It is rare nowadays to see a producer and an emcee form a collaboration that is just mutually between the two of them. Maybe within a group, you see one member take the helm of the production, while the other concentrates on the rhyming (for example Mobb Deep), but for two established artists in their own right, this is uncommon. So on their first outing Chemistry, the duo of 9th Wonder and Buckshot proved that they have something to build on. The Formula is an extension of what could possibly be from a famed producer and a highly regarded veteran emcee.
The most notable asset of this album is the maturity level from which Buckshot rhymes. He speaks from the point of view of someone who has seen his share of good days and bad ones. He showcases this point on “Ready (Brand New Day)” as the BDI one spits about how he done came up and how at one point in his life he could never image it, so now he is going all out and appreciating everything that he has and yet to gain. But the shining moment of this album is “Man Listen” where Buckshot speaks of changing his life through means of being focused. But that is also one of the downfalls of this album, as he really beats this point home of how his life has changed due to one thing or another. If it is not money of success, it is a realization of life of some sort, and after a while it becomes somewhat redundant. Mainly though, the biggest issue with this album lies with the production. 9th Wonder has a habit of making beats that sound very similar with the sped up soul samples and drum programming. After a while it makes one think that they are listening to the same song, or at least the same beat, over and over again.
The Formula is very impressive from which the standpoint it is coming from, one of a mature nature. But something as refreshing as a new point of view cannot sustain the lack of subject matter or production consistency that this album seems to have. It seems that these two gifted artists need to spend a little bit more time in the laboratory perfecting their ingredients, but from the looks of things, they are on the right track. – Ryan Harrison
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