Ghostface Killah – Ghostdini the Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City

January 01, 1970

(Def Jam)


When Ghostface’s new r’n’b-based album was announced, you
may have thought of “Holla,” the track off of 2004’s The Pretty Toney Album that featured him rapping over a virtually
untouched Delfonics song (“La La (Means I Love You)”). Unfortunately, you
thought wrong.


Ghostdini is, in
many ways, a very traditional hip-hop album, almost every song featuring
Ghost’s rhymes book-ended by lustily sung r’n’b hooks. The supporting cast is
mostly up to the task, but in an extremely unexceptional manner. Raheem
DeVaughn helps out on two songs, “Do Over” and “Baby,” the latter heavily
soaked in AutoTune. John Legend contributes an uninspired vocal refrain to the
silky funk of “Let’s Stop Playing.” “Lonely” finds Jack Knight singing the
hook, supplementing the storyline of a seriously humbled Tony Starks, whose
girl is clearly cheating on him – “Someone been sleeping in my bed, eating my food…
walking around in his boxers, like everything’s cool.” Infidelity pops up many
times on the album, best exemplified in the aggro “Guest House.” This is one of
the better songs on the record, featuring Fabolous as the cable guy Ghost’s
lady is messing around with.


This is the Ghost we know and love, spinning outlandish
tales, making mundane occurrences exciting – “He watching BBC, eating a salad /
I’m on the couch hitting the chalice, checking my texts”). “Stapleton Sex,” on
the other hand, features some of the most visceral rhymes about sex since Ironman’s “Wildflower.” What started as
silly innuendo on Raekwon and company’s “Ice Cream” has progressed to the
literal – “My face is wet, got hair on my tongue / Guess I’m a greedy nigga,
absorb pussy juice like a sponge.” That’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Ghostface’s latest effort is no masterpiece, and feels a bit
lazy and strung together. Everyone keeps talking about how impressive it is
that he retains such legitimacy as he enters the realm of “elder statesman of
hip-hop.” But if Ghostface Killah really wants to earn that title, he’s gotta
practice a little quality control.


Standout Tracks: “Guest
House,” “Lonely” JONAH FLICKER


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