Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Full Ghostface Killah Project (Repost)

Part 1

The most consistent member of the Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah, definitely has a KEY ear for production, not to mention a unique yet entertaining way with words. Beginning with his 1996 solo debut, "Ironman," this project for my #5 favorite MC of all time will be very fun to create, as most of his albums will be the tale of two; one half you'll get something related to a specific topic and the other half he may not be talking about anything in particular (which is NOT a knock on him at all), and I'll just chop it up to the simple yet effective "tight beats and rhymes" format. And like MOST of the albums I own, this one holds a STRONG nostalgic vibe with me, as I received this as a "semi surprise" Christmas gift in 1996, and I own that same CD too! 
I also recall trying to get my friend Andre to trade me this on cassette for Mobb Deep's "Hell On Earth," lol, and this was about a few weeks before I started actively collecting CDs. I had no problem with Mobb's album (which I copped a few weeks later), I just couldn't wait to get this Ghostface joint! With all this being said, let's get to it!

Release date- October 29, 1996

All tracks were produced by The RZA except one.

1. Iron Maiden (Featuring Raekwon & Cappadonna)
Beginning with this classic opener, we would see a continuous presence of Rae and Cappa all through this album. I remember going crazy when I first heard this song, and I get those similar vibes when I listen to it today. And regarding Ghost, he uttered a line in this one that I'm STILL trying to figure out to this day (lol): "my telephone watch'll leave bartenders topless." What, lol???!!! Dope song nonetheless. 5 out of 5

2. Wildflower
On this scathing track towards "the wrong type of woman." should I say scandalous, we see another side of Ghost that I don't think we have ever seen to this point. Some of the lines were harsh and funny, but you can't help but be entertained. 4 out of 5

3. The Faster Blade (Featuring Raekwon)
A solo spot for Raekwon. Sounded like it *could've* been on the "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" album, and much like Ghost had a solo spot on that album (Wisdom Body), Rae gets similar treatment here. 4 out of 5

4. 260 (Featuring Raekwon)
We get some form of a story for this song (and please don't ask me to attempt to try to figure out the topic, lol), and it's just another dose of the awesome chemistry between Rae and Ghost over a slammin' RZA production. 4 out of 5

5. Assassination Day (Featuring The RZA, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa)
To this day, I still don't know why Ghost was nowhere to be found on this track, and why Inspectah Deck was not credited for his appearance. Other than that, this song is dope as hell. 4 out of 5

6. Poisonous Darts
A two minute and some change track here, with Ghost delivering the usual. This track hit a few mixtapes prior to this album's release, also titled as "The Sky's High." 4 out of 5

7. Winter Warz (Featuring Raekwon, Cappadonna, U-God and Masta Killa)
This no doubt was the best track on the "Don't Be A Menace" soundtrack. Everyone did their thing on this one, but the true star/show stealer here was Cappadonna, as he delivers his best verse ever. Classic. 5 out of 5

8. Box In Hand (Featuring Raekwon & Method Man)
Man, the future Wu-Massacre team absolutely kills RZA's banger of a track, especially Meth, as he just lights things up with his closing verse. 5 out of 5

9. Fish (Featuring Raekwon & Cappadonna, Produced by True Master)
Lol, nothing about this song touches on or references anything dealing with "fish," lol, but it's all good. It's still a True Master produced banger. 4 out of 5

10. Camay (Featuring Raekwon & Cappadonna)
A smooth sample by the late Teddy Pendergrass carries this one (in addition to the MCs), and it's a pretty dope track for the ladies, Wu-Tang style. 4 out of 5

11. Daytona 500 (Featuring Raekwon & Cappadonna)

This is another track I went crazy over when I first heard it. RZA's beat knocks as Rae, Ghost, and Cappa fire lyrical darts with aggressive ease. 5 out of 5

12. Motherless Child (Featuring Raekwon)
One of the highlights on the "Sunset Park" soundtrack. We get another look into Ghost's storytelling prowess on this classic. 5 out of 5

13. Black Jesus (Featuring Raekwon & U-God)
Another RZA produced banger. U-God absolutely kills this one, in what was one of his best verses ever. I also read in a review on this album that this song was missing the obvious "check out the rap kingpin, the black Jesus" sample, but it doesn't hurt the song at all. 5 out of 5

14. After The Smoke Is Clear (Featuring The RZA, Raekwon and The Delphonics)
Looking at The Delphonics appearing here, you would think this would be one for the ages, and honestly, it isn't. Everything here, including the beat, the lyrics from Rae, Ghost, and RZA, plus Delphonics' sung hook ALL comes across as phoned in. Clearly one of the worst songs on the album, but still decent for what it is.. 3 out of 5

15. All That I Got Is You (Featuring Mary J. Blige)

The word on this song is that either Mary J. didn't give permission for her vocals to be used or it wasn't cleared. With all due respect, this song is still amazing, with or without Mary's vocals, and it's probably the most heartfelt song of Ghost's career. Ghost's story of how things were for him growing up must be heard to be appreciated. 5 out of 5

16. The Soul Controller 
This was cut from future pressings of the album due to an uncleared sample (which would plague future albums from Ghost), but I'm thankful to still have to original pressing, because it's one of my favorite tracks on this album. I especially love the way RZA switches the beat during Ghost's third verse. 4 out of 5

*17. Marvel (Featuring The RZA)
This was a bonus track for those who copped the CD (remember those days, when the CD most of the time would get the bonus tracks and the cassette didn't, lol). It's your standard Wu-Tang fare, although RZA drops some serious lines in his verse referencing the womb. 4 out of 5

I know there are quite a lot of "4 out of 5" ratings here, but due to the consistent strong ratings for the songs, the nostalgic vibe (which is STRONG), and my long time support for the Wu, this album gets the 5 star rating from me. Yes, it wasn't the album that OB4CL was, and it didn't try to be either. This was the first of a stellar discography from Ghost and it would only be up from here.

