When Ghostface Killah dropped Fishscale in early 2006, it was met with strong reception from fans and critics alike, where it topped numerous charts as the top Hip-Hop album of the year. To go along with that, Ghostface released another album at the end of year entitled More Fish. True, it didn’t receive as strong the praise that the former one did, but it definitely solidified Ghostface as one of the few rappers who could put out album quality material at a swift and consistent rate.
With 2007 came several projects for Ghostface. His continuing collaboration album with MF Doom, the reunited Wu-Tang album, and now his newest released album, The Big Doe Rehab.
In an intro-scenario, Ghostface gets into an altercation with a few drug connects (which ends in a gun war) while the Rhythm Root All-stars bring a Latin pulse to the whole situation.
This rides right into the first track of the album, “Toney Sigel aka The Barrel Brothers” featuring a verse from the Broad Street Bully. Ghost gets abstract on the grind, rapping “We selling cartons, pampers, similac formula / Anything it take because the paper keep callin’ ya.”
We’ve come to know and respect him for these sardonic flows throughout his career. This same flow is evident in the ruthless, descriptive record “Walk Around.” Ghostface finds himself in a predicament after a hit-and-run murder. The soulful sample and horns play as a calming cure for Ghost, who at this point becomes detached from a clear thought process.
Using a well-placed sample of Rare Earth’s feel-good record “I Just Wanna Celebrate”, LV and Sean C (of the Hitmen) give Ghostface a chance to feel some relief on “We Celebrate.” Though it isn’t necessarily on the level of an anthem banger (like Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys), you get the sense that this song goes well with popping champagne.
Getting his funk and flyness working, the Iron Man flows nonchalantly on “Supa GFK.” The beat has a 70’s groove to it that’ll get the listener bobbing their head. Playing the erotic-don card, he raps “But if you wanna play, this is what you gonna say / That I got the best D, he can hit it all day / Something like a rising star that’s on Broadway / Sex real live with an illmatic foreplay.”
On a more serious note, Ghostface puts his life on the line with “I’ll Die for You.” Speaking through the lense of Dennis (or Abdul, whichever one you prefer), he lathers down a coated rhyme filled with respect for some and a cheek-turned reaction to others. To be firmly blunt, he raps “You just can’t feed me anything like ‘yo Tone its beef’ / Expect me to go all out jump in and bust my heat / First off bro, you ain’t my peeps / Yeah I know we from the same town and shit, but we ain’t that deep.”
Though he creates a star-studded picture with “White Linen Affair,” Ghost doesn’t really get much farther into the lyrics other than spitting a list of celebrities that he entertains at the show. Plus the “joke” made by Theodore-Unit member Shawn Wigs, though not anymore different than some rhymes Ghost makes, sounds distasteful it its context.
The Big Doe Rehab comes hard, full of Ghostface Killah’s concepts and antics. In a month that features several anticipated albums from several well-rounded artists, be sure to keep Ghost at the top of the listening list.
Track-by-Track Rating: 8/10