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Ghostface Killah - The Big Doe Rehab

Ghostface Killah, The Big Doe Rehab

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

THE seventh album from Ghostface Killah offers pretty much everything you’d expect from the Wu-Tang luminary as well as guest appearances from Styles P, Beanie Sigel and Chrisette Michele (to name but a few).

It’s a typically hard-hitting hip-hop offering that tells numerous tales of drugs, violence, paranoia, love, hate and humour over gritty, soulful beats. And, as such, it’s both hideous and impressive in equal measure.

There are occasions when Ghostface trades the offensive for the funky, as on lead single and early album highlight We Celebrate, featuring Kid Capri. It’s a party pleaser in every sense, with Ghost proclaiming “Tony Starks just won an Oscar, y’all!” and Capri hyping up the crowd over a sample of Rare Earth’s classic I Just Want To Celebrate. And it leaves you pining for more of the same.

Sadly, it’s hit and miss. Walk Around blends a hard-hitting tale of guns and violence over a nice sample of Packed Up and Took My Mind from Little Milton, while Supa GFK is a fun and soulful effort that drops some nice brass and a kick-ass sample of Johnny Guitar Watson’s Superman Lover.

And Ox contributes a positively incendiary central vocal on The Prayer, a stripped down, finger clicking, virtually acapella moment that really does mark a majestic moment.

But you really do have to wait for the very good stuff – and The Big Doe Rehab is filled with a lot of offensive dross in between. There’s the usual over-use of the term “nigger” and women fare badly, while the over-emphasis on life in the projects becomes a little wearying. It’s all over-exposed, hopelessly repetitive and uncool hip-hop gangsta chic and you have to wonder whether the likes of 50 Cent and The Game have had their day.

Tracks like Yolanda’s House, featuring Raekwon and Method Man, Rec-Room Therapy and I’ll Die For You are just plain tedious and seem to strive for notoriety for the sake of it.

Fortunately, the album ends on something of a high, following the samba outro of !, featuring the Rhythm Roots Allstars and the final bonus track Slow Down, which trades well on the combination of Ghost’s incisive rap and Chrisette Michele’s dreamy soul vocals.

The overall result is a hip-hop album that works extremely well in places, but which is downright lamentable in others. Listeners are advised to approach with caution.

Download picks: We Celebrate, Supa GFK, The Prayer, Walk Around, Slow Down, Shakey Dog

Track listing:

  1. At The Cabana Skit
  2. Toney Sigel AKA The Barrel Brothers
  3. Yolanda’s House
  4. We Celebrate
  5. Walk Around
  6. Yapp City
  7. White Linen Affair (Toney Awards)
  8. Supa GFK
  9. Rec Room Therapy
  10. Prayer
  11. I’ll Die For You
  12. Paisley Darts
  13. Shakey Dog Starring Lolita
  14. Exclamation Mark
  15. Killa Lipstick
  16. Slow Down