Part 2
"Supreme Clientele" 

Wow, to say I REALLY anticipated Ghost's sophomore album is a supreme understatement. I literally counted down the days till its release, and when February 8, 2000 came, I was at my local Circuit City to cop it, literally running into the store, lol. (The original release date of January 25th was changed.) Much like his "Ironman" debut in 1996, this album holds a very STRONG nostalgic vibe with me. It was definitely in heavy rotation back in the day, and it remains that way in present day 2013. One more fact: This album (as well as Ghost's third album) was improperly sequenced, much to the detriment of some fans. I shook my head at it, but it didn't bother me too much.
Release date- February 8, 2000

1. Intro
A brief "Ironman" clip sets the tone for the rest of the album.

2. Nutmeg (Featuring The RZA, Produced by Black Moes-Art)
Admittedly, most of his lines in this song (and others as we shall see) leave you wondering just what the hell he's talking about, BUT, the key factor in all of it is that he delivers the lines with SUCH flair, charisma, and gusto that you instantly forgo questioning the meaning behind said lines. Ghost's two verses are great, along with RZA's tight closing. 5 out of 5

3. One (Hook by T.M.F., Produced by Juju of the Beatnuts)
This is one banger right here. The number "one" isn't really hinted at until the end, but overall that doesn't matter because the song itself it's dope. 4 out of 5

4. Saturday Nite (Produced by Carlos Broady)
This SHORT song sees Ghost flexing his storytelling muscles again, as we get the somewhat typical Saturday night activities song. Tight as hell. 4.5 out of 5

5. Ghost Deini (Featuring Superb, Produced by The Blaqesmiths)
Superb's closing verse was decent, but man, Ghost's two verses are just SO amped over this pounding beat. You almost wished he had a third one! 4.5 out of 5

6. Apollo Kids (Featuring Raekwon, Produced by Hassan)

Just like I seemed to do every time I hear a new Ghostface song, I remember going crazy when I first heard this. Ghost sounds SO inspired on this track that any continuous words can't do it justice. SO tight all around. 5 out of 5

7. The Grain (Produced by and featuring The RZA)
This seemed like a song that was tailor made for an Ol Dirty Bastard appearance, but sadly he was not on this one. Although it comes off as a song that could be played for laughs, Ghost and RZA still come hard with their verses. Don't go against the grain indeed. 4 out of 5

8. Buck 50 (Featuring Method Man, Redman and Cappadonna, Produced by The RZA)
Cappa might've had a decent but disappointing verse in this one, but overall this is another tight song in a series of them on this album. 4.5 out of 5

9. Mighty Healthy (Produced By: Mathematics)
If there was ever a song where the actual SOUND should make it unbearable, but instead it comes off as the complete opposite, it's this Mathematics produced banger. It sounds like something that was taken off a dubbed TDK blank tape and transferred, but still, Ghost's performance here cannot be denied. 4.5 out of 5

10. Woodrow the Base Head (Skit)
Still not sure just who the hell Woodrow is, lol, but this was a somewhat funny skit, notable for Woodrow (directly or indirectly) calling himself "a crackhead" and Ghost calling him out on it.

11. Stay True (Hook by 60 Second Assassin, Produced by Inspectah Deck)
Originally titled "Deck's Beat," this is another brief but dope song. The beat itself was also used by Inspectah Deck on his "Uncontrolled Substance" album (Elevation). 4 out of 5

12. We Made It (Featuring Superb, Chip Banks and Hell Razah, Produced by Carlos Broady)
Your standard "we made it big" track, with the Wu-Tang twist. 4 out of 5

13. Stroke of Death (Featuring The RZA and Soloman Childs, Produced by The RZA)
Apparently RZA was just messing around in the studio and this beat was created almost by accident and when you listen to it, you can tell. Speaking of RZA, he absolutely ends this one with a bang too. 3.5 out of 5

14. Iron's Theme - Intermission
This leads into......

15. Malcolm (Produced By: Choo the Specialist)
Although this very good song begins with a Malcolm X audio clip, it respectively doesn't focus on him at all. It completely goes in a different direction, but still effective. 4 out of 5

16. Who Would You F*** (Skit)
Another hilarious skit, with the crew talking about which female MCs they would "crush," lol.

17. Child's Play (Produced By: The RZA)
A story about a girl Ghost had a thing for back in the day. Quite funny too. 3 out of 5

18. Cherchez La Ghost (Featuring U-God and Madam Majestic, Produced by Carlos Bess)

This is a Wu-Tang party classic right here and it received a decent amount of airplay back in 2000. 4 out of 5

19. Wu Banga 101 (Featuring Raekwon, GZA, Cappadonna & Masta Killa, Produced by Mathematics)
If there was a class being taught in college on the Wu, this song would be played. 4 out of 5

20. Clyde Smith (Skit)
This apparently was Raekwon with his voice digitally altered for obvious reasons I guess. He also calls out 50 Cent for his words on the "How To Rob" track.

