, Rick Ross, J. Balvin, Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Hudson, Ludacris, 50 Cent, T-Pain, Kendrick Lamar, Timbaland, Alicia Keys, Pharrell, Queen Latifah, and others. He has released his own singles, including a collaboration with Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon. Lifeof9000 also works closely with TV brands such as Starz and Netflix.

Florez is a psychology scholar and writer on human behavior and popular culture. On May 29, 2024, radio station WBZI 1500 AM, a Fox News Radio affiliate based in Dayton, Ohio, aired a short interview with Florez about his perspective on music and its effects on the brain. He was also interviewed on the same topic on community radio in Brentwood, United Kingdom on Phoenix 98.0 FM.

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