When listening to “2009” by Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y you by nature want to have a nostalgic trip back to the first time the two artists got together to make “How Fly” back in 2009. That or at least hear some good tracks that may sound decent but make you want to go back and listen to their older stuff because the new stuff is okay. Well, the problem with “2009” is that it almost makes you wonder what you liked about them in the first place.
Let’s start with the rhymes. For the most part, the lyrics are mostly forgettable. Both emcees have the right flow patterns and enthusiasm that is needed. Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y both show that they are capable of making decent tracks that fit the beats that they are rapping over. The real problem is that the lyrics are largely unmemorable. When lyrics are really bad or really good they make you feel something. When a rapper is at their best they either have tremendous lines that wow the listener with their wit and creativity. Or the other way an emcee can be successful is to make you feel what they are feeling or seeing and transport you to their space. In this way, “2009” fails spectacularly.
The production in many ways mimics the problems with lyrics. When listening to the instrumentals they are well made with slick production with additional loops woven throughout that are made properly but leave you wanting more. The producers do a very good job of creating beats that feel like the music from when Wiz Khalifa was growing up and Curren$y was just starting out but feel like a sad imitation and not a homage. The beats range from late 80’s early 90’s slow jams to late 90’s West Coast hip-hop. Many of the tracks like “10 Piece” and “First Or Last” feel like they came right out of an early “Bad Boy” album and at the end of the songs you are still surprised you didn’t hear a Puff Daddy feature. While for many that listen to “2009” this is great and nostalgic for anyone that grew in this era of music you feel that the beats are worn and tired.
Listening to “2009” will probably have you with a very empty feeling. Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y give a solid effort but it almost seems like both artists made “2009” not to scratch a creative itch or even wax nostalgically with an old friend but just to almost shut people up when they asked if they would make a follow-up to their successful project “How Fly”. Reviewing “2009” gave me a sense of nostalgia but in a much different way. I felt like I was eating a McRib it tasted okay but not awful and left me mildly disappointed that I was so excited for it in the first place.