21. Iron's Theme - Conclusion

Wow, Ghostface was on a creative roll at this point in his career, and it showed with this awesome album, basically the best  (hip hop album) of 2000. At one point, I went back and forth about whether I liked this album more than his debut, but after thinking about it for so long, I do prefer his debut more over this album, but not by much, respectively. And believe it or not, I still go back and forth about that today. Ghost continued to show what he was capable of, and "Supreme Clientele" is a great example of that. And sadly, this album has been out of print for the longest time, but for those (myself included) who still owns the original version, cherish it forever!

Rating- 5 stars

Part 3
"Bulletproof Wallets"

"Bulletproof Wallets" is one of the most unique album titles I've ever seen, and I still find myself wondering what Ghost was aiming for with the title. I guess I shouldn't (continue) to put additional thought into it. Either way, I anticipated this one a lot and was a little surprised to see him dropping another one a year after the seminal "Supreme Clientele." I bought this album the week it was released (Friday, November 16th, 2001 to be exact, along with my first DVD player, lol). And unfortunately, the original pressing of this album had an incorrect tracklist and sequencing, as a few of the songs that were listed were clearly not on the album. Ghost would later leave Epic Records as a result, in addition to other things (more on that later).

Release date- November 13, 2001

1. Intro
We get the opening with Rae and Ghost. Ghost notably points out some of the trends that he pioneered, specifically the "wallabee" shoe, one of his trademarks.

2. Maxine (Featuring Raekwon, Produced by The RZA)
The album starts off with a bang, no question. "Maxine" is the obvious subject of this ongoing story over a lively RZA track. 4 out of 5

3. Flowers (Featuring Raekwon, Method Man, and Superb, Produced by The RZA)
Very good collaboration here, with all four MCs flowing nicely over another lively RZA track. 4 out of 5

4. Never Be The Same Again (Featuring Raekwon and Carl Thomas, Produced by Lilz & PLX)

This wouldn't be the first time that Ghost attempted commercial success. Another Wu-Tang styled song meant for the ladies. 3 out of 5

5. Teddy (Skit)

6. Theodore (Featuring Trife and Twiz, Produced by Mathematics)
It just hit me that the reason behind the title of this track is the dawning of "Theodore Unit," which Ghost would later name his crew, along with Trife and Twiz as additional members. The song here is pretty dope too. 4 out of 5

7. Ghost Showers (Featuring Madame Majestic, Produced by Chris Liggio & Tally Galbreth)

This song was MADE for the radio, but instead, at this point in 2001, the only time I heard this on the radio was during one of the mix shows on one of the respective stations in my area. Ms. Majestic sounded different (and better) on here than she did on "Cherchez La Ghost," but it worked. 5 out of 5

8. Strawberry (Featuring Killa Sin, Produced by Mathematics)
Killarmy's Killa Sin appeared on this song, which comes off as more of an interlude. Not sure what the purpose of this was. 2.5 out of 5

9. The Forest (Featuring Raekwon, Produced by The Alchemist)
Ghost's storytelling is at the forefront again, as he uses selected cartoon characters in a lyrically creative way. 5 out of 5

10. The Juks (Featuring Superb and Trife, Produced by The Alchemist)
Very dope here. Trife completely steals the show, and yes, he did it on a song with Ghost. 4 out of 5

11. Walking Through The Darkness (Featuring Tekitha, Produced by The RZA)
Again, not sure of what the purpose of this was. 2.5 out of 5

12. Jealously (Skit)
The name of this says it all.

13. The Hilton (Featuring Raekwon, Produced by Carlos Broady)
Another track where the chemistry between Rae and Ghost is displayed, and its done so over this Carlos Broady produced banger. 4 out of 5

14. Ice (Interlude)
Those familiar with Cam'ron's "Come Home With Me" (its title track) will recognize this beat, produced by the Heatmakerz. Not sure what happened that made both MCs get the same beat, but it's all good.

15. Love Session (Featuring Ruff Endz, Produced by Underdawgz)
We get the second song aimed at the female audience, as this was more or less a continuation of "Never Be The Same Again." 3 out of 5

16. Street Chemistry (Featuring Prodigal Sunn & Trife, Produced by The Alchemist)
Good God, if there ever was a song that was TOO short but should've been a little longer, it's this one. This is one of my favorite Alchemist beats, and all three MCs kill it completely. And JUST as you're getting into it, the song abruptly ends, smh. 4.5 out of 5

Overall, while receiving considerable less buzz than "Supreme Clientele," this was an excellent album from Ghost. And speaking of that buzz, it's essentially what led to Ghost's departure from Epic Records to Def Jam, as there was literally no promotion for this album in addition to the lack of buzz. Also, "The Sun," (which featured Slick Rick and Raekwon) "The Watch," and "Good Times" didn't make the album for various reasons (probably sample clearance) and had those songs been in place of "Never Be The Same Again," "Love Session," "Strawberry," and "Walking Through The Darkness," the rating would be different. As it stands, it still receives a solid 4 star rating from me, and it's probably one of  Ghost's most underrated efforts.

 Part 4
"The Pretty Toney Album"

Ghost's first album (4th overall) on Def Jam Records was a highly anticipated album by me. One thing about Ghost's albums is that you go into it just knowing you're going to get something great, as expectations are always high regarding what he's going to say and how good the production will be. This was also the second time I bought a Ghostface album on the day of its release.

