Black Thought is finally starting to get his long-deserved attention as a top tier MC in hip-hop, thanks in large part to the absolute massacre he put on display with Funk Flex last year. Now, I’ve always regarded him as one of the lyrically best in the game but you can probably thank people’s ignorance to the fact that he’s always been a part of The Root’s massive lineup. It looks like things might be changing however, as he just gave us his first solo offering (as far as I know and which is insane) and he did it with none other than the legendary 9th Wonder. Black Thought & 9th Wonder was a pairing I never knew I wanted, but it makes perfect sense. Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 is just a quick offering, only coming in at 5 tracks long, but everything feels very intentional and thought out (pun not intended) and Black absolutely goes in on the fantastic soulful production 9th laid out for him. There’s not much more that can be said about the tape other than if you love bars and you love the true essence of hip-hop which came from the heart and truly having something to say, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t be listening to this project as we speak. Black Thought & 9th Wonder are hip-hop to their core and the Vol. 1 implies that he’s only just begun coming for his respect.
Nas wastes no time in getting right to the issues as most of the album is about subjects he's been addressing for years even before this newfound 'wokeness' and the production, while done by Ye, still feels very true to Nas stylistically, not overly commercial but with a more substantial bounce and rhythm. After 6 years it still would have been nice to get more than 7 tracks from Nas but even in those 7 songs he's able to say a lot and leave a strong impression regardless.
On 'Redemption' Jay Rock has clearly pulled out all the stops and it's resulted in his best, most complete project to date and a perfect pairing of his more traditional gangsta rap sensibilities and rap's more modern sounds. This is the definitive Rock album we've been waiting for and it stands tall even among this summer full of giants.
The soundscapes are as gorgeous as anything Kanye's put out in the last 3 years - lush, grim, and just sparse enough to let Pusha T run wild; and run wild he does. It's high-art coke rap and it's about as cinematic as you can get with music.
Understand, respect and fear was the all-American ambition
For badass kids in the laundromat, foldin’ a load
Well lo and behold, a whole ‘nother fork in the road
My wish for them is that the truth is eventually told
Out on the corner, where whatever you can sell is sold
I heard murder ran this vast, deserted land
Since back when Burning Man was blacks in Birmingham
Have you heard Streams of Thought, Vol. 1? What’d you think about it? Is there a more perfect pairing than Black Thought & 9th Wonder? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the EP.
Black Thought & 9th Wonder – Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 – EP Reaction
There's not much more that can be said about the tape other than if you love bars and you love the true essence of hip-hop which came from the heart and truly having something to say, then there's no reason you shouldn't be listening to this project as we speak. Black Thought & 9th Wonder are hip-hop to their core and the Vol. 1 implies that he's only just begun coming for his respect.