Sign up for our newsletters   

Baltimore City Paper home.

music Home > Record Reviews

Sound Tracks

Ghostface Killah: The Big Doe Rehab

Ghostface Killah: The Big Doe Rehab

Label:Def Jam
Release Date:2008
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Raymond Cummings | Posted 1/9/2008

No RZA. One skit. No-name producers stuck on soul samples. Wu-affiliated bros over Theodore Unit hos. On Ghostface Killah's seventh album, the Staten Island rapper comes hard, tight, and mean, in full Technicolor--gnawing scenery like a fistful of Slim Jims, slinging street-life fantasies like grainy crack rocks. More than any other entry in the Ironman's catalog, The Big Doe Rehab plays like an adrenaline-juiced party record--even "The Prayer," a husky a cappella R&B turn from the Ox, is metered to match the overall forward-motion tempo. And with a mess of Wu-folk on-board, there's a combustible Shaolin camaraderie rivaling Ghost's already canonized Supreme Clientele.

An unrivaled master of urban storytelling, Ghost packs every lyrical frame with graphic detail. On the plight of drug mules: "I know niggas with crack vials stuck to they colon/ The acid done bubbled up, now they stomachs is swollen." On environmental stewardship: "You buy ounces and haze/ I buy a forest full of trees." On catching a cohort in flagrante while ducking the cops at "Yolanda's House," barking breathlessly through the track's fake, weepy string section: "Oooh, I seen my man Meth goin' in raw/ Jumped up, balls out, hid in the closet." Or consider "Walk Around," where an impulse murder strains a killer's sanity: "Flashbacks of me blowin' his brains out/ All I can remember, my shirt/ I couldn't get them goddamned stains out/ OxiClean's weak, round the chest area, right-hand side/ I'm pluckin' off little pieces of meat." On "Toney Sigel aka the Barrel Brothers," he's busily hustling "cartons, Pampers, Similac formula" with an on-point Beanie Sigel over LV and Sean C's murky, bone-smashing funk. "We hype for just being here," Ghost exclaims on "We Celebrate," a brash Kid Capri flip of Rare Earth's "I Just Want to Celebrate." Seconded, dun, seconded.

Comments powered by Disqus
CP on Facebook
CP on Twitter