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Ghostface Killah: Fishscale

Ghostface Killah: Fishscale

Label:Def Jam
Release Date:2006
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Jim Breihan | Posted 4/26/2006

With almost 15 years in the game, hot off a Wu-Tang reunion tour, and pushing his own crew, Theodore Unit, Ghostface Killah has a legacy to maintain. Rapping about staying hungry while sounding like a tweaked Danny DeVito on his new album, Fishscale, Ghost declares, “My arts is crafty, dogs/ While y’all stuck on ‘Laffy Taffy’/ Wonderin’ how did y’all niggas get past me/ I been doing this before Nas dropped the nasty.” And true to the form he’s refined over five solo albums, Fishscale is gritty and densely lyrical throughout, full of thick beats, plenty of soul hooks, and gimmicky skits—a solid New York rap album.

Ghostface embraces contradictions. Like being an international hip-hop star and a comic-book nerd. Or being a rapper so in love with R&B that he’ll awkwardly croon along with his own hooks live. On a deeper level, Ghost captures both the swagger and the tragedy of the ’hood. After 11 tracks of threats and boasts he talks about being beaten by his mother and wetting the bed on “Whip You With a Strap,” before admitting, “Despite the alcohol/ I had a great old momma.” Later, he dedicates a song called “Momma” to women living through hard times on welfare. In “Underwater” Ghost raps about swimming with mermaids, seeing Noah’s ark, and praying to Allah. And yeah, he raps about drugs and robbery, too. Thematically, Fishscale is all over the place, but it’s a totally solid piece of work that keeps Ghostface’s legacy alive and kicking.

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