Release date- April 20, 2004

1. Intro
Ghost is giving an interview of sorts. Towards the end, he's asked about the status of the Wu-Tang Clan. He says everyone was working on their solo projects, but they would also return with another group album and "smash the world." Well, the thought was nice, however, "8 Diagrams," which arrived in late 2007, didn't exactly smash the world, but that's another story.

2. Biscuits (Featuring Trife da God, Produced by True Master)
Talk about an energetic start to an album. Ghost and Trife come hard over this TIGHT track by True Master. 4 out of 5

3. Kunta Fly S*** (Produced By: The RZA)
Why Ghost, why was this song a COMPLETE MINUTE considering how GOOD it is. 3.5 out of 5

4. Beat The Clock (Produced By: Minnesota)
From the one minute "Kunta Fly S***" we head straight into another banger for sure. Can't do nothing but nod your head to this. 4 out of 5

5. Metal Lungies (Featuring Sheek Louch & Styles P, Produced by No I.D.)
In what was likely the first collaboration between the Wu and D-Block, the chemistry between the two groups was awesome and that certainly was the case here. Ghost starts it off hype as hell, then Sheek and Styles straight up kill their verses. This wouldn't be the last appearance of D-Block on this album. Another fact: This same beat, although changed up a little, was used on 50 Cent's "The Massacre" on a song titled "I Don't Need Em," but 50 doesn't nearly do that beat justice like these three. 5 out of 5

6. Bathtub (Skit)
Like I need to describe this, lol.

7. Save Me Dear (Produced By: Ghostface)
Over a nice Freddie Scott sample, courtesy of "(You) Got What I Need," this is another very good song. 4 out of 5

8. It's Over (Produced By: K-Def)
I like the way David Porter's "I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over" was used on this one. Ghost sounds completely at home over very soulful production, which I feel is the point of most of these songs, and the way he starts this off, by saying this song is about "when you going through mad things and you just can't seem to get out of it," is something we can all relate to. 4 out of 5

9. Keisha's House (Skit)
Quite the funny skit. Ghost's albums have the funniest skits out of all the Wu-Tang solo albums.

10. Tush (Featuring Missy Elliott, Produced by D. Trotman & Dub Dot Z)

We get Ghost's obvious attempt at commercial success, and you can tell with him linking up with Missy and the entire vibe of this track. Fairly decent, but not one of his best. 3 out of 5

11. Last Night (Skit)
Remember BDP's "Super Hoe?" If you like that joint, you'll like this skit!

12. Holla (Produced By: Ghostface)
Man, Ghost took the classic "La La (Means I Love You)" by The Delfonics, sprinkled a dose of Wu-Tang supreme on it, and created a TIGHT piece of work, even down to the hook. 4.5 out of 5

13. Ghostface (Produced By: Digga)
Influenced by Kurtis Blow's "AJ Scratch," Ghost shows it is he who gets the party started right and who's the "king when it come to these songs." 3.5 out of 5

14. Be This Way (Produced By: Nottz)
Ghost says we love a lot of things in the hood, but time goes on, and if things don't change, they'll stay the same. That sums up this song in detail and it's very good. 4 out of 5

15. The Letter (Skit)

16. Tooken Back (Featuring Jacki-O, Produced by Nottz)
Ghost does indeed take things back on this very good duet with the forgotten Jacki-O. 3.5 out of 5

17. Run (Featuring Jadakiss, Produced by The RZA)
D-Block rep Jadakiss shows up to bless this awesome track with Ghost, and the Wu-Tang/D-Block chemistry continues even as the album is on its way to closing. 5 out of 5

18. Love (Featuring Musiq Soulchild, Produced by No I.D.)
Ghost professes his love for a number of things on this great album closer. "Love my last album (Bulletproof Wallets) even though the shit went wood." 4.5 out of 5

When I first played this, I remember liking it A LOT at the time. It's still another excellent album in Ghost's discography, and some may say this is his most underrated album, but I would respectively disagree.

Rating- 4 stars

Part 5

Two years after "The Pretty Toney Album," Ghost returned with a vengeance with his 5th solo album, and much like his previous releases, I was really anticipating this one, although I didn't cop it until a few months after its release.

Release date- March 28, 2006

1. The Return of Clyde Smith (Intro)
This takes us right into.....

2. Shakey Dog (Produced By: Lewis Parker)
Ghost's excellent storytelling starts this album off with a bang. He even mentions at the end "to be continued," and thus far, this story hasn't been continued, lol. It's all good, TIGHT opener though. 5 out of 5

3. Kilo (Featuring Raekwon, Produced by MoSS)
Fat Joe, Cam'ron, & Clipse would later sample this one, but there's no question that Rae and Ghost's version is superior. 4 out of 5

4. The Champ (Produced By: Just Blaze)
Wow, if there was ever a Just Blaze produced BANGER, this is it. Beginning with a Rocky III influenced intro, in which it's assumed that Ghost hadn't been hungry since "Supreme Clientele." I agree with that slightly, however, Ghost definitely didn't half ass his 3rd and 4th albums. But back to this track, Ghost absolutely kills it, sounding as raw as ever. The Champ indeed! 5 out of 5

5. Major Operation (Skit)
This VERY brief skit leads us RIGHT into.....

6. 9 Milli Bros. (Produced By: MF Doom)
I didn't want to say "featuring Wu-Tang Clan" for obvious reasons. This was another awesome song, as we hadn't heard all 9 members (with Cappadonna along for the ride) on the same track in such a long time. That chemistry was still there. 5 out of 5

7. Beauty Jackson (Produced By; J Dilla)
Brief song here over a decent J. Dilla track. 3 out of 5

8. Heart Street Directions (Skit)
Ghost gives a young lady "directions," but he delivers them in a sexually explicit, yet humorous, fashion, lol.

9. Columbus Exchange" (Skit) / Crack Spot (Produced By: Crack Val)
More storytelling from Ghost over this apply titled joint. 4 out of 5

10. R.A.G.U. (Featuring Raekwon, Produced By: Pete Rock)
Rae and Ghost united (again), nuff said. Their chemistry, one of the best in hip hop history, still remains. 4 out of 5

11. Big Mouth Kid (Skit)
A kid with big (and bad) mouth highlights this, which was the perfect way to lead us into the next track.

12. Whip You With A Strap (Produced By: J Dilla)Ghost gives details about how (and why) he was spanked by his mom back in the day, when he was bad, lol. 4 out of 5
13. Back Like That (Featuring Ne-Yo, Produced by Xtreme)
At one point I didn't care too much for this song, mostly because I felt Ne-Yo was the last person who should've sung this hook. But with hindsight being 20/20, I've mellowed up to over the past few years and it's actually a decent song, more for the ladies though. 3.5 out of 5

14. Be Easy (Featuring Trife, Produced by Pete Rock)

Fun type track with Ghost and Trife. 4 out of 5

15. Clipse of Doom (Featuring Trife, Produced by MF Doom)
Ghost and Trife go hard on this dope MF Doom produced cut. 3.5 out of 5

16. Jellyfish (Featuring Cappadonna, Trife and Shawn Wigs, Produced by MF Doom)
Another MF Doom banger. This 4 man collabo brings about a mid 90s vibe. More dopeness. 4 out of 5

17. Dogs of War (Featuring Raekwon, Cappadonna and Sun God, Produced by Pete Rock)
Pete Rock again shows up for another tight beat, with this one being his best on the album. I especially love how the beat changes for Rae's verse. Overall, all 4 MCs represent here. 5 out of 5

18. Barbershop (Produced By: Studio Steve)
This could've been viewed as a skit. Again, quite funny here, and brief too. 3 out of 5

19. Ms. Sweetwater (Skit)

20. Big Girl (Produced By: Ghostface)
Another one about the ladies. Pretty good, especially Ghostface's soul driven track. 3.5 out of 5

21. Underwater (Produced By: MF Doom)
Dope music under water. I believe that's what we get here. Again, pretty good. 4 out of 5

22. The Ironman Takeover (Skit)

23. Momma (Featuring Megan Rochell, Produced by Sean Cane & LV)
Anyone who appreciates and love their mother will no doubt love this song. 5 out of 5

24. Three Bricks (Featuring The Notorious B.I.G. & Raekwon, Produced by Cool & Dre, Co-Produced by Sean "Diddy" Combs)
I personally didn't think Biggie's vocals were needed for this track, as the use of posthumous Biggie vocals were somewhat overused at this point. 3 out of 5

This no doubt was Ghost's best album since 2000's "Supreme Clientele" and with it Ghost was solidified as the most consistent and hard working member of the Wu-Tang Clan. The continuous skits are the ONLY flaws in this otherwise excellent album, also one of 2006's best. We would see more from Ghost that year.

Rating- 4.5 stars

 Part 6
"More Fish"

 Ghost dropped two albums in one year. Off the bat, this is NOT "Fishscale 2" at all. It's more or less a collection/compilation of songs that didn't make "Fishscale." Does it hold up today? We will definitely take a look, as I haven't played this is a long time.

Release date- December 12. 2006

1. Ghost Is Back (Produced By: Ghostface & J-Love)
Ghost uses the instrumental of Eric B. & Rakim's classic "Know The Ledge" and gives it strong Wu-Tang vibe, almost in a freestyle format. 4 out of 5

2. Miguel Sanchez (Trife da God & Sun God, Produced by Fantom of the Beats)
Trife da God and Sun God step up their storytelling efforts here, on the heels of a drug lord. 4 out of 5

3. Guns N Razors (Featuring Killa Sin, Cappadonna & Trife da God, Produced by MF Doom)
More dope storytelling here, almost like a movie of sorts in which they're on the run. 4 out of 5

4. Outta Town Shit (Produced By: Lewis Parker)
Ghost and his wild adventures outside of NY, lol. 3.5 out of 5

5. Good (Featuring Trife da God and Mr. Maygreen, Produced by P-Nut & Koolade)
All is good with Theodore Unit on this track. 3.5 out of 5

6. Street Opera (Featuring Sun God, Produced by Fantom of the Beats)
We get the street lyrics, dope beat, and the opera style hook. Nice right here. 4 out of 5

7. Block Rock (Produced By: Madlib)
Madlib did a good job creating this "hip hop rock" styled beat for Ghost to just wild out on. 3.5 out of 5

8. Miss Info Celebrity Drama (Skit)

9. Pokerface (Featuring Shawn Wigs, Produced by K. Slack)
The theme of this one: play your cards right. 3.5 out of 5

10. Greedy Bitches (Featuring Redman and Shawn Wigs, Produced by Anthony Acid)
Well, the title of this song speaks for itself. 3 out of 5

11. Josephine (Featuring Trife da God and The Willie Cottrell Band, Produced by Hi-Tek)
The trials and tribulations of one Josephine. Well told. 4 out of 5

12. Grew Up Hard (Soloman Childs and Trife da God, Produced by Anthony Acid)
Title based track here, done good by Soloman and Trife. 4 out of 5

13. Blue Armor (Featuring Sheek Louch, Produced by Fantom of the Beats)
More Wu-Tang/D-Block goodness. 4 out of 5

14. You Know I'm No Good (Featuring Amy Winehouse, Produced by Mark Ronson)
Another Ghost track here "going in" as far as the "nasty girl" is concerned. The late Amy Winehouse is great on this hook. 3.5 out of 5

15. Alex (Stolen Script) Produced By: MF Doom
More storytelling from Ghost. Good as usual. 3.5 out of 5

16. Gotta Hold On (Shawn Wigs and Eamon, Produced by Anthony Acid)
Wigs and Eamon provide a very good song. Gotta hold on indeed. 3.5 out of 5

17. Back Like That (Remix) Featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo, Produced by Xtreme
This remix is largely better than the original that's for sure. 3.5 out of 5

After revisiting this, well, my feelings are still the same, in that it's a very good release, but definitely nothing spectacular, and respectively, with the possible exceptions of "Blue Armor" and the "Back Like That (Remix)," none of these were good enough for the excellent "Fishscale".

Rating- 3.5 stars

Part 7
"The Big Doe Rehab" 

Coming one year after "Fishscale" and "More Fish," Ghost returned again, and like I always seem to type in the beginning, I anticipated this one a lot, copping it on its release date, along with Scarface's "Made." Will the excellence continue? Let's take a look back.

Release date- December 4, 2007

1. At The Cabana (Skit)

2. Toney Sigel A.K.A. the Barrel Brothers (Featuring Beanie Sigel, Produced by Sean C & LV for the Hitmen)
After the activities at the Cabana, we head right into the hardcore with this Beanie Sigel assisted song. Ghost is his usual self here, but Sigel nearly steals the show, as he goes in even as the song is ending. 4 out of 5

3. Yolanda's House (Featuring Raekwon & Method Man, Produced by Ant-Live)
This young lady's house is the running plot on this 3 man Wu story. Funny and witty. 4 out of 5

4. We Celebrate (Featuring Kid Capri)
I could've done without Kid Capri on the hook (with all due respect to him), but other than that, this was a very good song, and it could've made the radio too, but in 2007, you RARELY heard anything Wu related on the radio (and TV for that matter). Time to celebrate indeed. 3.5 out of 5

5. Walk Around (Produced By: Anthony Acid)
I like the Little Milton sample on this one, courtesy of "Packed Up and Took My Mind." Standard Ghost fare here. 4 out of 5

6. Yapp City (Featuring Trife da God and Sun God, Produced by Scram Jones)
It's far from "yapping" on this song, as Ghost hooks up with fellow Theodore Unit members on this decent track. 3.5 out of 5

7. White Linen Affair (Toney Awards) Featuring Shawn Wigs, Produced by Scram Jones & Frequency
This fictional piece follows Ghost and Wigs at the creatively titled "Toney Awards," which was attended by a LARGE number of celebrities, mostly hip hop and R&B artists. Ghost is superb as the MC for this affair, and Wigs doesn't do bad either, closing the song on a funny yet good note. 4.5 out of 5

8. Supa GFK (Produced By: Ghostface & Anthony Acid)
Over a well done "Superman Lover" sample, Ghost brings a fresh vibe to a classic previously sampled by Redman, as well as Compton's Most Wanted. 4 out of 5

9. Rec-Room Therapy (Featuring Raekwon & U-God, Produced by Baby Grand)
4 nice verses (2 from Ghost, 1 from Rae and 1 from U-God) over a system rattling beat. I always felt U-God had the best verse on this one. 4 out of 5

10. The Prayer (Skit)

I1. I'll Die For You (Featuring Sean C & LV)
Deep song here, as Ghost (almost emotionally) goes into details about who and what he would die for and why. 5 out of 5

12. Paisley Darts (Featuring Raekwon, Method Man, Cappadonna, Trife da God & Sun God, Produced by Sean C & LV)
All 5 of these MCs come NICELY over another system ratting beat, especially Ghost, who effectively uses the letter "B" in a well thought out, alliteration styled verse. 5 out of 5

13. Shakey Dog Starring Lolita (Featuring Raekwon, Produced by Sean C & LV)
Hold on now, this may (or may not) be part 2 to "Shakey Dog" from the "Fishscale" album. Either way, while very good, it's not better than its predecessor. 3.5 out of 5

14. ! (Produced By: Davey Chegwidden)
I call this a "Mexican Musical Massacre", lol. Nothing more than a skit.

15. Killa Lipstick (Featuring Method Man & Masta Killa, Produced by Ghostface & Anthony Acid)
Another mellow joint for the ladies, as evident by the title. 4 out of 5

16. Slow Down (Featuring Chrisette Michele, Produced by Syience)
I really like this one a lot, as Ms. Michele sings nicely as the beat slows down when she begins the hook, and Ghost brings things back as his verse starts. Great stuff here. 4 out of 5

Well, we have another excellent album from Ghost, which is the usual. Although it was one of the best albums in 2007, it was HUGELY slept on, plus there was no buzz for it unfortunately. Ghost also wasn't pleased that most fans were illegally downloading the album instead of buying it, and that greatly affected the sales of it, as this album allegedly has moved 35,000 units to date. It may be his second most underrated album being 2001's "Bulletproof Wallets."

Rating- 4.5 stars 

Part 8
"Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry" 

2009 brought about a few changes, and that's the case here; Ghost decided to do an "R&B inspired" album. At the time, I was intrigued and I certainly knew Ghost could pull something like this off. I only played it once since I initially bought it in late 2009, so let's check this out.

Release date- September 29, 2009

1. Not Your Average Girl (Featuring Shareefa, Produced by Scram Jones)
I always thought Shareefa was kinda underrated. She does her thing on the hook, while Ghost describes his type of girl is "not the average." 4 out of 5

2. Do Over (Featuring Raheem "Radio" DeVaughn, Produced by Mahogany and The Kaliphat)
We get another underrated R&B artist on this one, in the form of Raheem DeVaughn, and like Shareefa on the opener, he does well on the hook. After all of the things Ghost has done, relationship wise, all he's looking for is a "do over." Gotta respect that. 4 out of 5

3. Baby (Featuring Raheem "Radio" DeVaughn, Produced by Austin "Watts" Garrick & Rashad "Ringo" Smith)
I really like the beat to this song. The hook was ok, could've been better if it hadn't been "autotuned." Three bangers in a row. 4.5 out of 5

4. Lonely (Featuring Jack Knight, Produced by Sean C & LV)
I'm sure we have all had that time in our lives when we were lonely, and it's NOT a good feeling. In Ghost's case, his mistakes have him on the outside looking in while another man is with his lady. Ouch! That's a tough pill to swallow indeed. Pretty good song overall. 4 out of 5

5. Stapleton Sex (Produced By: Sean C & LV)
This is about as raw as you can get, and the title says it all for the most part. 3 out of 5

6. Stay (Produced By: Skymark)
Another apply titled song here, as Ghost tries to convince his lady to stay, all done over the old school vibe provided by Skymark. 4 out of 5

7. Paragraphs of Love (Featuring Vaughn Anthony & Estelle, Produced by Bei Maejor & Tim Bosky)
Two words: Wu poetry, and it's nice in it's own way.  4 out of 5

8. Guest House (Featuring Fabolous & Shareefa, Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)
It all goes down at the guest house, and with Ghost and Fab on this one, and Shareefa along for the ride,  I like it A LOT. It's quite the interesting story too. 4 out of 5

9. Let's Stop Playin (Featuring John Legend, Produced by Sean C & LV)
No time for games, nuff said, according to Ghost, and listen to him break it down with Mr. Legend on the hook. 3.5 out of 5

10. Forever (Produced By: Clyde & Harry)
Undying love = forever. 4 out of 5

11. I'll Be That (Featuring Adrienne Bailon, Produced by L.T. Moe)
When your lady (or man) tell you he/she will be anything you want them to be, in the bedroom no less, that can only mean very intimate moments. 3.5 out of 5

12. Goner (Featuring Lloyd, Produced by Sean C & LV)
You can almost say this was a continuation of the previous song. Either way, it's good. 3 out of 5

13. She's a Killah (Featuring Ron Browz, Produced by Anthony Acid)
This is Ghost's type of woman and it's explored in detail, over a thumping Anthony Acid production and Ron Browz's hype hook. 4 out of 5

14. Back Like That (Remix) Featuring Kanye West & Ne-Yo, Produced by Xtreme
I've already spoke on this one. I like it better than the original. Not sure why this was included here considering it was on the "More Fish" album. 3.5 out of 5

Wow, this album is a LOT better than I initially gave it credit for. True story: This was my second time listening to this since I bought it in late 2009, and it was VERY slept on when it came out. I guess not too many fans were ready for this type of album from Ghost. Be that as it may, this is excellent and I commend Ghostface for trying something different and succeeding. I increase my 3.5 star rating to a solid 4 stars.

Part 9
"Apollo Kids" 

I feel this album was announced out of nowhere, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. After I saw the official tracklist for the album, I put in my pre-order (via and anticipated it as much as I did Ghost's other albums.

Release date- December 21, 2010

1. Purified Thoughts (Featuring GZA & Killah Priest, Produced by Frank Dukes)
This is one apply titled opener right here. Ghost starts it off right, followed by two equally good verses from GZA and Priest. 4 out of 5

2. Superstar (Featuring Busta Rhymes, Produced by Shroom)
Well, if you've heard a song like this, you've heard them all. Decent overall, doesn't break any new ground though. 3 out of 5

3. Black Tequila (Featuring Cappadonna & Trife Diesel, Produced by Frank Dukes)
Not sure why this is titled "Black Tequila," but other than that, good song here. 3.5 out of 5

4. Drama (Featuring Joell Ortiz & The Game, Produced by Sean C & LV)
Drama indeed, and all three MCs lyrically speak of those issues on this tight song. Game's verse is probably one of the last dope ones to come from him I feel. 4 out of 5

5. 2getha Baby (Produced By: Yakub)
This is "vintage Ghost" right here, delivering that unmistakable flow over a nice beat with a dope soul sample. 4 out of 5

6. Starkology (Produced By: Scram Jones)
Wow, I remember going crazy when I first played this joint. I recall playing it 3 times in a row in my ride. Dope material all around. 4 out of 5

7. In Tha Park (Featuring Black Thought, Produced by Frank Dukes)
Ghost does his thing here on this ode to our culture in the park, but make no mistake about it, Black Thought KILLS this one. 5 out of 5

8. How You Like Me Baby (Produced By: Pete Rock)
Ghost does this hard Pete Rock production justice. How you like Ghost! 3.5 out of 5

9. Handcuffin Them Hoes (Featuring Jim Jones, Produced by Chino Maurice)
The momentum sort of stops here, as this is one of those songs that would've been better on the "GhostDini" album. And the song title sounds like something you would hear from  some of these clowns running hip hop today. 2.5 out of 5

10. Street Bullies (Featuring Sheek Louch, Shawn Wigs & Sun God, Produced by Big Mizza)
Not one of the best Wu-Block collabos (mostly because of the beat), but it's not bad. 3 out of 5

11. Ghetto (Featuring Raekwon, Cappadonna & U-God, Produced by Anthony Acid)
Not much to say on this one, as it's essentially your standard Wu cut. Nothing spectacular, but it's fairly decent. 3 out of 5

12. Troublemakers (Featuring Raekwon, Method Man, & Redman, Produced by Jake One)
Man, this joint is HARD right here, and it closes the album in great fashion, as Rae, Ghost, Meth and Red work wonders over Jake One's slamming beat. I can't even begin to tell you who had the best verse on this song. 5 out of 5

After I first played this, my initial rating was 4.5 stars, however, after this revisit, I'll respectively have to knock this down to a solid 4 star rating. I also recall saying it was better than Rae's "Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang" album, and I retract that statement also. It's still Ghost doing what he does best.

Well there you have it. Ghost has one of the most consistent, stellar discographies in hip hop history. Although his later albums were slept on, when it comes to a Ghostface Killah album, you know what to expect and nine times out of ten, you get your money's worth. Here are my rankings:

Ironman (5 stars)
Supreme Clientele (5 stars)
Fishscale (4.5 stars)
The Big Doe Rehab (4.5 stars)
The Pretty Toney Album (4 stars)
Bulletproof Wallets (4 stars)
Apollo Kids (4 stars)
GhostDeini: The Wizard of Poetry (4 stars)
More Fish (3.5 stars)

Oh yeah, one more thing before I close this project. The following three albums have been announced at one point, and hopefully they still see the light of day:

*Twelve Reasons To Die (Release date: 4/16/2013)
*Supreme Clientele Presents.... Blue & Cream: The Wally Era
*Swift and Changeable (collaboration album with MF Doom)
TRTD was not included in the initial project, but I decided to include it here.

Although this isn't part of the recent Ghostface Killah project I completed, I just decided to do a review of this album on the day of its release, in the same form that I did for his project. A concept album based on the comic book of the same name, Ghostface returns with his 10th studio album, produced solely by Adrian Younge. Much like his last few albums, the hype/anticipation simply wasn't there, but being that he's in my (still to be completed) top 10, you know I was looking forward to it. Let's get to the review!

Release date- April 16, 2013

1. Beware of the Stare
This was a decent opener, but compared to the openers on some of his previous albums, it falls a LITTLE short, but still decent for the most part. 3 out of 5

2. Rise of the Black Suits
Somewhat of a ode to the rise, or should I say the continuing rise of "black bosses" in the hip hop world. It's good, but it seems to end right as you're getting into it. 3 out of 5

3. I Declare War (featuring Masta Killa)
Things pick up a bit with this dope track. Masta Killa ALMOST steals the show here, and I can't recall him sounding this inspired in a LONG time. 4 out of 5

4. Blood of the Cobblestones (featuring Inspectah Deck & U-God)

Kind of an odd song title isn't it, lol? Either way, this is still good all around, albeit another short song. Deck doesn't begin this one like you would expect, but he closes it nicely. 3.5 out of 5

5. The Center of Attraction (featuring Cappadonna)
We get the standard "female track", hence the song title. I honestly wasn't too impressed with this one. Not because of the subject matter, but rather a seemingly off beat Ghost and Cappa almost adding nothing to the song. 2.5 out of 5

6. Enemies All Around Me
This apply titled song is a very good "3.5 out of 5" lead in to the next song.

7. An Unexpected Call (The Set Up) featuring Inspectah Deck

Ghostface flexes his tight storytelling skills along with Deck, and again, it's another SHORT song. 4 out of 5

8. The Rise of Ghostface Killah
This was the first song I heard several weeks back. I liked it then, and I still feel the same about it now. Dope stuff. 4 out of 5

9. The Catastrophe (featuring Inspectah Deck and Killa Sin)
Deck shows up again (a very welcomed guest of course), and he blesses this one along with Ghost, but the underrated Killa Sin absolutely steals the show with his verse. 4 out of 5

10. Murder Spree (featuring U-God, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa & Killa Sin)
A Wu-styled cut here, and I like the way the beat switches during the course of the song. Everyone brings the goods. 4 out of 5

11. The Sure Shot (Parts 1 & 2)

Ghost sure knows how to flow over a nice breakbeat, and this one is no different. 3.5 out of 5

12. 12 Reasons To Die

This instrumental closes the album.

Well, I can say this was a very good album, not a classic or groundbreaking by any means. Ghost is sounding different within recent times, but in no way is that a knock on him. The production by Mr. Younge suits Ghost well, however, the one issue I have with this album is the length of most of the songs, as they seemingly end just as you're getting into them. At this point, I'll go with a very solid 4 stars for this one, and I feel it's one of those albums that may grow on you the more you listen to it. Recommended. 

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