9th Prince: Revenge of the 9th Prince Apr 26, 2010 3:46:53 GMT -5
Post by reccollectah on Apr 26, 2010 3:46:53 GMT -5
“Revenge of the 9th Prince” … an album announced long time ago ( long ago as in “Check inlay of the Granddaddy Flow album/2003” -long ago ) and now finally here.
2 announcements about this album had me hyped for a while now:
- The fact the album was entirely produced by one person only ( which always scores good points in my book) : a certain BP who 9th called a “crazy talented white dude” . After hearing “I will rise” with the surprising but very effective Tom Jones sample , he certainly had me interested in the rest of the beats for this album. Just listening to 9th’s previous solo albums, we know he has an ear for picking good beats, so nothing but high expectations for the BP beats !
- The other fact was hearing 9th Prince calling this album his “Illmatic”, his “Ready to die” album, his contribution in the return of the Wu Tang … As we all know bragging and boasting is a major part of hiphop attitude since it’s early days so was this just heavy promo talk or had the 9th Prince really used his absence from the scene to sharpen his swords and work on his ( rather lack of) flow till his skills reached new hights ? Had he indeed raised the lyrical standard for him and his Killarmy brothers ? Time to find out .
But before we measure up the darts, let’s have a look at the music first:
BP certainly uses this chance to showcase his talents. From start till finish he makes the most of this opportunity using very varied beats, all kinds of instrumentation to keep our interest going and crazy surprising samples ( or did you ever suspect to hear a Bruce Springsteen sample or a sped up “Delilah” mariachi horns section on a Wu album ?? ) . 9th’s new producer manages to find suiting beats/music for every mood 9th wants to handle: from rage ( Raised Cain) to melancholy ( Younger Gods Pt II) to Killarmy anno 2010 tracks ( Lyrical disaster) to menacing monster funk tracks ( Double O9, I will rise) … BP delivers the goods . Stamp “approved”. If the new Killarmy album does come through, plz give this man a spot or two on it.
So far the good news …
When it comes to reaching the self- heralded new high lyrical standards … I feel 9th Prince has missed the ball … completely .
His flow has not getten any better , au contraire I fear. When one really focuses on his poor flow instead of the great music, sitting through this album seems like hard work, which is a shame . The flow problem is especially clear whenever a guest appears : 9th Prince gets outshined by every guest on the album ( except for Islord and Boy Jones who tries to bring his own ODB style on the mic and fails miserably at it . I really think someone should have told Boy Jones he needs to look for his own style instead , because as we all know “ODB: there ain’t no father to his style” … and quite clearly no son too I’m afraid).
Subject wise this album is also rather disappointing to me : In the very first track 9th claims “my wisdom is deep” and on the last track he assures us he’s “better than Nas “ . But unfortunately between these 2 statements we get the exact opposite : numerous references to his time in jail , endlessly repeating the fact he has a bulletproof car, “wise” lines like “ shooting at cops for fun”, “show my daughter how to bust a gun, at 13” ( but at the same time saying “Thou shall not kill” … )
When 9th tries to do a concept song like writing a love letter from prison to R ‘n B “chicks” or a street crime tale with the help of Islord, the end result is rather mediocre, leaving me wonder what Ghostface would come up with if he had a go at it , sigh … The most disappointing example here is surely “Love/hate” in which 9th Prince sums up a list of things he hates followed by a list of what he loves . A bit of irony could have sparked things up but now it’s the equivalent of a grocery list … that interesting, yes.
Which leads me to the following conclusions :
Musically this album is very entertaining and enjoyable but for a 9th Prince solo album this is lyrically a major letdown, mostly saved by the well-chozen guests on the tracks … which really can’t be the aim of a solo album , can it ? Not saying he doesn’t come through anywhere, there’s still a good effort here and there but is it enough to still look for a copy in the nearest store ?
Well , as the production is very solid and the many guest verses save the day I’m inclined to recommend a purchase anyway.
Other conclusion is that (lyrically) I’m now looking more forward to the announced 4th Killarmy album than the next 9th prince solo album. His flow and bars fit better on a group album where he gets help from his comrades to share the mic and hold the weight. Let’s hope that when 9th prince brings his next solo album, he will by then really have worked on his flow and darts so we can experience a true revenge of the 9th prince that time around.
Beats = 4 stars
Lyrics= 2.5 stars
Total= 3 stars