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9th Wonder
Dream Merchant V. 2

9thwonder.jpgMaking a name for himself as the musical force behind North Carolina’s Little Brother, 9th Wonder began scoring hits for the likes of Jay-Z and Destiny’s Child. With requests for his production prowess growing, the in-demand beatsmith parted ways with LB in early ’07 to focus on his craft full-time. Ready to showcase his sample-driven style to the masses, 9th enlists an extensive class of MCs to bless his latest compilation, Dream Merchant, Vol. 2.

Proving there’s no love lost, remaining Little Brothers Phonte and Big Pooh lend their familiar voices to the spirited “No Time to Chill.” From there, Saigon and Justus League Caucasian sensation Joe Scudda slap verses against chilling wails and orchestral strings on “Saved,” while Big Dho teams with Sean Price on the Teddy Pendergrass–flipping “Shots.” On the latter, the BCC vet quips, “Niggas talk hip-hop all the time/Throw a clip in the Glock, make you hip-hop to this 9.”

Unfortunately, not every collaboration is a musical match made in hip-hop heaven. Big Treal delivers a borderline-annoying hook for his pro-drugs solo cut, “Baking Soda.” Then there’s the odd trio of Mos Def, Jean Grae and Memphis Bleek, who converge over 9th’s horn-driven medley for “Brooklyn in My Mind,” a subpar update of the popular “Crooklyn” series. Camp Lo fares better at the remake game as they skillfully flip LL Cool J’s “Milky Cereal” concept into the metaphorical marathon “The Milky Lowa.” Sonny Cheeba spits, “You know we keep it colorful but never on the Froot Loop/Bars be the Dig ’Em Smacks, that’s just where the Lowa at.”

9th’s selflessness behind the boards poses Vol. 2’s toughest dilemma, because no matter how knockin’ the beats (“Merchant of Dreams” and “Reminisce”), so many disparate voices can interrupt the album’s flow. But if his mission was to bring the beats to the fore and make the MCs an afterthought, then this is a dream come true. —ALVIN BLANCO


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  • stoneyisland

    9th, Camp Lo, shit what more do you muthafuckas want???????????? Scoop this up support real hip hop.

  • soul


    XXL, 5 STARS

  • vicone

    This Album is easily a “XXL”..they gave boys in the hood and 9th wonder the same rating??? LMAOOOO. XXL your rating system offically and completely whored it self for good this time.

  • fametome





    REMY MA = S

  • Idiots

    No not XXl, the comments above me. You guys think just cause its 9th Wonder it should get an XXL. The album wasn’t very good. Talib Kweli deserved an XXL, not 9th wonder.

  • Dashon

    You don’t deserve a XXL just because you have great instrumentals. This album had no substance and the songs were lifeless. Half of the album has the potential of being skipped. This wasn’t 9th wonders best performance. He’s starting to get predictable with his instrumentals. Just because you have an eastcoast flow and a 60s sample dosn’t mean its great hip-hop.


    Dasohn i totally agree with the lack of substance of the lp but an L? thats just disrespectful to the craftsmanship of this project. the caliber of artists featured on this LP should give a L by itself. the production is the X. and its not like these niggas weren’t rippin the joints. I mean Reminice is my shit even the interlude at the end was fire (esspecially how 9th re-flipped the LB Sincerely Yours sample). overall this was a solid LP and i’m shock that it just got an L. XL would have been more in the range of the quality of the LP.

  • That Dude

    Man this CD is poppin, and for it to get a L, is totally BS. The beats are tight, the MCs were a lot better on here than cats are giving credit for. If you can say this is a L album along with some of those that got the same rating or better, than I think Lupe was damn sure right wit his joint “Dumb it Down”.

  • 5th Wonder

    the beats outshined the rappas on most of these tracks, this LP is definately a L or X, and this is coming from a fan of 9th for over 5 years now. Big dho’s verse on shots was wack as i dont know what.

    You know what it is? These beats are dope, some of them are so dope that you guys try to squeeze any kind of niceness out of these mc’s as much as you can and that’s the damn truth and a damn shame.

  • http://www.myspace.com/nthebs Boston’s own?

    A lot of you had good comments yet how did you feel about NBS’ song “You Wanna”? When it comes to the album it was said that that might of been one of the best if not the best song on there… Opinions?