GHOSTFACE KILLAH – TWELVE REASONS TO DIE

Words: KRAIG T HEYMANS
April 26, 2013

Ghostface Killah always seemed at home weaving his intricate mafioso rap amidst obscure 70s soul samples, and with ‘Twelve Reasons to Die’, he seems to have taken his approach to it’s logical conclusion. This time though, Ghost seems considerably more focused, and nowhere is that more evident than his smart decision to work with producer […]


Ghostface Killah always seemed at home weaving his intricate mafioso rap amidst obscure 70s soul samples, and with ‘Twelve Reasons to Die’, he seems to have taken his approach to it’s logical conclusion. This time though, Ghost seems considerably more focused, and nowhere is that more evident than his smart decision to work with producer Adrian Younge. On previous efforts, Ghost has been content to divvy up his album production credits between hip-hop’s big names; DOOM, RZA, Pete Rock, and the late J Dilla, but not this time, Younge produces all twelve tracks. An MC working with a single producer is a savvy and novel idea, which seems to make sense. It enables the duo to develop an instant chemistry, allowing the product to become a more complete and real collaboration. Younge made a name for himself raiding soundtracks, sampling rare soul and using flea market instruments to achieve his creepy yet grandiose sound and Ghost’s raps, voice, and lyrical flow are at home amongst this.

Though Ghost has been criticised for promising much, and rushing results to deliver, this seems to be the opposite. His raps are well structured and his lyrics so fully formed, that they feel destined for Younge’s punchy and intelligent production. Rise of the Black Suits, is indeed ripped straight out of RZA’s rule book, clinking piano and chiming guitar set against a lazy beat, with Ghost sounding off about how his black crime family rose to the top. It is this Ghost is known best for: a cartoon take on reality and his fiendish obsession for detail. It’s great to see him still as sharp as ever. Enemies All Around Me features Younge’s favourite, William Hart of the Delfonics. His sugar sweet vocals an incredibly real human moment amongst the chaotic, unrealistic world that Ghostface inhabits. If nothing else, this record will establish Younge as a force in hip-hop production, while reminding people why Ghostface is arguably the most prolific, consistent, underground, and technically gifted MC the Wu-Tang produced.


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