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Ghostface Killah The Big Doe Rehab [review]

In recent promotions for The Big Doe Rehab, Ghostface has been seen with the goalie mask back on. I immediately took that as a sign of the God MC being back on his grisly, and I was 100% right. RZA is lucky that 8 Diagrams won't drop on the same date, for based on early reviews, The Wu woulda lost. And for good reason: Ghostface crafted one of, if not the, illest LPs of 2007. Not just on the basis of "yo these beats are dope" or "yo he has some wild rhymes on here", the shit just, end to end, is fire.

A hilarious intro sets the pace, early. Ghost encounters some dude flossin' at his table, trying to be really Big Will, and dude owes him money! Ghost promptly gets in dudes ass, and I can only assume that this is a metaphor for how Ghost feels in the current game of Rap. We are then immediately transported to a fire collaboration between Tony Starks and Beanie Sigel, going hard as hell on "Toney Siegel (AKA The Barrel Brothers)". "Yolanda's House" follows this, and is a surprisingly fluid mix of rhymes with Method Man and Raekwon. It's a hilarious tale of Ghost on the run, ending up in Mef's lady's crib, while Meth is airing her out! Just some wild stories and flows coming through here. You can forgive Ghost for sounding redundant, topic-wise, when he steps into the "I just murdered a man" story on "Walk Around", but he goes down a totally different lane, exposing the inner torment and paranoia that's birthed from an experience like that. We revisit Fishscale's "Shakey Dog" with "Shakey Dog Starring Lolita", jumping right into the robbery gone wild story, only this time we get to not only experience the Tarrantino-style story with a Robert Rodriguez-esque Mexican shootout with "!", which is a nice touch.

Most of Ghostface's lyrics are on that level, though: vivid, intricate descriptions, with smooth flows that make you smell the gun powder, duck from the gunshots, laugh at the blunt-soaked comedy, and just get enraptured in the world according to Ghost. "White Linen Affair (Toney Awards)" has Starks and Shawn Wigs taking you into a crazy awards show, with Tony serving as host and M.C. for the evening, with station breaks and such to boot. Ghost's son, Sun God, hit with a hilarious line ("if he lollygaggin'/word to momma I'm bodybaggin'"), but the rest of the Theodore Unit sounds like the Bravehearts through most of the album. "Paisley Darts" (one of 5 joints laced by LV and Sean C) sounds like an updated Enter The Wu-Tang flavor of a beat, with the wailing in the beat, the hypnotic drone, but with tighter drums. The production on the album is just lush, and a wicked combination of that hardcore grimey street flavor to the usual soulful-affairs that are now commonplace on a Ghostface longplayer. Scram Jones packs a string-driven gut punch with "Yapp City", which has loads of kicks alternating back and forth, accentuating the thunder and fury of the lyrics. One of two bonus tracks, "Killa Lipstick", has Ghostface waxing seductive sorcery over a loop of Faze O's "Riding High", weaving tales of sexy female hitmen, who seem to be the only females that Ghost is infatuated with. Method Man comes with a dope hook, and Masta Killa even steps in and murders his verse. There's seemingly nothing wrong with this disc.

And that's the beauty of Ghostface. He's rarely off when it comes to the darts, so it usually hinges on the production and the overall flow of the album. At just under 50 minutes, this album doesn't spend too much time trying to be something it's not. Ghost knows his role, and spends equal time dropping dark, edgey Rap tracks alongside more touching, heartfelt cuts in his own signature style ("I'll Die For You"). Hell, even the interludes that he doesn't rhyme or speak on (like the Ox-assisted "The Prayer") still speak volumes, and you can tell he's right there, big smile on his face, truly feeling everything.

The best thing about Ghostface's persona is that he is the epitome of real. He doesn't give a shit if you think he's weird for getting choked up about his people dying, or showing his true feelings when he takes a life, or is all about the witty scenarios, bringing comedy to situations like getting chased by the cops. It's all him, and all the marks of a true MC. He can create tornadoes where calm days laid, and make thunder appear from the palm of his hand. He will "fuck you will you die slow" and push your whole onion back, but you will know before you go that he had ample reason, and meant every inch of it. And it will sound fly as FUCK. If this isn't the best LP of 2007, let me know what is.

rock the dub gives The Big Doe Rehab a 4.75 out of 5. Ghost does everything right on this CD, wasting no time in giving you all facets of his personality, and matching the illest rhyme to the perfect beat. The only drawbacks: a lil' too much of the Theodore Unit, but even that is excusable with such quality around them.

Burn Deez: "Paisley Darts", "Shakey Dog Starring Lolita", "Tony Siegel", "Walk Around", hell, the entire CD is essential.

Ghostface's The Big Doe Rehab is in stores December 4th. Go grab that if you love Hip-Hop.

related links:
Ghostface on MySpace
Ghostface's Def Jam page
Ghostface breaking down the LP with MissInfo


Enigmatik said...

dope ass review son. i'm about to go throw some paisely darts at a picture of kirk hinrich.

Anonymous said...

1st: Don't hate on Kirk! ;-)

2nd: Nice review, I will try to get TBDR as soon as possible.