Friday, November 22, 2013

What's happened to the rest of Jamla?

Is it just me or has 9th Wonder been pushing his fem-cee Rapsody just a little too hard on the listening masses? Could it be true that sometimes — or at least in this case, for sure — less can indeed be more?

This is something that's been lingering on my list of Hiphop pet peeves for quite a while now, and this week's release of the much anticipated collaboration between new Jamla recording artist add-2 and Khrysis, the leader of the 9th's hefty stable of producers and beat makers, finally pushed that pet peeve right on up to the top of the totem pole of things in rap on my nerves right now.

Oh yeah, Jamla is 9th Wonder's label...

It's never fun to see any rap label with a roster full of scorching rhyme animals only focus on one artist in particular, but that seems to be what's been happening over at Jamla for at least the past few years.

In that time we've seen 9th commandeer the soundtracks to veritable Justus League classics from the likes of Median to Act Proof to new Phonte the Great (Little Brother Phonte, not Foreign Exchange Phonte), offerings that I beg 9th to do again. Not because I want to be saturated with music from these rappers, but because they make they make music so infrequently.

Conversely, in that same time span, she has released six separate projects (mixtapes, EPs, and LPs) with a grand total of 40+ 9th Wonder beats.

So then, a 9th Wonder and Jamla fan might start to look at the rest of the label's artists, who have been largely silent in that same period, and that fan may start to wonder (no pun) where everybody else is. You know, the rappers who helped put Jamla on the map?

Where is Remo with that gutta gutta?

Where is Act Proof with that lyrical brilliance?

Where is The Away Team?

Bring Skyzoo back for another full-length.

What happened to Thee Tom Hardy, who was a natural over 9th's boom bap?

The list of MIA rappers goes on...

Now, don't get me wrong. For the most part, Rapsody's projects are above average, which is probably way more than your favorite rapper's output. And she's recorded with some Hall of Fame rappers (see the above video) while more than holding her own on the mic. But all of that is because of 9th Wonder, not because Rapsody can command features from those rap legends.

And as if that's enough, she herself has tons of features on other rappers' material, the latest of which is this month on a song by some other North Carolinian.

Again, don't mistake this for hate. I simply don't understand why 9th is putting so much of his time and resources into Rapsody when some of those beats could just as easily be slid to any of the aforementioned rappers, and/or some new ones who I know are waiting in the wings for some of 9th's heat.

I'm grateful for any time I get some new 9th, but all I'm saying is that he needs to spread the love a bit more evenly across his rappers. That would make for a more complete label, which, confoundingly, may or may not be 9th's ultimate objective.

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