GHOSTFACE KILLAH -
Release Date : March 29th 2006
Label : Island Records
Dub Quotable: Fortunately, this [fishscale] isn’t the type of fishscale
that will make your teeth and throat numb, but it will have you up for nights
on end buggin’ out about the overall quality while you take it through the
ears instead of up the nose.
“This guy’s a bulldozer, wit a wreckin’ ball attached. He’ll leave a ring
around ya eye, and tread marks on ya back. He’s an animal. He’s hungry. You
ain’t been hungry since Supreme Clientele. Remember what you first told me
when I took ya in? You wanted to be a fight’a. You wanted to be a killa. You
wanted to be the champ.”
This intro to the album’s fourth track, “The Champ,” is a play off the
Rocky series and this Mick sound-alike is speaking the truth about Ghost’s
lack of fire on his last few albums. Not that Bulletproof Wallets and The
Pretty Toney Album were bad, but they definitely weren’t on par with Ironman
or Supreme Clientele. A certain train wreck of a song called “Tush”
comes to mind and I cringe, certainly not one of his finer mic moments.
Ghost unleashes lyrical fury on nearly every track of this album. Hungry? He
sounds like a caged tiger that hasn’t been fed in a long time that’s ready to
rip your heart out and eat it in front of you. Without a doubt, Fishscale is
(so far) the best hip-hop album of 2006. Ghost doesn’t waste any time
re-establishing himself as one of the Wu’s top rhyme slangers with this
24-track raw, uncut kilo (“All around the world today, the kilo is the
measure. A kilo is 1000 grams, easy to remember.”).
You can feel Ghost’s heavy old-school soul and funk influence on every track
(Pete Rock and MF Doom did the production). This album is a testament to the
evolution of Ghost as an artist and you won’t find any filler tracks (except
the skits) on here. EVERY single one is dope. It’s like he took it back to
some of the older stuff while still keeping it fresh and new at the same time.
One thing that definitely hasn’t changed is Ghost’s hustle-fueled lyrical
style. For those of you who don’t know, fishscale is a street term for
high-quality cocaine, aptly named because of the shiny look that it has before
it gets cut – and weakened – to add more weight. Fortunately, this isn’t the
type of fishscale that will make your teeth and throat numb, but it will have
you up for nights on end buggin’ out about the overall quality while you take
it through the ears instead of up the nose.
Normally, I like to talk about specific songs that really stand out but this
time, they all do. The usual suspects appear to help Ghost move this weight.
His number one partner-in-rhyme, Raekwon, appears on several tracks, as well
as the full Clan (including ODB) on one song, and even Biggie on the bonus
track to name a few.
It’s hard for me to give any album 5 dubs because I can count on both hands
how many are worthy of classic status. But, this album is as close as you can
get and it’s definitely on par with other classic Wu bangers.