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Compilation; No rating given.

Rebuilding. In the sports world, the term is normally used as an excuse when you’re favorite team isn’t doing that good. “Oh, we’re rebuilding,” is the excuse often given.  It’s been awhile since 9th Wonder’s departure from Little Brother. Aside from crafting albums with the likes of Murs and Buckshot, 9th has been rebuilding HIS team. While IWWMG’s 9th’s Opus features content from a potential star spitter in Skyzoo, it’s very clear, 9th is still “rebuilding”.

First of all, while the album is titled “9th’s Opus”, all the production on the album is not handled by 9th Wonder. Of the 12 tracks, 9th handles 4, with the rest being produced by Khrysis, E. Jones, Ka$h, and Fatin. No worries, the soundscapes created for this album are definitely on point across the board. Of the album’s two R&B tracks, E. Jones outdoes 9th with his production used for the track “I Will Always Be Down” featuring the songstress Heather Victoria. Femcee Rapsody adds a decent verse to the track. An album with 9th Wonder attached to it is almost guaranteed to bring it as far as production goes. The beatsmith’s working alongside 9th are all up to par, however, the question is whether or not the rhymers have what it takes to provide quality content. The answer: 9th’s team is rebuilding.

The problem with a compilation featuring mainly new artists is that the artists only have so much time to make their impression.  When Ruff Ryders Vol.1 dropped, you already knew the Lox, DMX, Jay Z, etc. etc. New artists were limited to small features, displaying more of the Ruff Ryder sound, than new Ruff Ryder artists. 9th’s Opus feels more like Dr. Dre presents the Aftermath. The most you see any of these artists is on two tracks. But with no polished veteran work to carry the album, 9th’s team of up and comers are left to carry the work load. Whether or not 9th’s team put those two appearances to good use is debatable at best. “9th’s Opus” is a bombardment of “backpack rap” cliches. T-P provides the “forget school work, college is about fun, parties and women” track with aptly titled “College.” Thee Tom Hardy provides the “They told me I couldn’t do it, but look at me, I’m on” track with “Grinnin.’” While Skyzoo provides one of the several “I’m Nice” songs with “Easy” his wordplay and lyricism that have separated him from most rappers in general separate this song, from the others on the album. On the aforementioned track, Sky spits “I come out, crown on top, rebirth of the CL, whether Smooth, or ‘Only Built for’, I lead well.”

While it’s clear IWWMG has talent, there is definitely a lot of work to be done.  If Rapsody, Big Remo, or Actual Proof show dedication to their craft, with the production available with IWWMG, they could surely have staying power in the hip hop world, as can any of the other artists contributing to 9th’s Opus. However, with the exception of Skyzoo’s 9th Wonder produced, “Easy” , the majority of the showings on 9th’s Opus were sup-par, with the majority of the 10 hip hop tracks being out shined by the two R&B songs.

In conjunction with The Well Versed.

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