Hip-hop is constantly evolving, changing faster than we can keep up with sometimes. It’s come a long way in the last decade alone, with the emergence of trap in recent years. It’s always a nice trip to look back into the past, and two of the genre’s biggest names have come together to revisit an overlooked era of hip-hop. Wiz Khalifa & Curren$y revisit late-2000s hip-hop with a modern flair in their new collaborative album 2009, tying together the present with an overlooked time in hip-hop history.
2009 is the second collaboration between the two hip-hop legends, their last being the decade-old How Fly. Their connection hasn’t been lost since then, as Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y flow together with seemingly little effort throughout the record. The record’s old-school sound draws from more of an east-coast style, with more lyrical content than beat-driven tracks. That being said, the more relaxed and less busy beats are a nice change of pace from today’s in-your-face synths: that’s apparent from the very first track ‘Garage Talk,’ where both the beat and the rappers’ flows are relaxed and collected. The east-coast influence is more apparent as the record continues, with tracks like the alert and self-cognizant ‘The Life‘ and the chill ‘Bottle Poppers‘ filling the tracklist.
While the concept of 2009 certainly deserves respect, the record itself can be a mixed bag. The record does feel like it levels out after awhile, some tracks really sounding weak and uninspired at times. The hooks of ‘Getting Loose‘ (delivered by Problem) and ‘From The Start‘ just feel empty, while many other tracks simply don’t have anything stand-out about them. It’s not even that every track falls short as the record progresses: ‘No Clout Chasin‘ brings a nice modern touch to it with more aggressive 808 hits, while the dark vibe of ‘Benz Boys‘ with Ty Dolla $ign keeps things a bit interesting. ‘Plot Twist‘ has an aggressive bass and playful subtleties in it that offer a bit of fun, too. From there, though, there’s nothing much to note. Many beats just come off empty, and the tracks feel phoned it: the only charm there is on some of them are the weed references, which you knew were on there anyway.
Even though hip-hop is constantly morphing and changing, we can’t forget the different eras that brought us to where the genre is today. Wiz Khalifa & Curren$y revisit an overlooked era of hip-hop in their collaborative record 2009, not offering too many interesting tracks but putting their own modern touch in late-2000s hip-hop to provide for a refreshing listen.
Favorite Track: Garage Talk
Least Favorite Tracks: Getting Loose, From The Start
Rating: 69 / 100
Stream or buy 2009 on Apple Music, and follow our 2019 Playlist on Spotify: