Thursday, January 20, 2011

[ALBUM REVIEW] Ghostface Killah - Apollo Kids

Any fan of Wu-tang is probably more than pleased with the releases the old-school crew has given us. Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt II was amazing. Wu-Massacre gave us a refreshing taste of three key members of the crew. This year is suppose to continue with Raekwon's highly anticipated Shaolin Vs. Wu Tang. But back to the album at hand, Ghostface Killah's newest effort Apollo Kids.

This project definitely deserves props. Ghostface Killah gives us an album that not only gives us pretty damn good storytelling, but this project also offers soulful production and great features. We are at a point that the same artists are pretty much guaranteed guests. In the case of Apollo Kids expect to hear the Wu of course but not only that Joell Ortiz, Game, Busta Rhymes, Jim Jones, among others offer note worthy appearances.

'Purified Thoughts' acts as a great intro to the album, with it's rider music type production. Both GZA & Killah Priest give us verses that fit the song well. 'Superstar' continues the flow and offers production that keep fans of the genre satisfied knowing that you wouldn't expect Ghostface to start rapping about the club. This track doesn't serve as a high point in the album but it is still a great addition to a well done project.

'Black Tequila' continues to offer us with witty punchlines. Once we get into 'Drama' we expect Ghostface to continue delivering us with note worthy music. Given the talent on this track, the only thing that I felt lacked was the beat chosen. It's not that it was a bad selection, but when listening to Joell & Game, fans may hope for a loud "go in" type beat. None the less it's still a good track.

I really enjoyed '2getha Baby' simply because, the beat had my head bumpin' non-stop. The transition between the chorus and the verses was a good way to get people moving. 'Starkology' gave me the same feeling that 'Drama' did. Ghostface continued to deliver solid verses but the production wasn't all there, or maybe it was a little much (i.e. the beam sounds). I understand the point these beams served but doesn't mean it was enjoyable.

'In Tha Park' is a great listen for fans that followed hip-hop for 10 plus years. The artists revisit "where this rap come from". An excellent listen that spells it out clearly for fans, this is where they come from and this is hip hop. 'How You Like Me Baby' is an album filler but that's not saying it's bad because, well this album as a whole works. Nowadays artists choose an album title and fans wonder what the hell they where thinking.

I enjoyed the production on 'Handcuffin' Them Hoes'. Don't expect to find radio friendly love songs. 'Street Bullies' was another great track offering good production and lyrics. Features like Sheek Louch bring it on this track.

Which brings us to my favorite tracks on the album, 'Ghetto' & 'Troublemakers'. Coincidentally both feature the super talent of Raekwon, but that is not to discredit the rest of the features and Ghostface himself. For example, Redman gave one of the funnier punchlines on the album, "My eyes looking like I learned how to sky dive." The beats will have not only Wu Tang fans but hip hop fans remembering what it is we love about the genre (clever wordplay, who better then Method Man).

So to conclude, Apollo Kids is another great addition to Ghostface's discography. The album just works from beginning to end. The overall mood and concept of the album is not missed and thanks to the storytelling reminds us of what albums are meant to do, tell a story (or stories). This project definitely has me anticipated for future Wu Tang projects (especially from the 3 key members).

Final Rating: 8.5/10 Great

Keep That Shit On Replay:

-Rather then type out most of the album I'll just say, Keep That Shit On Replay...

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