Buckshot Chemistry (with 9th Wonder)

[Duck Down Music; 2005]

Styles:  hip-hop
Others: Little Brother, Boot Camp Clik, Pete Rock

At first glance, this collaboration looks as though it can do no wrong. Little Brother's 9th Wonder, a producer who is currently on an undeniable winning streak (ever since God's Stepson, really), and Buckshot, the BDI Thug, one of Duck Down's most consistent, have teamed up and are declaring their chemistry. They've even got the lab coats and beakers to prove it (seriously, check the album art).
9th Wonder continues to make beats that would make Pete Rock proud, and he keeps it minimalist all the while, working with whatever it is he's got at his disposable. Standout tracks like "Slippin" and "The Ghetto" deliver a fine balance of New York griminess and North Carolina soul. The guy is the low-key representative of the new wave of mainstream producers -- think Kanye without the shoeshine, designer sunglasses, and boasts. Buckshot, as could be expected, caters to the impressive production, allowing himself to step out of his usual Black Moon/BCC territory -- something he doesn't do often enough. His voice, one of the most pleasantly-assertive around, sounds like he had you meet him in the vestibule of a rank movie theatre to whisper sweet-somethings and deep dark secrets in your ear. The man's flow never falters.

The album drags when guests start showing up on the second half. Aside from this slight detraction, the album showcases the bond these two men have. With each willing to step outside their comfort areas, they're able to push one another towards betterment. Yay for the periodic table!

1. Intro
2. Chemistry 101
3. He's Back
4. Now A Dayz (That's What's Up)
5. Slippin
6. Side Talk
7. The Ghetto
8. Food For Thought
9. No Comparison
10. Birdz (Fly the Coup)
11. U Wonderin
12. Out of Town
13. I Don't Know Why
14. Money Makes the World Go Round