"Apollo Kids" by Ghostface Killah

Ghostface Killah
Apollo Kids

Def Jam Recordings


Fans of Ghostface Killah already know that he is definitely the most consistently great MC's of the Wu-Tang clan (I would put GZA as a close second, but GZA puts out less new material). He's not about growth by any means, so if you liked what you've heard before prepare to hear more of the same. But I'm not yet tired of his whole 70's B-movie beats and samples or his stream-of-consciousness non-sequitur lyrics. I am getting a bit tired of his world view of women, but I think that is more a problem I have with Hip-Hop as I continue to age as opposed to anything Ghost himself does.

Ghostface Killah lives i the 70's. I love that about him. I'll never get tired of these 1970's Soul-infused beats. The older I get, the more I understand Ghostface's raps. I can't figure out if that's because I've been listening to him since C.R.E.A.M. or because he's getting more coherent. It's probably a bit of both, actually. The main criticism I always have against The Wu-Tang Clan is that they always include guests that really have no business being there $(ahem, Crapadonna) and that in many ways detract from the talent. It makes sense to bring your family up along with you, but man, the trend of the guest spot is not going to die anytime soon, but it is long overdue for expiration. On "Purified Thoughts" the guests don't detract that much, but they certiainly don't help.

The beats are straight from the 70's Blacksloitation. Just listen to "Supastar" which has another hot late-70's influenced beat that's just hot. Peep that LTJ Bukem influenced chorus break. Dope. Busta Rhymes adds just the right amount of organized confusion to the track. Honestly, I haven't like Busta on a track this much in a long time...not since Pass The Courvoisier

...just kidding. Not since "Scenario".

"In Tha Park" continues in this vein and flips it a bit to sound like some epic 70's superhero type shit. Also, Ghost sounds especially coherent as he talks about his personaly history with the Hip-Hop in it's essence for real - I'm talking about turn tables and microphones in the middle of a park. The Black Thought assist is mad ill as well and man does he not sound like he's on late night. He sounds as raw as ever.

Still not convinced? Peep the video for "2getha Baby"

The positive and negative of the album can be summed up for me with "Handcuffin' Them Hoes". Man, this one is hard to give my opinion on. I'll admit, from a Hip-Hop perspective, the song is off the hook. From a "is this a positive song in terms of promoting positivity for male/female relations" perspective, it gets a really, really bad rating. Think of this as the way you might think of "Ain't No Fun". It's the same thing. It's a hot beat and lryics that flow in a way where you could just be singing along and not even really understand what you're saying. But look, here's the thing, I used to love songs like these back when I didn't really think about what they were actually saying. So from the perspective of being a Hip-Hop song, I can't fault this one without being somewhat hypocritical. it's hot. I don't agree with the message and I wish that Hip-Hop would grow up, but at the same time I have to respect the culture that birthed this and as such, I have to say that for people who disagree, this song won't do any harm to you. But still, isn't it time that the music grows beyond this? Again, I think this has more to do with me as a person than anything in the song per se. I mean, compared to Snoop's "Aint No Fun" or Too $hort's "Punk Ass Bitch" or any song Eminem has ever made featuring a woman ever, this is pretty tame. I guess it was just my state of mind as I listened to it. The beat is ill, the sentiments are raw, but the message is old and maybe I am too...

Lyrically, Ghostface is still amazing. By now you should know if this album is for you or not. I think that this is a very $solid, very good album, but for me it didn't beat my other picks for best of 2010.

4.167 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Purified Thoughts (feat. GZA & Killah Priest) (03:31) 4
2. Superstar (feat. Busta Rhymes) (03:08) 5
3. Black Tequila (feat. Cappadonna & Trife) (03:43) 4
4. Drama (feat. Joell Ortiz & The Game) (04:28) 4
5. 2getha Baby (03:01) 5
6. Starkology (02:25) 3
7. In tha Park (feat. Black Thought) (03:47) 5
8. How You Like Me Baby (03:14) 3
9. Handcuffin' Them Hoes (feat. Jim Jones) (02:30) 5
10. Street Bullies (feat. Sheek Louch, Wiggs & Sun God) (03:17) 4
11. Ghetto (feat. Raekwon, Cappadonna & U-God) (04:09) 4
12. Troublemakers (feat. Raekwon, Redman & Method Man) (03:40) 4