Drake Goes From 0 To 100 Over 9th Wonder’s Beats (Audio)

Hailing from Montreal, DJ Critical Hype has been perfecting the craft of blending for nearly a decade. His The Art Of… series of mixes has highlighted luminaries of the game such as Talib Kweli, Danny Brown, and Kendrick Lamar. Then, a couple of years ago he moved onto mash-ups and dropped some well-received projects that paired Chance The Rapper with Kanye West (Chance The Dropout), and Kendrick Lamar with Dr. Dre (The Damn. Chronic).

His latest offering, More 9th, once again combines an MC and producer who have worked together, but not nearly enough for some fans’ liking — Drake and 9th Wonder. While the two did collaborate on “Think Good Thoughts” from Comeback Season, that was way back in 2007, and they haven’t dropped anything together since.

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Considering that Drake is heavily influenced by Little Brother (as he reminded Heads on 2009’s “Fear”), it makes sense that his bars fit well over 9th production. Some Heads may question the hype that has surrounded Drake for most of the last decade. However, his early material (as well as a handful of verses on almost every album and mixtape he has ever released) make it clear that this Toronto rapper/singer can spit with the best of them. Drizzy is at his best when he is acting nonchalant but is blacking out lyrically. Of course, his beat selection is a big part of why some Heads avoid his music. So, Hype made an excellent choice by reuniting him with 9th’s soulful sound.

Hype blends Drake tracks from all throughout the last decade, including a favorite of lyric-lovers “0-100,” and the song that was initially paired with it, “Catch Up.” The former is paired with one of Little Brother’s breakthrough songs, 2003’s “Speed.” Next up is One-Take’s ode to pimping, “For Free,” from DJ Khaled’s last album. Hype’s mix of “Can’t Have Everything” from last year’s More Life works so well it’s impossible to tell it’s a blend. We also get flavorful retro-fittings of “6 Man” off 2015’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, “Come Thru” off Nothing Was The Same, “Over” and “Light Up” off of Thank Me Later, and “Lose You” also from last year’s playlist. Some of the songs are cut short, but this was likely because a change in flow, as well as singing, can be a challenge to blend and may not fit on the same beat. On that note, there is not a single mash-up on here that sounds off or wonky. The Canadian DJ makes clever selections, both from Drake’s catalog as well as 9th’s sprawling instrumental offerings. That is a testament to Hype’s prowess but also shows how dope the King of The 6 fits over classic Hip-Hop production. This mix lives up to its great artwork (courtesy of illustrator Ian Klarer)

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This Friday, (June 1), look out for 9th Wonder & Black Thought’s Streams Of Thought. It is entirely produced by 9th and the Soul Council.