Ghostface Killah – “Ghostface Killahs” review

7670549Ghostface Killah is a 49 year old MC that came up as a member of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan. He’s easily the most consistent member of the group with albums like Ironman, Supreme Clientele, FishScale, Apollo Kids, 12 Reasons to Die & Sour Soul just to name a few. He just dropped his Big Ghost Ltd. produced comeback The Lost Tapes about a year ago & to commemorate it, he’s teaming up with Danny Caiazzo to release his 15th album.

After the intro, we go into the first song “Me Denny & Daryl”. Where Ghost gets murderous with Method Man & Cappadonna over an instrumental with the vintage Wu-sound. The track “Burner to Burner” with Inspectah Deck & Cappa sees the 3 going at their competition over a grimy guitar lead while the song “Flex” speaks for itself over a mellow instrumental. After the “News Report” skit, the song “Conditioning” finds Ghost goes back at his competition over a flute-heavy instrumental.

The track “Fly Everything” with Shawn Wigs & Sun God of course finds the 3 boasting over a lavish instrumental while the song “Party Over Here” is a bland club banger. The song “Pistol Smoke” with Shawn Wigs of course spits that gun talk over a suspenseful beat & after the “Revolution” skit, the song “New World” gets conscious over a funky bass-line.

The track “Waffles & Ice Cream” with Cappadonna is a modern bastardization of the iconic Raekwon joint “Ice Cream” while “The Chase” with Sun God is pretty much a boring remake of “Run” off of The Pretty Toney Album. The album then closes out with “Soursop”, where Ghost links with Masta Killa & Solomon Childs to deliver a painfully trite reggae fusion.

Not sure what else to say, this is just so average on all fronts. The Wu will forever be all-time favorite group & Ghostface is defiantly the most consistent member, but the beats & the lyricism on this new album are so mediocre. However my biggest issue with this album is that it sounds rushed, as it’s only 33 minutes long. Hopefully, he’ll take his time with the next album.

Score: 2.5/5

Wu-Tang Clan – “Of Mics & Men” soundtrack review

The Wu-Tang Clan. What can be said now about the iconic New York hip hop outfit that hasn’t been said already? From their iconic first 2 albums Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) & Wu-Tang Forever to the countless classic solo debuts like Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… & Supreme Clientele, they’ve always been rightfully regarded as the greatest hip hop outfit of all-time. Last time we heard from them collectively in an album capacity was in 2014 with A Better Tomorrow & with a SHOWTIME documentary being recently released, they’re coming together with the help of Nas’ Mass Appeal Records to deliver the soundtrack for it.

The soundtrack kicks off with “On That Shit Again”, where Ghostface Killah & RZA sound vengeful over a piano & some drums. The next song “Seen a Lot of Things” with Ghost & Raekwon pretty much speaks for itself over a prominent electric guitar & after the “Project Kids” skit, we go into the RZA solo cut “Do the Same as My Brother Do”. Where the Abbott kicks some knowledge over a punchy yet orchestral beat. After the “Yo is you Cheo?” skit & before the “1 Rhyme” outro, the final song of the EP is the title track. Where RZA gets with Cappadonna & Masta Killa boast over some prominent drums.

As much as I loved the documentary, this was a decent soundtrack. Most of the performances are fantastic don’t get me wrong, but it sounds like the Clan could’ve fully fleshed it out.

Score: 3/5

CZARFACE & Ghostface Killah – “CZARFACE Meets Ghostface” review

This is the highly anticipated collab album between East Coast supergroup CZARFACE & the legendary Ghostface Killah. They first teamed up on the banger “Savagely Attack” off of CZARFACE’s self-titled debut back in 2013 but now almost a year after the trio’s collab album with MF DOOM titled CZARFACE Meets Metal Face, they’re following it up by doing a collab album with Tony Starks himself.

