Ghostface Killah – Fishscale (2006)
(Microsoft Points to BigGhost for the character & vernacular framework of this review)
Lemme welcome ya’ll to the imperially unwack presence of Big Ghost, a.k.a the almighty Cocaine Biceps a.k.a Baron Von Poon a.k.a Don DeTrillo a.k.a Brooklyn Wallabee a.k.a Tony “Ironman” Starks, but y’all ain’t some deep-sea dwellin’ ni**as–you know all abouts the God. Ayo I been wreckin wit some of the most talented ni**as alive but I ain’t gotta confess to y’alls that I got some skips on my record b. It ain’t no secret the God has done his fair share of fuckin’ up. Bulletproof Wallets happened yo. That Wizard of Oz-ass shit I tried to give y’all in 2009 was some half-ass fever dream rap. And f’real the God is truly sorry to anybody actually heard that Jadakiss joint–I ain’t tryna justify no shit-show or nothin’, but Nasty Nas hopped on that record too. He ain’t perfect neither. No homo, but just cuz Rae is the sun that warms my gardens don’t mean he forgiven for The Lex Diamond Story or spittin’ wit the sonic equivalent of pissed jeans, a.k.a Fat Joe. Ayo I’m still mad I didnt come up with Liquid Swords first, but ya’ll heard Pro Tools? Ain’t even gonna touch Capadonna. Son is as much Wu as Mike’s Hard be a 40, nahmean? Yo my body jam-packed with humble-ass bones, but aint no denyin I’ve been the most on-point dude in the Clan. Check it tho…people still givin a shit bout tha Wu cause ya boi put out Fishscale.
Hold up tho–I be hearin somma yall younger ni**as, lil ni**as who was learnin ABCs when I was bringin tha ruckus, sayin “Fishscale aint hard.” Aight yo. Cool. You heard “Be Easy?” On that trunk-shakin’ classic Wu shit with Trife Diesel. “Anybody front, paramedics gonna pick ’em up/They try to save you, swear to God, I hit the nurse up/Like ‘Nah, doc, he look better in a hearse truck’” Man, again, I ain’t about honkin’ my own horn, but it ain’t my fault I got a horn that spits hot fire. Lit guitars and samples of ni**as boxin’ in “The Champ,” that shit’s even harder. Even the shit I kick it off wit, “Shakey Dog,” chest-banginest beat that got bongos in it, you think that shit ain’t hard? Deal-gone-wrong legend wit a rabid pitbull, vacuum fulla coke, fuckin quadruple-layered metaphors. Bringin some stream-of-conscious shit activatin all five of ya senses. MC Mrs Dalloway ni**a. Ayo and “Clipse of Doom?” Clean the dildos n’ furballs outcha ears. Shit’s hard.
Aight but there’s still some JarJar Binks ass ni**as all “meesa heard tha Ne-Yo feature massa!” Assborn haters. I’m listenin to “Back Like That” as you readin this, ya’ll prolly listenin to it too. I know it ain’t a tough track, but times be changin’, nahmean? Entropy and growth and shit. Ne-Yo is Pampers soft, but even a bitchmade clock be right twice a day b. Chorus is infectious, son. Ain’t you ever been wronged by a bitch? Tryna get revenge on a dude for swipin’ ya trick? Ayo I threaten to burn a ni**a car in this song, that ain’t hard? Maybe you heard “Momma” and that shit put you offa Fishscale for good. True life I wouldn’t blame anybody for that shit b. The God isn’t real proud of that one. I ain’t bringin that track to show n’ tell nahmsayin? Forreal tho halfa this shit split between chimes and Rochelle flexin her vocal nuts like ya average sista on the mic…I nailed the “thanks-mom-I-love-you” vibe back on Ironman b. This shit is like remakin’ Citizen Kane. Fishscale shoulda ended on “Underwater.” My bad.
No lie, mofuckas on iTunes should prolly just wipe “Momma” and all the skits off ya harddrives. Guaranteed satisfaction b. Even I can’t justify havin’ five-second skits as individual tracks. If you shave all the fuzz off tho, look whats left. Dilla beats on “Whip You With a Strap” and “Beauty Jackson.” Me n’ Rae is like gin n’ juice–“Kilo” bumpin a hidden-gem-ass obscure beat, stuck in ya head like a tumor, or “R.A.G.U,” yo fam if I’d dropped that track 10 years ago shit woulda made sense. MF Doom throws some classic beats in for y’all white ni**as. Son challenges years of RZA-made tracks with his down-the-rabbit-hole-ass-shit. “Jellyfish” & “Underwater” trip out b. Almost psychedelic without bein’ tryhard backpack par. Doom, Dilla, Pete Rock, Just Blaze–real talk, it’s a new era of Wu beats, all pastiched and collaborative givin space for variety.
The God knows his flaws fam. Fishscale n’ everythin else I’ve done pulls out all the tricks early and kinda rolls over in the second half. Somma my shit sounds homogenous, and I ain’t exactly reinventin time-space, but why bother? Son who ever said to Otis Redding “ayo this singin mess you do is pretty aight but you ever try kazoo?” Nah b. I know my strengths, and I bring them shits on Fishscale. Ghostface goes hard. Believe it.