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Old 06-10-2011, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3,533
Default 9th Wonder - The Dream Merchant Vol. 1 (2005)




Track Listing:

A Letter to Sick L (1980-2001)
Just Don't Speak
Median Alleviates the Drama
Speed
The U - Express
My People
Fallen
Mr. Dream Merchant
Almost Genuine
Strained
Third Person
The Addiction
Like Dat
Soul Dojo
The Righteous Way to Go (Instrumental)
Too Late

I've been unabashed in my affection for 9th Wonder's production skills, and I wouldn't consider it outlandish to count him tops among the heavyweights of our contemporary alternative hip hop scene. Few producers can boast as many quality beats per album as 9th, yet unfortunately his emcee collaborators are rarely up to par. 9th's debut album, The Dream Merchant Vol. 1, is a sonic patchwork of pump-you-up-chill-you-out-spit-you-out goodness that just so happens to feature a few middling rappers. To those that doubt hip hop's ability as a genre and art form to adequately express feeling, I offer this oozing beacon of acoustical emotion in defense. Accompanied by a slew of his Justus League associates, 9th traverses generations to plunder their crates of ill samples, sublime loops, and luminous beats.

Let me say this; while not a wholly developed or transitionally sound album, 9th's efforts on DMV1 are remarkable harbingers of what was to come. A RIP track, 9th's loving tribute called A Letter to Sick L (1980-2001), opens the album on a somber note, and an 80's feel-good jam closes it with Phonte's Too Late.




His soulful artistry on Mr. Dream Merchant , My People, and Third Person (all three are standouts for me on the album) is expertly juxtaposed with his trademark ambient/brand nubian-esque loops on The Addiction, Fallen, Like Dat, and Speed.






In summation, The Dream Merchant Vol. 1 offers us a sneak peak into what 9th Wonder would eventually become with Little Brother. As he matured in both years and production skills, 9th has shown his supremacy over the average producer. I'm very interested into what he comes out with next, and hopefully after listening to DMV1 you will be too.
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