After the “Back at the Ringside” intro, the first song “Face Off” sees CZAR & Ghost really suiting the title over an eerie beat. The track “Iron Claw” tells their competition not to push them over an El-P inspired instrumental while the song “Czarrcade ‘87” is a CZAR solo cut where Esoteric & Inspectah Deck get confrontational over an ominous beat. The track “Powers & Stuff” reunite with Ghost to brag about their skills over an apocalyptic beat while the song “Masked Superstars” continues the lyrical themes of the previous joint over a more boom bap beat.

The track “Morning Ritual” has a somber beat & the storytelling is vivid, but I’m confused as to way Inspectah Deck doesn’t appear on it at all. The song “Super Soldier Serum” gets boastful over an electro-tinged beat while “The King Heard Voices” gets murderous over a perfectly fitting instrumental. The track “Listen to the Color” is another CZAR cut that could’ve been on any of their first 3 albums & before things close out with the “(Post Credits Scene)” outro, the final song “Mongolian Beef” is a lyrical onslaught with a doomsday-sounding beat.

From front to back, it definitely lives up to the hype. It could’ve been a little longer & used a couple features, but the production & chemistry between CZAR & Ghost is almost on par with DOOM’s.

Score: 4/5

Ghostface Killah – “The Lost Tapes” review

Ghostface Killah is a 48 year old MC known for being a member of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan. He’s easily the most consistent member of the group with albums like Ironman, Supreme Clientele, FishScale, Apollo Kids & 12 Reasons to Die just to name a few. Last time we heard from him was in 2015 when he dropped Soul Soul & 12 Reasons to Die 2 but now, he’s finally returning with his 14th full-length album & he has enlisted Big Ghost to produce it in it’s entirety.

After an intro from Michael Rapaport, we go into the first song “Buckingham Palace”. Ghostface on here links up with Benny, 38 Spesh & KXNG CROOKED to tell you to watch how you talk to his goons get over a soulful beat with some triumphant horns. The track “Majestic Accolades” with Hus Kingpin & Planet Asia sees the 3 bragging about their skills over an instrumental kin to the Wu-Elements while the song “Cold Crush” with Chris Rivers, La the Darkman & Ras Kass is filled with battle bars an eerie beat with a prominent grimy guitar-passage.

After the “Put the Ghostface on It” interlude, we go into the song “Saigon Velour”. Where Ghostface gets with E-40 & Snoop Dogg to talk about the code of the street over a soulful beat. The track “Constant Struggle” with Bishop Lamont & Killah Priest sees the 3 vividly describing life in the hood over a soul sample with thunderous drums while the song “Done It Again” with Big Daddy Kane, Cappadonna & Styliztik Jones gets romantic over a piano & some horns.

After the “Reflections or C.R.E.A.M.” interlude, the penultimate song “Watch ‘Em Holla” with Raekwon, Cappadonna & Masta Killa feels like a classically gritty Wu banger with some horns. And before things end with a Michael Rapaport outro, the final song “I Think I Saw a Ghost with Sheek Louch & Vic Spencer is a rap rock anthem that’ll make you wanna flip your table over.

While it is short & I wish there were a couple tracks where Ghostface is rapping by himself, this is another solid effort. Big Ghost’s vintage production style perfectly suits Ghostface’s lyricism & the guest verses are great, too.

Score: 4/5

Wu-Tang Clan – “The Saga Continues” review

When it seemed like 2014’s A Better Tomorrow would be the almighty Wu-Tang Clan’s final group album, they’re now returning with their 7th official full-length album (excluding the single-copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin) & they have enlisted Wu-Elements member Mathematics to produce it in it’s entirety. After a 91 second instrumental intro with a spoken word sample & then an actual spoken monologue from the Clan’s de facto leader RZA, we are then treated to the album’s first song “Lesson Learn’d”. Here, Inspectah Deck teams up with Redman to remind you that they never play around over a hard hitting boom bap instrumental & I also didn’t mind Deck’s jab at the Once Upon a Time in Shaolin purchaser Martin Shkreli near the end of his verse, given that he’s an evil culture vulture. The track “Fast & Furious” is pretty much Raekwon & Hue Hef getting mafioso over a menacing instrumental & while Hue was just ok, Rae definitely made up for it. After a short instrumental interlude that takes it back the group’s early days with a Kung Fu sample, we are then lead into the next song If Time’s Money (Fly Navigation). It’s pretty much a Method Man solo cut, but he makes up for his last album The Meth Lab by hopping on an instrumental you can really kick back to & spitting a long yet charismatic verse.

