Nothing breeds success like consistency and in their respective fields of proficient beat-craft and label management, producer 9th Wonder and his newfound Brooklyn-bred lyrical cohort Buckshot are prime examples. After finding the perfect "chemistry” with their first LP collaboration, the two pick up where they left off on new set The Formula, with 9th dropping his increasingly honed-in mid-tempo soul beat flare behind Buckshot’s noticeably more insightful verses. The BDI MC attempts to spark a sense of motivation under America’s go-nowhere, hood-rat generation on "Whassup With U,” openly shunning the counterproductive ills of weed addiction, while the vibrant, Kweli-assisted "Hold It Down” shows how well this current soulful tact suits the record’s mature tales. On the production side, 9th Wonder maintains his poise, dropping cut after cut of smooth backdrops and knocking beats that help direct the focus towards each track’s lyrics and themes while simultaneously giving them space to work. But while the producer’s quality level is certainly unwavering, there aren’t very many surprises to be had, as obligatory sped-up soul vocals and untouched sample lead-ins seem to characterise every tune. Still, together the two form a solid unit and manage yet another potent record that will no doubt lead to a much-welcomed third offering somewhere down the road.
Why do you think your music is called "hip-hop for 30-year-olds?”
Buckshot: I would say the fact that hip-hop is just so universally loved by everybody, I think that’s really the main thing. It’s something that, as you get older, it gets used as a steppingstone, or a concept for a model in life. If you look at most people who support hip-hop in their teens, a lot of these artists [all fit] a certain type of criteria. But you get older and life goes on, and the reality is that no one’s promised tomorrow, and the bottom line is to be grateful for whatever the fuck you get, and whatever you have here.
What do you attribute Duck Down’s success to?
Persistence, consistency and the Creator. You know, we could really try to make this rocket science but it ain’t; it really is a blessing of the most high. We’ve been making music for a long time and at any point in time people could become out of tune with what we’re doing and who we are. So I think for the people who are in tune with the business, they could look at people like Duck Down and see it’s not easy to do that. When somebody gets that, it’s not that we should praise them but we should acknowledge them so that we can find out a next way to do it for ourselves or somebody else. (Duck Down)