If you cared at all about hip hop during the early 90’s, chances are you’re a big fan of the two albums Digable Planets released during theie brief but brilliant career (Apparently they are touring again, but I’ve yet to hear of a new album). This was way back when, just as rap was turning into the complete mess we hear today and before "what what what what what what what what" was an acceptable refrain for a song. I know, I know, it’s not like everything back in the day was great, and it’s not like everything now is trash; it just seemed like it was easier to come by a well thought out, intelligent hip hop album back then.
When Digable Planets released Blowout Comb I was a Junior in High School and I had spent the previous summer installing a ridiculous sound system in my car. I think I played this album about 500 times in a row the first week I had it; I distinctly remember blasting this particular song (9th Wonder) on repeat on the way to taking my S.A.T.’s that year. Strange how you can forget whole chapters of your life but somehow you remember something seemingly as trivial as the song you listened to on the way to a test. I guess that’s the power of good music. It seems today I consume most of my music through headphones on planes or coming out of computer speakers, neither of which do this song justice, this one has to be played through the 12’s in your trunk to get the point…the bass is massive.
As for the cover art, this was the sort of thing I coveted when I was younger. I wasn’t exposed to anything even approaching good design where I grew up so album covers were one of my only windows into the world of somewhat decent graphic design. I remember being blown away by the design and packaging of this CD when it came out. Now looking back, I see it wasn’t exactly perfect, but still well executed considering. The version on the bottom is the cover for the single, which I think I had in cassette form before I got the album on CD.
Digable Planets – 9th Wonder (Blackitolism)