Music Review: Ghostface Killah, “The Big Doe Rehab” (Island Def Jam) * * * *
Ghostface Killah’s “Fishscale” emerged in 2006 as the antidote to the boring boom-bass boasting of Rick Ross. In sharp contrast to the dumb-as-dirt rhymes of that one-note hustler, the sweeping, widescreen stories of Ghostface proved to be hip-hop’s equivalent to crime writers George Pelicanos and Dennis Lehane. “The Big Doe Rehab” suffers from comparison to “Fishscale” and the absence of MF Doom as producer — Doom is largely replaced here by Diddy’s Hitmen — but still, the erstwhile Wu-Tang Clan rapper is the greatest rhyming crime novelist, armed with a microphone instead of a laptop.
The bar is raised high with “Yolanda’s House,” in which Ghostface weaves a tense account of a drug deal going supremely wrong, forcing the protagonist to flee the scene and seek help from Method Man. “We Celebrate” offers a ringside look at a dealer’s high life set against a Rare Earth sample — it’s the wretched excess before the fall, and Ghostface makes it all cinematic and hard boiled.
When Ghostface tells these tales against lush ‘70s soul grooves, there is never a question of how this will turn out. The devil is in the details, and as chanteuse Chrisette Michele cautions him at the end to “Slow Down,” it’s clear that the Tony Montana wannabe in “The Big Doe Rehab” might need to lie low and put the yacht in storage. Right now, hip-hop simply does not have a better storyteller.
Buy Tickets View all
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 4046At least 51 die in Oklahoma tornado, official says
- 3397Oklahoma devastated by second round of twisters
- 3003How to help tornado victims
- 2509Read live updates from the May 20 Moore tornado
- 1115Several kids pulled out of Oklahoma school rubble alive
- 620Oklahoma twister tracked path of 1999 tornado
- 439Twitter reaction from the sports world on the Moore/OKC tornadoes
- 371Oklahoma City tornado so large, may not be recognized, officials say
- 366Hospitals treat more than 120 after Oklahoma tornado
- 314OKC Thunder: Thunder stuck with worst-case scenario
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients