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: