Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"2 In 1": Ghostface Killah (Put It On The Line & Hidden Darts Special Edition)

This will be the first time I'm reviewing the two albums that'll be a focus for this post, two of the more unknown projects from Ghostface Killah's discography. "Put It On The Line" was a joint album with fellow Theodore Unit member Trife Da God, also known as Trife Diesel, and "Hidden Darts Special Edition", which was comprised of B-sides and unreleased songs. I always enjoy doing anything related to Ghostface, so this post should be another good one.





Release date: November 18, 2005

(In a strange happening, except where noted on this album, there aren't any production credits to any of the songs in the album's insert, however, I had to conduct some research to locate the names.)



1. "Cocaine Trafficking"
Produced By Anthony Acid

This was a DOPE way to start the album. As you listen closely, you may think they're talking about pushing weight, but "cocaine" is used as a metaphor for in terms of the lyrical content. As mentioned, dope stuff here and the album's best song if you ask me.
*5 out of 5*



2. "Put It On The Line"
Trife Diesel
Produced By Look Out Ent.

A pretty good introspective showing from Trife. The love of hip hop, taking what's rightfully yours, staying on your job (as far as the grind), putting in work every day with a strong mind (in his prime), switching it up and changing with the times. Putting it on the line indeed.
   *4 out of 5*

3. "Struggle"
Ghostface Killah
Produced By Nottz

"I'm gon tell y'all muthafuckas, my struggle is real/Threw ketchup on my rice cause there was no meat wit the meal"


Those two lines above, along with the others, accurately describes Ghost's struggle in this song, complete with a vivid picture painted over a soulful track. Vintage Ghostface.
*5 out of 5*



4. "Hustle Hard"
Trife Diesel
Produced By Look Out Ent.

"Hustle hard, that's the only way a nigga know how/Been grindin most of my life and I ain't gon stop now"


I frequently say that songs like this have been done so much, to a point where it could be considered tired and cliched, however, if done right, songs of this nature can be very good. Trife's account touches on the same issues, but comes with a story to tell and something to prove at the same time.
*4 out of 5* 

5. "Event"
Trife Diesel
Produced By Emile

"Ay yo the moral of this story is it ain't one/This is just a tale, take a look at this picture, I'm tryin to paint one"


Well, not only does that sum this very good song up in a nutshell, but Trife does just that: paint a (verbal) picture.
*4 out of 5*

6. "Gangsta Shit"
Trife Diesel
Featuring Tommy Whispers
Produced By MoSS 
Granted, this is nothing we haven't heard before, the beat could've been better, and Tommy Whispers wasn't out of place, but hot damn Trife lyrically owns this one and he's basically showing fire in each verse he delivers.
*3.5 out of 5*

7. "Fire"
Produced By Jim Bond

Lyrically, Ghost and Trife do "strike while the iron is hot" for this one, however, the beat came off a little busy, another one that could've been better.
*3.5 out of 5*

8. "Project Soap Operas"
Trife Diesel
Featuring Kryme Life and Tommy Whispers
Produced By Animal House
 
Across three verses from Trife, Kryme Life (who attempts at an emotional sound that only Ghostface could do and actually succeeds), and Tommy Whispers, each artist comes with elaborate "project soap operas" that are indeed full of drama. It may sound like "typical hood stories", but they're told in such a way that makes you listen.
*4 out of 5*

9. "War"
Trife Diesel
Produced By Phenom

I was feeling the little reggae vibe on this one and the way Trife simply rides this beat with such ease (and dare I say "swag").
*4 out of 5*

10. "Out Da Way"
Ghostface Killah
Featuring Shawn Wigs
Produced By Anthony Acid

This joint was ok, but Mr. Acid did not flip the Foster Sylvers' "Misdemeanor" sample like he should've.
*2.5 out of 5*

11. "Drugz"
Trife Diesel
Produced By Dirty Dean

Trife tells a good story about getting locked up on drug charges, all the while fighting for his life and pleading his innocence. The way it ends would suggest a part 2, but I don't think we (ever) got that.
*4 out of 5*

12. "Milk Em"
Produced By Anothny Acid


Lyrically this is on point, but Anthony's beat was so busy that it almost interrupts the flow of the song.
*3 out of 5*

13. "Late Night Arrival"
Featuring Shawn Wigs
Produced By J-Love

A good, fast paced song, nothing more or less.
*3 out of 5*

14. "Man Up"
Featuring Sun God
Produced By Anthony Acid

Now Mr. Acid did come through with a lil banger for this apply titled song. It was almost begging for a DMX appearance too.
*4 out of 5*

15. "Game Time"
Trife Diesel
Featuring Tommy Whispers
Produced By Emile

Trife and Tommy come through (again) with some very good chemistry on this one, game personified.
*4 out of 5*

*16. "The Watch"
Ghostface Killah
Featuring Raekwon

This is the first of three bonus tracks.


It takes a special type of MC to rock over any type of sample courtesy of Barry White's "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" (Nas comes to mind as well --> "No Ideas Original" from "The Lost Tapes"), so it's no surprise that Ghost worked wonders with here.
*4 out of 5*

*17. "Ghost & Giancana"
Ghostface Killah
Featuring Kool G Rap
Produced By Da Beatminerz

I bet most don't even know this joint exists, but let me stop while I'm ahead because, respectively, I don't want to hype it too much, lol. This was good, however, I feel this came a little too late. Imagine Ghost and G Rap, circa 1995, over a slammin Beatminerz production from that same timeframe. Oh man, we'll still be talking about it today.
*4 out of 5*

*18. "The Sun"
Ghostface Killah
Featuring Raekwon, The RZA and Slick Rick 

This was actually included in the original lineup of the "Bulletproof Wallets", but was nowhere to be found on the album. It's another song that was cut from that album (likely at the last minute) due to sample clearance issues, which is a shame because this is a very good song.
 *4 out of 5*



This was a pretty good project. Ghost came through with his usual dope material, but if the purpose of this was to showcase Trife Da God in a major way, I feel it succeeded in that area. He may not have blown up like he probably should've, but lyrically he was TIGHT throughout this album. Overall, I think I'll go with a solid 4 star rating for this. Check it out if you haven't done so already.




This joint right here consists of B-Sides, unreleased material, remixes, and mixtape tracks. I also remember pre-ordering this via Best Buy back in the early part of 2007. Seemed like the order was "on hold" a long time before I eventually received it. Also to make this interesting, after I talk about (and rate) the individual songs themselves, if necessary, I'm going to include the album that each corresponding song should've been included on.


Release date: March 13, 2007



1. "Hidden Darts"
Produced By J-Love

Well I wouldn't necessarily call any of the darts on this one "hidden", lol, considering that the first verse ended up as the second on "The Champ" from the "Fishscale" album and the next verse was on an apparent remix to "The Champ" which I never knew existed. Good, fast paced start though.
*3 out of 5*

2. "The Watch"
Featuring Raekwon
Produced By The RZA

Here I repeat my same words from the review above: It takes a special type of MC to rock over any type of sample courtesy of Barry White's "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" (Nas comes to mind as well --> "No Ideas Original" from "The Lost Tapes"), so it's no surprise that Ghost worked wonders with this one.
*4 out of 5*

**This clearly was intended for the "Bulletproof Wallets" album, but sample clearance issues, which plagued some of Ghost's albums, led to this one being cut.


3. "Belt Holders"
Featuring Raekwon

Whoever produced this was not credited, but it sounded like a RZA track, and hot damn was it busy, lol. It came off as a freestyle more than anything else.
*3 out of 5*

*This is not a bad song by any means, but it really would've interrupted the flow of any album, so it was best that it wasn't included on any of them.


4. "In The Parks"
This was a 48 second freestyle over Herman Kelly's "Dance To The Drummer's Beat". Too short to rate.


5. "When You Walk"
Featuring Method Man and Street Life
Produced By The RZA

Back in the day, I've often seen this referred to as either "Box In Hand 2" or the original version of the song that made the "Ironman" album. Respectively, I don't think that's the case on this one, which is another dope song, and of course Meth closes it with a tight verse.
*4 out of 5*

*This wouldn't have been out of place on the "Ironman" album.


6. "Murda Goons"
Produced By J Dilla

Oh man, I bet most don't know that Ghost rocked on a J Dilla track before and it didn't take long for Ghost to go in here.
*4 out of 5*

*This one was tailor made for the "Fishscale" album. 


7. "Odd Couple"
Featuring Cappadonna
Produced By Ayatollah

I could've sworn this was on Cappa's "Yin & The Yang" album, but it wasn't. This was a very good song, however, Cappa seemed like he was trying a lil too hard to keep up with Ghost.
*4 out of 5*

*I honestly couldn't think of which album (between Ghost's first three) that this would've fit on.


8. "Good Times"
Featuring Raekwon and Superb

Another good song here. Whoever flipped the classic theme from the 70s sitcom "Good Times" deserved some props.
*4 out of 5*


9.  "Cheche La Ghost (Remix)

This was a very good remix, but of course it doesn't hold a candle to the original version from the "Supreme Clientele" album.
*4 out of 5*


10. "Milk Crates"
Scratches by Kid Capri
Another brief freestyle (52 seconds to be exact), too short to rate. Let's continue on!


11. "Return Of Theodore Unit"
Featuring Wigs and Trife Da God

A very good freestyle over the DJ Premier produced "Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers (95)".
*4 out of 5* 


12. "9 MM"
Produced By J-Love

This was essentially a J-Love remix of the MF Doom produced "9 Milli Bros" from the "Fishscale" album. This remix was good, but holds NO candle to the bangin original version.
*4 out of 5*


13. "The Sun"
Featuring Raekwon, The RZA and Slick Rick
Produced By The RZA

My thoughts are the same from the "Put It On The Line" review.
*4 out of 5*


14. "Mama"
Featuring Keyshia Cole
Produced By Grind Music

A remix of the same song included on the "Fishscale" album. As a dedication to the hard working woman, this is a VERY good song.
*4 out of 5*


15. "Love Stories"
Featuring Wigs
Produced By Fess

Take a look at this song title. If you guessed that it's a joint for the ladies, you guessed right, lol.
*3 out of 5*

**My guess is that this was cut from the "Bulletproof Wallets" album, and when said album already has songs like "Never Be The Same Again" and "Love Session", this was not needed, plus the former two songs are much better.


16. "Wise"

Even though no producer was credited, Ghost had to have been behind the boards for this one. He knew how to take an old school R&B classic (the actual song itself and not the instrumental) and rap straight over it, in this case using "I Wanna Go Outside In The Rain" by The Dramatics. On the "Pretty Toney Album", he did this same thing for "Holla", using "La La La (Means I Love You) by The Delfonics. While the latter song is better, "Wise" is not bad at all.
*3 out of 5*


17. "No No No"

This was a brief freestyle over Dawn Penn's "You Don't Love Me (No No No)".
*3 out of 5*


18. "Black Cream"

It seemed like Ghost was going for some type of story on this one, but it ends rather abruptly as you're starting to get into it.
*2.5 out of 5*


19. "Drummer"
Featuring Method Man,  Trife Da God and Street Life
Produced By Self

I may be overrating this fast paced banger, but I REALLY like this one. It's that dope and all 4 MCs come nice on Self's equally dope track.
*5 out of 5*

*This was also included on the Theodore Unit compilation "718".



20. "Late Night Arrival"
Featuring Trife Da God and Wigs
Produced By J-Love

A good, fast paced song here, which was also included on the "Put It On The Line" album.
*4 out of 5*


21. "Paycheck"
Featuring Trife Da God
Produced By D-Prosper and K-Def

If you've heard a song like this (which was also included on the "718" compilation), you've heard them all, and that's no knock on this one because it's good.
*4 out of 5*


22. "Heard It All Before"

It's dope and hilarious at the same time hearing Ghost work Sunshine Anderson's "Heard It All Before", lol.
*4 out of 5*



As a compilation, this was pretty good, even though some of the darts weren't truly hidden, but it's all good. It's definitely a 4 star effort and worthy of inclusion in your collection if you don't already own it. Until the next Ghostface Killah review, stay tuned!!!

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