Ghostface Killah – “FishScale” review

After dropping his first album under Def Jam Recordings just 2 years before, the almighty Wu-Tang Clan’s most consistent member Ghostface Killah is now hitting us with 5th full-length album & it’s a concept album revolving around organized crime. On the track “The Champ”, Ghost gets into boxer mode over an energetic beat from Just Blaze & I really love how Blaze imitates Mickey from the Rocky movies the second this track kicks off. On the track “9 Milli Bros.” Ghost gets every single member of the Wu to spit over MF DOOM’s “Fenugreek” instrumental (off of the first installment of DOOM’s Special Herbs instrumental album series) & I really love the overall unity on here. Especially with the short but sweet unreleased verse from the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The track “Beauty Jackson” borrows the J Dilla instrumental “Hi.” (off of Dilla’s 2nd album Donuts, which came out almost 2 months before this album did) & Ghost makes perfect use out of it because he’s vividly describing this woman he met at the bus stop. On the track “R.A.G.U. (Rae And Ghost United)”, Ghost & fellow Wu member Raekwon show us that their chemistry is still very strong to this day & Pete Rock’s production on this track has a killer Delfonics sample throughout. On the track “Whip Me with a Strap”, Ghost is borrowing yet another instrumental off of Donuts (this time being the perfectly titled “1 for Ghost”) & he yet again makes perfect use out of it by vividly reminiscing about him being punished as a kid. The self-produced “Big Girl” has a beautifully soulful beat & lyrically, Ghost is detailing this group of coke addicted women he’s surrounded by. The track “Underwater” reuses the “Orange Blossoms” instrumental (off of DOOM’s Special Herbs, Vols. 5 & 6 instrumental album) so Ghost can tell us about a journey he made while he was underwater & I really like the Islamic references at the end because I feel like they truly symbolize the journey he’s telling as a spiritual one. The album closes out with “Momma”, where Ghost is telling all the single mothers in the world to keep their heads up over a somber piano sample. However there is a bonus track following this song called “3 Bricks” & this is a blatantly obvious outtake from the God awful Biggie remix album Duets: The Final Chapter, which dropped in Late December the year before. As a full album, this is unquestionably up there with Ghost’s first 2 albums Ironman & Supreme Clientele. Not only is the production strong, but I think it’s really Ghost’s near perfect lyricism that truly makes this album a modern mafioso hip hop classic

Score: 4.5/5