Stream/Album Review: 9th Wonder Presents- Jamla Is The Squad

Posted: February 3, 2014 by ericbernsen in Album Reviews, Music, News, Songs/Videos
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North Carolina legend 9th Wonder has built quite a name for himself over the years as he is highly regarded as one of hip-hop’s best producers. Along with making beats and even becoming a collegiate professor, 9th Wonder started up Jamla Records and over the past few years his label has developed into one of the best indie outfits around. As a testament to this, 9th Wonder and the label recently released their new compilation album titled Jamla Is The Squad (hosted by Statik Selektah). In addition to Jamla’s roster of artists, the project features guest appearances from the likes of Pete Rock, Phonte, Elzi, Talib Kweli, Buckshot, and BJ The Chicago Kid. With a line-up like that gracing the 25 tracks on this project, Jamla Is The Squad proves that independent, built from the ground up hip-hop labels are as strong as ever. 

While an album with 25 tracks seems like a burdening undertaking for a listener, Jamla Is The Squad excels in its proper sequencing and cohesiveness.  This is the case thanks to veteran producers like 9th Wonder and Khrysis being the masterminds behind the project. From the signature smooth, soulful sound of 9th wonder to the more gritty/hard-hitting tracks, Jamla Is The Squad has a nice variety to it which is enhanced by the large list of guest features. But in terms of Jamla signed artists, it is female emcee Rapsody who steals the show on tracks such as “Life Of Pi” and “Betty Shabazz”. 9th Wonder has publicly been a huge advocate of Rapsody’s skills on the mic and it is easy to see why after hearing her lyrical tenacity on this project.

In terms of the guest appearances, the song that best highlights this large group would be single “No Competition” which features the stacked line-up of Talib Kweli, Elzhi, and Phonte over some excellent Khyrsis production. Other rappers such as Add-2 shine throughout the project, but its the rich, layered soundscape of Jamla Is The Squad that creates the appropriate atmosphere for each emcee. All in all, Jamla Is The Squad is a great underground/independent hip-hop project that could not be a better representation for what 9th Wonder and his label stand for.

Listen to Jamla Is The Squad below and let us know what you think!











  1. […] a number of different topics from his role in the recently released Jamla Is The Squad project (which we recently reviewed), what life is like as a college professor, as well as experiences he has had working with artists […]

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