I remember in 2009 when our country had a slight uproar about Derrion Albert death only because it became news and because it was posted on youtube. After all the blacks are savages talk David Banner and 9th Wonder dropped “Something’s Wrong”. Before this song I had no idea they were working together at all. I saw some interview with a shaven David Banner saying he had a list of producers he wanted to work with but a mutual friend linked him up with 9th. From there what started out as a mixtape endeavor turned into a full fledge album.
So what happens when a MC/producer gets with one of the more popular underground beat makers in Hip Hop? Well first off the south gets represented nicely with 9th being from NC and Banner being a Mississippi dude. You also get Banner going back to his conscious rap roots. 9th Wonder really came through with the beats on here. It’s strange as fast as you can hear people say they’re tired of his sound it’s the collaborative efforts like this that shows he has much more to offer.
The album opens with “Diamonds On My Pinky” where David Banner just throws ill lines after ill lines in a short one verse bangout. Once that ends you get something pleasurable to the soul as 9th beat sounds mad different than what you’re used to and David Banner kills “No Denying”. These one verse tracks show that this would have been a dope mixtape. Again it sounds good hearing a southern rapper with sense of self because that just seems like the last thing a south rapper has at all. “The Light” is one of those tracks I skip not because it’s a bad song but the hook is too damn long. As the title suggest it’s another food for thought track. A well welcomed highlight is hearing guest Ludacris and Marsha Ambrosius join the party on “Be With You”. It’s sound like a Luda track as he does kill it with the wordplay that only he seems to pull out of nowhere. Banner does keep up but Luda last bars put him over. Guest that show up make the album feel like David Banner and 9th had a wish list of artist they made beats for and saw similarities on that list and called those people to come through. Some of those picks worked like with “Be With You” and “Strange” featuring Big Remo. “Silly” featuring an uninspired sounding Erykah Badu which was nothing more both producers braggin on their production credits, I swear this must be the first version of the last verse on “Make It Big”off the Wonder Years album for 9th Wonder. Anthony Hamilton makes it on the album too, sounding a bit off key. I think that’s a 9th issue because a lot of R&B artist sound a bit off on his production especially if he or someone he regularly works is mixing down the songs.
What’s cool and odd is the sound 9th is known for hardly shows up. On “Stutter”, “Slow Down” and “Mas 4” which is really just some hard gangster shit. The way these beats come off are the way you expect 9th to be coming all the time. So far I have been really feeling what he’s coming with and it’s sad those who say they are fans of his have yet to pick this up if just for a different sound beat wise. By no means do 9th overshadow David Banner, I think they fed off one anther good. This album is good and short which has no interludes and skits, how old school is that? This isn’t an instant classic and to be honest what is nowadays? This is going to be one of those must haves down the line for someone who is a fan of either one of these men or both. If you don’t have this and like their music this might be a good listen for you. This is what Hip Hop is all about right here.