Ghostface Killah – [Album]

Thursday, 03 February 2011

There is music, and then there is what may pass as music, but is really just one guy yelling for an hour straight. This is my first review telling the world to not buy an album. This is the first time I’m telling you, the reader of this review, even if you have the audacity to steal music to not download The Apollo Kids by Ghostface Killah.

Ghostface Killah has come to us with a new album. I’ve listened to the whole thing three times. It was painful on the third try. I really aim to be the type of person to find the beauty in everything, but I can’t help but think one word when I hear this album: dated.

If you don’t know who Dennis “Ghostface Killah” Coles is, you most likely don’t have any deep roots in hip hop culture. Our man had his career established as a member of the Wu-Tang Clan with their first release in 1993, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. The album was and always will be legendary. To this day, I have friends that sing the lyrics from "Triumph," but enough about how much we loved these men, let’s get into why I think we fell out of love with them:

Nothing changed.

It’s 2010 – seventeen years later – and The Apollo Kids is an older Coles still talking about how awesome he is. We have artists on the market now who are revolutionary with their music; some speak to political topics, some are extremely artistic with their words, and some are simply known as the Doctor. If you had three albums in front of you – The Cool by Lupe Fisaco, Thank Me Later by Drake and The Apollo Kids by Ghostface Killah – you would have a 66.66 per cent chance of not wanting to shoot yourself for buying an album you theoretically already own.

Let’s make sure we take something into account: there’s underground music, and there’s (what I like to call) popcorn music. Popcorn sells. It’s on the radio, it’ll get the artist on a Sprite billboard, and the masses love it because they can bounce to it. The reason I bring this up, is that you can say this album belongs in the underground category. We shouldn’t compare him to Lupe or Drake. Fine. We’ll battle the underground too. I’ll go deep on you like Ghostface tries to on his track “2getha Baby.”

If you were to place The Apollo Kids, next to Immortal Technique’s Revolutionary Vol. 1, and Chino XL’s Something Sacred you would have a 66.66 per cent chance of buying an album that you had no idea was on the market for well over two years. Record that into the microphone so you can keep it “crispy like a pair of headphones.” (Lyrics from “2getha Baby”)

If you’re still not convinced about the album, I’ll go into the first few tracks and tell you what’s wrong with them. Granted, we’ll need to discuss both the music and the lyrics. Please know I thoroughly researched these words so I wasn’t missing any slang or terms that have a deeper meaning that those outside some “scene” might miss. Skeet, for example, means a male ejaculation. You can tweet that. 

The first track, “Purified Thoughts,” had me in the first five seconds with a nice clean sound, but then fades out of the beat dropping to Dennis telling me “Let’s go, Take my hands of my pockets, you can see my thumbs, both of them turned green from counting the ones.” I don’t think I need to go any further into the track. I don’t think you’re going in any revolutionary direction. I don’t know if you’re seriously talking about one-dollar bills or Benjamins, Dennis. As for the beat, I swear my 19-year-old cousin made one just like it. I expect more from someone who’s been in the industry for as long as you have.

The second track is called “Superstar.” This track is the one saving grace on the album for me because it has my man Busta Rhymes on it, but a track named “Superstar” leaves no room for imagination. You can hear the hook in your head without even hearing the hook.

I am only two tracks into the album and am already ready to swan dive off my balcony to the cement below. If you’re not convinced, Track three, “Black Tequila,” starts with Coles asking for his horse, and then making a horse noise. If that wasn't enough, it's quickly followed with probably the most gangster, thug life opener of all time: “Throw me in a mosh pit, and I’m liable to start shit.” Damn Dennis, you’re really, really throwing it down hard! My sixteen-year-old Mormon pen-pal is going to rock the crap out of this album. Oh, wait, my apologies, it’s not popcorn music. My fifteen-year-old, gang-banging, crypt-walking, little brother from C-P-T will roll ten-deep to this. Oh wait, he doesn’t even know what a mosh pit is; he’s not exactly a Blink-182 type of guy.

Track six, “Starkology,” is something you should be aware of. Coles is known for being a very big fan of the Iron Man comic book and character, and had a track featured in the 2008 Iron Man movie; he was almost in the movie as well. If you own the DVD, you can see the scene he was in that was cut from the final version. As for this track, there is nothing to note here other than the fact that the emcee does do a great job staying at the same tone of yelling the whole way through. Kudos.

I sincerely hope that I have given you enough information to ensure that you know you have the ability of buying many other albums on the market that will fulfill your music library with something more fulfilling. The Apollo Kids is like Chinese food; it’s awesome for the moment, but then you’re hungry an hour later. Dennis, if you read this, I hope you take it out on a nearby mosh pit and then try and produce another album on a higher level. If you need inspiration, watch “The Carter Documentary.”


The Apollo Kids is out now. If you choose to ignore Kam's warnings, it can be purchased here on Amazon .

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