I like Murs.  He’s intelligent, and his flow is nice and smooth.  I like 9th Wonder’s work with Little Brother and Jay-Z.  But neither of these two established artists are ever quite as good as they were on 2004’s “3:16: The 9th Edition.”  It was easily one of the best underground rap albums of all time.  Yet the follow-ups, solid as they might have been, just haven’t measured up to the greatness of that first release.

So, what about Fornever?

This release is a lot like their past work, but occassionally a bit more Gangsta, featuring spots by Kurupt, Uncle Chucc, and Slick Jacken, among others.  And there are some extremely powerful cuts, like the title track and his reimagining of a Common classic on, “I Used To Luv H.E.R. (Again).”  But overall, 9th Wonder seems a little tired.  There are a few cuts where the production really turns on, like on “The Problem Is…” which has organs and bongos, a tight vocal hook, and Wonder’s characteristic “inspirational” keyboard swells.  There’s definitely enough meat here to make this album a solid buy, but I guess I was expecting a little more.

The Problem Is video:

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