May 4, 2006

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Ghostface Killah, Fishscale
Def Jam, 2006

Color me impressed! Several years after the Clan's disband, Ghostface Killah has emerged as the most promising MC of them all.
With the passing of fan favorite, Ol' Dirty Bastard (aka Dirt McGirt, Joe Bananas, Big Baby Jesus, etc...), a slew of Wu-Tang related material has hit the market to give Tu-Pac's 36 postmortem albums a run for their money. Projects like Rza's Birth Of A Prince and Wu-Tang Meets Indie Culture have been exercises in lame-ocity. But on Fishscale, Ghostface Killah has renewed our faith with a soulful and dark album.
Fishscale returns to the front lines of drug rap, minus the glorification Wu-Tang once attributed to the genre. If anything, this album boasts a sense of responsibility and gives light to the seedy and ignorant underbelly of drug addled life. "R.A.G.U." featuring Raekwon, is a crowning achievement as Ghostface weaves haunting imagery of the horrors of drug running,while "Back Like That" shows his disdain for women snorting away their lives through cocaine abuse.
The beats stay classy and jazzy but by the end of this 24 track monster (skits galore!) it's easy to be bored, as the last third of Fishscale acts as filler. The closing track, "Three Bricks," featuring a postmortem Notorious B.I.G. teeters on the brink of ridiculous as well as sullying my beat-boy dreams of a Tu-Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Ol' Dirty Bastard collaboration, Big Dirty Pac!
In the end, I wouldn't call Fishscale Ghostface's attempt at Dr. Dre-esque redemption (being he's still bad ass) but more of a journalism of the rap-star streets. B
— Dan Brian


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