The Dream Merchant, Vol. 2 (6 Hole)
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Oct. 26, 2007
9th WonderThe Dream Merchant, Vol. 2 (6 Hole)
Proving that beats matter as much as what rappers spit, 9th Wonder's solo debut plays out like the work of his teachers. Cutting away from Little Brother in January, the North Carolina native channels past masters Pete Rock and DJ Premier, sampling Motown, settling into feel-good grooves, and bringing in an ample supporting cast to handle the mic (Mos Def, Saigon, Jean Grae, Royce da 5'9"). Their words serve as backdrop for the production 9th cooks up, Dream Merchant flowing with beat after head-banging beat of the grimy ("Let It Bang"), soulful ("Saved"), and the classic ("Reminisce") sounds of true hip-hop. Then there's the Primo-inspired "Brooklyn in My Mind," a track so hot that even the featured Memphis Bleek sounds like a wordsmith. Lessons learned, the world's 9th Wonder has come into his own.