Ghostface

    Fishscale

    8

    What the fuck are you doing? Ghostface has been basically carrying hip-hop on his shoulders this decade, and yet you refuse to buy his albums. With each release he manages to surprise and satisfy, reinventing himself with each record, pushing rapping and production styles forward with a speed that isn’t only absent in any other emcee’s careers, but in any artist, period. Name another artist who evolves this much with each release. Bjork? You don’t buy her fucking records, either.

     

    Sure, I know you don’t know what he’s talking about half the time, but this record’s different. And here’s the secret: coke. He’s talking about coke. Whenever you don’t understand something, just think, "I deal coke. This one gentleman got in my way, and I had to get rid of him. Then I dealt some more coke." There’s also a song about his Moms. It’s just like Jay Z.

     

    Fishscale is twenty-four tracks, tight as hell, with minute-long songs that are better than just about everything played on the radio. "Beauty Jackson" takes a fantastic Dilla beat, "Underwater" takes an equally amazing Doom beat, and Pete Rock, Just Blaze and Ghostface himself all provide great tracks for Ghost to kill. If the record isn’t as good as those other Ghost records you didn’t buy, it’s because the jump here — sparse production whittled down into quick but deadly vignettes — is the least revolutionary of Ghost’s career. But a minor triumph for Ghostface is still a major triumph for hip-hop.

     

    Really, I don’t care if you buy the records, but for some reason Ghost seems to really care about selling big numbers. So this is the record where Ghost takes to the charts. You’ve heard the Ne-Yo guest spot; it hit the Top 40 (a first for Ghost). You like Ne-Yo; he’s so sick of love songs. And it’s only selling for $6.96. Or here, for $6.99. That’s like seven Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers.

     

    I know this isn’t even enough for many of you. You are going to ignore another great release from the most important emcee in hip-hop, and instead you’ll buy that new Chingy record. (Is Chingy still around? I honestly don’t know.) Don’t blame me when a year from now you sell it back for four dollars.

     

    You know what? Do whatever you want. I’m gonna go listen to Fishscale.

     

     

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    Ghostface on Def Jam’s Web site

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