Review: Ghostface Killah – Ghostdini The Wizard of Poetry (Def Jam)

Ghostface’s new album is disappointing, to say the least. Read why here or below.

When Ghostface’s new r’n’b-based album was announced, you may have thought of “Holla,” the track off of 2004’s The Pretty Toney Album that featured him rapping over a virtually untouched Delfonics song (“La La (Means I Love You)”). Unfortunately, you thought wrong.

Ghostdini is, in many ways, a very traditional hip-hop album, almost every song featuring Ghost’s rhymes book-ended by lustily sung r’n’b hooks. The supporting cast is mostly up to the task, but in an extremely unexceptional manner. Raheem DeVaughn helps out on two songs, “Do Over” and “Baby,” the latter heavily soaked in AutoTune. John Legend contributes an uninspired vocal refrain to the silky funk of “Let’s Stop Playing.” “Lonely” finds Jack Knight singing the hook, supplementing the storyline of a seriously humbled Tony Starks, whose girl is clearly cheating on him – “Someone been sleeping in my bed, eating my food… walking around in his boxers, like everything’s cool.” Infidelity pops up many times on the album, best exemplified in the aggro “Guest House.” This is one of the better songs on the record, featuring Fabolous as the cable guy Ghost’s lady is messing around with.

This is the Ghost we know and love, spinning outlandish tales, making mundane occurrences exciting – “He watching BBC, eating a salad / I’m on the couch hitting the chalice, checking my texts”). “Stapleton Sex,” on the other hand, features some of the most visceral rhymes about sex since Ironman’s “Wildflower.” What started as silly innuendo on Raekwon and company’s “Ice Cream” has progressed to the literal – “My face is wet, got hair on my tongue / Guess I’m a greedy nigga, absorb pussy juice like a sponge.” That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Ghostface’s latest effort is no masterpiece, and feels a bit lazy and strung together. Everyone keeps talking about how impressive it is that he retains such legitimacy as he enters the realm of “elder statesman of hip-hop.” But if Ghostface Killah really wants to earn that title, he’s gotta practice a little quality control.

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