Who you gonna call?

Ghostface Killah wasted no time in the last year. Following 2006’s critically-acclaimed Fishscale, Ghost was back in the studio crafting this winter’s The Big Doe Rehab. Continuing a long-standing trend, Ghostface Killah has delivered a solid hip-hop album, proving himself a continually reliable name in rap. Ghost takes the popular genre of gangster rap to a new level, one that is surprisingly honest and intriguing. As evidenced by Fishscale, and again in The Big Doe Rehab, being a gangster isn’t all glory, its mostly guts. This is not a euphemism; it’s a reference to human innards, per tracks like “Walk Around,” in which kills of the past cause flashbacks from desperate moments. Many tracks make the gritty nature of this lifestyle clear. Dealers deal anything from diapers to dope, and the stories that unravel include moments of desperation and celebration.
This bumpy story line is held together by the music, which adds needed cohesion among Ghost’s many lyrical tangents and skits. In a method all his own, Ghost uses smooth ‘70s sounds to compliment his style. It is the unifying, and in my opinion the strongest, element of this record. Tracks like “Rec Room Therapy,” “Supa GFK,” and “White Linen Affair” use this style flawlessly, combining soulful sounds with more standard hip hop conventions. Other tracks are bare and simply beautiful, like “The Prayer,” with Ox or the album’s closer “Slow Down,” featuring Chrisette Michele.
This album isn’t perfect, but it is an exceptional record for Ghostface Killah and a fitting follow-up to Fishscale. Though it seems like the bubble might burst at any moment, Ghost continues to provide us with first-rate, valid hip-hop.

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