Reviews Ghostface Killah Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City

Ghostface Killah

Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City

I’m a big Ghostface fan. Iron Man? Supreme Clientele? Fishscale? Love em’. The guy is by far the most consistent rapper of the Wu-Tang Clan. He’s got great flow, can pull off the stream of consciousness rapping quite well, and his lyrics cover a nice variety of topics including the usual life on the street struggle, explicit sexual acts, as well the goofy and surreal side of everyday life. With his latest album, Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City, Ghost returns with his usual brand of loud and fast-paced lyricism, but this time rather than following in the footsteps of his previous albums, Ghost takes inspiration from R&B and soul music. The results of such experiment are a bit muddled to say the least.

The lyricism, the witty one-liners, and the stream of consciousness rapping style - they’re all there. In fact, tracks like “Guest House,” Ghost spits out rhymes like he really is the grand wizard of all poetry. As for the production, it’s fine, not the best, but the beats are definitely passable. So what exactly is the problem here? Ghost proved that he can do R&B raps. “Back Like That” and “All That I Got is You” were great tracks.

With Ghostdini there’s just too much R&B singing. Not enough Ghost killing it. And not enough variety. “Back Like That” and “All That I Got is You” were great because they fit perfectly into the context of their respective albums. They were nice breathers between the rest of the club bangers. And consequently, they stood out from the rest of the album. In the case of Ghostdini, nothing really stands out. The majority of the songs all follow the rapping-singing chorus outline. It doesn’t help that a lot of these songs just aren’t that remarkable. And while we all know Ghost can pull off some wicked lyricism, there are some disappointing moments scattered throughout the album.

“Stapleton Sex,” while definitely humorous, features some of Ghost’s most grotesque lyrics. It’s another sex rap, but this time the imagery goes a bit too far. Other tracks like “Do Over” never manage to find a nice balance between the R&B singing and Ghost’s rapping. It’s unfortunate because a lot of these songs have some great hooks.

But there are redeeming qualities of this record. As I stated earlier, “Guest House,” has Ghost painting a vivid narrative that manages to create a very strong and dramatic atmosphere. “Baby” features some pretty catchy auto-tune choruses without being too annoying, and Ghost’s rapping is again untouchable.

Finally… even though it’s not up to par with Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II, this record is still miles beyond the typical R&B album. And it’s Ghostface - the guy is a busy man. It seems like he’s been releasing new material on practically an annual basis (and at least 70% of this material is gold). So while this may be his weakest album, it’s by no means bad. When it’s good, it’s great. It’s just unfortunate that it’s not consistent enough to be ranked alongside other Wu-Tang greats.

6.7 / 10Mark T.
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Def Jam

2009

6.7 / 10

6.7 / 10

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