Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Freak-A-Leak Week: Ghostface Killa's "The Big Doe Rehab"

Ghostface Killa has built a solid fan base behind a mix of critically acclaimed releases, constant touring and straight up ghetto appeal. His newest release "The Big Doe Rehab" adds on to his legacy and serves as a terrific closure to his tenure at Def Jam records (this was the final album on his contract).

Like a big hitting free agent going for broke on a contract year, Ghostface delivers his stock grandiose swagger on this album. From the jump, we get the rawness of “Tony Sigel” a rap geek dream collabo featuring Ghostface and Beanie Siegel. Like A-Rod and Vlad Guerrero batting 3-4 in the all-star game lineup, Tony Starks and Beans combine for a ferocious duet that concludes with Beanie declaring "you're gonna have to cut me out the track like cancer" before he continues rhyming breathlessly as the track fades out.

From there, we get the street narrative "Yolanda's House" where Ghost, Method Man and Raekwon run through three side of a story of a drug runner eluding cops, his friend begrudgingly letting him hide out at his house while he's in the middle of some afternoon delight, and the drug kingpin who wants his money.

The production is a barrage of the usual Ghostface sound, a mix of echoed guitar riffs, extra-large soul samples and low-fi drum breaks. I haven't been able to find production credits (anyone care to share?), but the beats fit Ghost's style like a jock strap, extra tight. Songs like “We Celebrate” and “Walk Around” make use of smart funk and soul samples that allow Ghost to bend his words and, more importantly, his emotions all around the song.

It's that emotive factor that carries the album over the edge. Whether he's spilling his guts out on “I'll Die For you” or being hilariously silly on “White Linen Affair (Tony Awards)” this guy has a penchant for self-expression that is unmatched in hip-hop music. Ghostface knows how open up every corner of his psyche and present it to the public over a banging soul-loop. The Ghostface legacy lives on.

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