Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ghostface Killah – Fishscale Bootleg

I’m not going to even pretend that I’m remotely objective about this release as it pretty much features my single favorite currently active artist collaborating with what I consider to be the most interesting musicians in Hiphop today. There’s a certain amount of personal taste at play here which means I won’t be able to make any objective statements on this until several months down the line once I’ve digested the official version numerous times. Until then, here are my thoughts on the bootleg that leaked last night based on 5 or 6 back to back, incredibly giddy listens.

  • It’s much better than the Pretty Toney album which suffered in the middle. Although it’s not sequenced and there are a couple of tracks missing and some mixing issues, it’s already devoid of the filler and sample clearance issues that marred Starks’ last attempt. The only questionable track at this point is 3 Bricks featuring Biggie, a joint that wasn’t recorded for this project and that isn’t on the bootleg (so it might not make it).

  • J-Dilla really gave Ghostface some incredible tracks. Whip me with a Strap is an incredibly touching song about Ghost’s bitter childhood and Hi (for lack of a better track title) has an ending that’ll make even the most jaded smile. The beats fit on Donuts, but they fit just as well here.

  • Speaking of older beats, Doom’s Monsta Island Czars must be livid that the man basically resold half the beats he gave them on their projects. I can’t really complain as frankly, Doom was at his absolute weirdest in that era and Wu-Tang sound much better over these than those guys ever did. Still, my favorite beat (and song) on the album has got to be Clips of Doom featuring Raekwon (the one with the Kung fu dialogue). Incredible Rza-esque beat and crime discussions that just brought me 10 years back.

  • Cappadonna actually rips his verses. Let’s hope this return to form is permanent as he sounds really good with Trife and Ghost. All we need now is Lord Superb and I’m hyped for a real Theodore non-compilation of collaborations. The Wu-Tang Clan meanwhile reconvenes on Wu Joint but the version on here sounds unmixed and unfinished. If not, it’s still good enough but it’ll be filed under coulda been even better which is the most negative thing that can be said about anything on here.

  • The dirty version of Back like That is hilarious when you’re used to the radio one. Most simultaneously useless and hilarious use of the word nigga in recent memory though with the focus on useless. The song has really grown on me regardless.

  • The Just Blaze produced Champions is dynamite with Rocky 3 dialogue samples and Laffy Taffy disses flowing freely. I’m glad SOMEONE is calling out those D4L guys because that song really is terrible to the point of annoyance.

  • Raekwon’s rhymes have me EAGERLY anticipating Fishscale. Also, Masta Killa is rapidly moving up from “that dude who can pick ill beats and rhymes aiight” to “Wu member whose stuff I’m really looking forward to”. His verse on Wu-joint is smooth all hell.

The other tracks are great ranging from the cinematic “Crackspot” and “Barbershop” which paint short portraits of these areas to the 70’s R&B inspired “Family Affair”. The album has got a particular nostalgic storytelling bent that really suits the older Ghost well and it works better than the puzzlingly clean Pretty Toney attempt. I’ll undoubtedly be filling the gap in my Ghostface collection come March 28th, most likely via physical CD even if I’m I-pod equipped now. Support Ghost!

2 Comments:

Anonymous eastvandemolition said...

Hey funkdoc

this is a great run down of the album - exactly what i was looking... I just downloaded it this morning and i'm really hyped to give it a listen.

Keep up the good writing man, I appreciate it.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous d. b. cooper said...

Speaking of older beats, Doom’s Monsta Island Czars must be livid that the man basically resold half the beats he gave them on their projects. I can’t really complain as frankly, Doom was at his absolute weirdest in that era and Wu-Tang sound much better over these than those guys ever did.

I disagree. Rodan and Megalon sounded better on 1,2,1,2 than most of the Wu does on Nine Milli Bros. It's sad that Doom abandoned a very talented crew, I'm happy he's working with another great crew, but the dissing of MIC by Wu fans is out of line. MF Grimm, Megalon and Rodan are all high caliber MCs and are on a similar talent level. Sure Monsta Island Czars are not as deep as WTC but who is.

5:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home