13 January, 2013@5:55 pm
For almost a decade, we’ve seen Little Brother producer, 9th Wonder, rise from the underground, to produce for acts like Jay-Z and Destiny’s Child, but he’s always kept his ear to the street. With each Buckshot and Murs, 9th has acted as mediator between the east and west coasts, collaborating with both artists for a handful of fan-favorite collaborative albums, spawning a series of sequels, and acting as some the most popular releases of the artists’ respective catalogs. With Murs’ The Final Adventure and Buck’s The Solution, that series of collaborative albums comes to an end.
Murs & 9th’s The Final Adventure is pretty much par for the course of what one might expect from the duo’s fifth entry into the series. Murs delivers straight-forward relationship talk on tracks like “Baby Girl (Holding Hands)”, a sort of “Bonita Applebum”-meets-Craig-Mack track, and “Walk Like A Woman”, a three-part track that examines different periods of his love life. Later on “Dance With Me”, he relays personal experiences of a long distance relationship, while on “Better Way” he tells the all-too-familiar tale of shacking up with his girl’s best friend. The album’s closing track, “It’s Over”, parallels a break-up with a female, to the end of his journey with 9th.
But while Murs’ songs-for-girls are interesting, he’s far more compelling when speaking about the world around him. “Funeral For A Killer” is perhaps the album’s best track, as examines the pain caused by gang violence, and “A Tale Of Two Cities” also stands out as he defines the “red and blue parts to [his] city.” It would be interesting to see him explore this area more, without having to resort to the overdone Cali rap cliches.
Buckshot’s entry, The Solution, carries a bit of a different sound than Murs’ record, despite both LP’s being produced by 9th. While Murs seems to clearly define his topics, Buck’s flow is more stream-of-consciousness, unfortunately making for less compelling material. He too delves into relationship topics on both “The Feeling” and “Shorty Left”, but this really more of Murs’ lane. Buck’s best moment on the album is “Stop Rapping”, a harsh letter to aspiring rappers that don’t realize that they just don’t have it. These themes are later examined on the album’s closing track “The Solution”.
While 9th’s production is strong on both releases, for whatever reason Buckshot’s release doesn’t stick quite as well as Murs’. Comparing the two records is inevitable, as they both were smartly marketed to drop on the same day, even if that works slightly to either rapper’s disadvantage. Some may prefer Buck’s entry over Murs’, as it’s all a matter of taste, but at the end of the day, both albums are pretty solid. While these three artists have collaborated many times together, yielding great results, closing the book on these projects is a wise move, as it’s time for each to forge ahead into new territory.
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