The track “Frozen” may have a lazy hook as it recycles a couple Rae & Ghostface Killah lines from “4 Horsemen”, but the verses from Meth about pushing the limit as well as the vivid storytelling from Killah Priest & the lethally angry Chris Rivers make up for it some keys along with a bass guitar & a regular guitar. After a 45 second skit with a soulful instrumental in the background, we then get into the next song “Pearl Harbor”. Here, the late Sean Price gets with Meth & RZA to confrontationally spit bars like being the greatest & telling your crew to wear shorts with an image of you on it over some gritty horns as well as some keys & an organ. I also love how RZA brings back his Bobby Digital alter ego during his verse & the one line he makes midway through his part about how he can turn Lady Gaga heterosexual again was pretty hilarious. The track “People Say” sees Deck, Meth, Rae & Masta Killa linking back up with Redman alongside to get braggadocious over a very soulful boom bap beat. “Family” is a 1 minute skit containing a sample of a mother talking about family (hence the title) & the next song “Why Why Why” is basically a conscious RZA solo cut over some funky bass & some decently sung vocals from Swnkah.

The track “G’d Up” is basically Meth & R-Mean talking about being just that & the beat is pretty luscious, but the Mzee Jones hook sounds like a cut-rate T-Pain. The song “If What You Say Is True” sees Cappadonna along with GZA & Masta Killa getting with Streetlife to spit some abrasive battle rhymes over some sinister horns. The “skit” Saga is less of a skit & more of RZA spitting about haters not wanting the Clan grow & even a cool reference to the Flint water crisis over some beautiful strings. The 91 second “Hood Go Bang!” has a decent Redman hook, but then lone verse that Method Man delivers nearly has the same rhyme scheme throughout that it’s crazy. The final song in the track listing is “My Only One”, where Cappa along with The Abbott & Tony Starks rap about their boos over a grimy instrumental. The next 2 tracks are just a 2 minute interlude with a funky instrumental & long spoken word sample & then a 45 second monologued outro from the RZA over the same instrumental as the one in the intro.

At the end of the day, this was a lot more consistent than the last few group albums. It feels more like a compilation considering the fact that there’s only 1 or 2 group members on a number of tracks & U-God not being on it at all, but everyone including almost all the features go & Mathematics probably made it the Clan’s most well produced album since The W

Score: 4/5

Ghostface Killah – “More Fish” review

Almost 9 months after dropping a modern classic with FishScale, Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah is closing out 2006 by delivering a follow-up to it. Even though the fittingly titled opener “Ghost Is Back” has the exact same instrumental as “Juice (Know the Ledge)” by Eric B. & Rakim, he doesn’t sound bad over it at all. However, it makes me wanna go back & listen to the original. The song “Street Opera” has a soulful beat from Fantom of the Beat & I really love the chemistry between Ghost & his son Sun God on here. The track “Block Rock” has a grimy beat from Madlib & it goes PERFECTLY with the street raps that Ghost’s delivers throughout the song. The song “Blue Armor” with Ghost’s Wu Block cohort Sheek Louch sees the 2 getting hardcore over a rock-tinged beat & the penultimate track “Alex (Stolen Script)” vividly tells a story about a movie script being stolen over a funky beat from his DOOMSTARKS cohort MF DOOM. The album then closes out with a follow-up to “Back Like That” from Ghost’s last album & I like the opening verse from Kanye West. Especially when he starts it off by twisting up Ghost’s verse from “Ice Cream” by Raekwon. Honestly, this is a decent leftovers/b-sides album. A couple tracks on here were pulled from other releases that came out just before this did & while I understand that Ghost was trying to get his entire Theodore Unit side-crew out there, but I feel like the features from them were kinda all over the place

Score: 2.5/5