9 – “King” review

9 is a 48 year old MC from the Bronx, New York who came through in 1995 with a highly slept-on debut 9 Livez. He then followed it up the following year with Cloud 9, but then he fell out of love with music shortly after However, he returned 13 years later with Quinine & it was almost completely ignored. But 9 years later fittingly, he’s delivering his 4th full length album & he has enlisted the Snowgoons to produce it in it’s entirety.

The album opens with “The Revenant”, where 9 talks about his return over a eerie boom bap beat. The next song “Pull Up” gets confrontational over a gloomy boom bap beat while the track “Killmongor” talks about his place in hip hop over a menacing beat with some horns. The song “Hilfiger” makes references to a number of hip hop artists over a boom bap beat with strings while the track “Tremendous” vividly talks about life in the streets over a sinister beat. The song “Belafonte” with Conway sees the 2 getting murderous over a gritty beat while the track “Medusa” sees 9 speaking facts to an unnamed person over an orchestral boom bap beat.

The song “Breathe” with Kool G Rap & Smoothe da Hustler sees the 3 getting romantic over an Alchemist-type beat while the track “I Am” is an ode to the culture over an uplifting beat. The song “Pita Roll” is filled with battle bars over punchy drums & a heavy guitar while the track “Jump ‘Em” with Ruste Juxx talks about running up on people over a haunting beat. The song “Champion” with Chris Rivers sees the 2 talking about winning over a boom bap beat with a triumphant horn & then the album finishes with the title track, where 9 refers to himself to just that over a celebratory beat.

To be honest, this may be 9’s best work yet. There are a couple tracks that I wish were fully fleshed out but it’s mostly focused, he sounds hungrier than ever & the Snowgoons production enhances the hardcore vibe near perfectly.

Score: 4.5/5

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