Toney For Mayor?
Tuesday March 23rd 2010,
Filed under: Not Your Average,The Unkut Opinion,Wu-Tang Is For The Children
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Guess some Nas stans got a little butt-hurt over the last piece. Of course, they failed to read the part where I declared that “there’s no denying that Nas is one of the greatest MC’s of all-time” and shed tears over the fact that I didn’t list ‘If I Ruled The World’ as a ‘classic’. Turns out that Ghostface has an impressive track record of eight official solo albums, so it’s only right that he’s subjected to the same analysis…

Ironman

After putting the rap game in a fuckin’ chokehold as the co-star of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, Ghost revealed more of his personality to the world, ranging from unforgiving lyrical onslaughts (‘Daytona 500′) to displays of blunt emotion (‘All That I Got Is You’).

Classic Songs: 8 ['Wildflower', '260', 'Poisonous Darts', 'Winter Warz', 'Camay', 'Daytona 500', 'Black Jesus', 'All That I Got Is You']

Supreme Clientele

For many, this was the album that saved the reputation of the Wu. For others, it was just a remarkably strong project from start to finish. Plus ‘Mighty Healthy’ may be the best rap song of the 00’s.

Classic Songs: 7 ['Nutmeg', 'One', 'Ghost Deini', 'Buck 50', 'Mighty Healthy', 'Child's Play', 'Wu-Banga 101']

Bulletproof Wallets

This is where it gets tricky. Do we use the original promo version I have on vinyl? Or the official release? Since the first version was actually made and released (albeit in limited numbers), I’ll allow it.

Classic Songs: 6 ['Flowers (OG Mix)', 'The Forest', 'The Juks', 'The Watch', 'The Sun', 'Good Times']

The Pretty Toney Album

This expanded Tony Starks range even further. Who else could make a song like ‘Love’ that wasn’t teh ghey? Not to mention those ill K-Def produced skits where Ghost is rapping over classic break-beats.

Classic Songs: 6 ['Biscuits', 'Beat The Clock', 'Metal Lungies', 'Holla', 'Be This Way', 'Run']

Fishscale

Didn’t seem as cohesive as the last couple of albums, but when it hits the mark, it delivers in spades.

Classic Songs: 5 ['Shakey Dog', 'Kilo', 'R.A.G.U.', 'Whip Me With A Strap', 'Clipse of Doom']

More Fish

For a ‘b-sides and posse tracks’ type of project, this is pretty good. The Amy Winehouse joint is win, plus ‘Greedy Bitches’ sounds like something from the Poison Clan‘s first record (that’s good, ya hump).

Classic Songs: 5 ['Outta Town Shit', 'Good', 'Greedy Bitches', 'You Know I'm No Good', 'Alex (Stolen Script)']

The Big Doe Rehab

This came out at the same time as that 8 Diagrams album – the difference being that this was actually enjoyable to listen to. This record was closer to Pretty Toney than Fishscale in terms of it’s general vibe, and as a result is a more well-rounded experience.

Classic Songs: 5 ['Toney Sigel A.K.A. the Barrel Brothers', 'Yolanda's House', 'We Celebrate', 'I'll Die for You', 'Shakey Dog Starring Lolita']

Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City

Since I’m a cold, heartless prick I hate most R&B and as a result don’t fuck with this album too heavy. That being said, there’s still plenty of classic Pretty Toney material on here.

Classic Songs: 3 ‘Stapleton Sex’, ‘Guest House’, ‘Forever’

The verdict: Ghostface Killah is all kinds of great as an MC. Whether he’s getting technical, dropping science or just dumbing out, Stark’s is never boring, and has a great ear for beats. 45 superb (no Lord) songs from eight albums? Chea! Not to mention that most of the other tracks from those LP’s range from decent to great. At the end of the day, you can always count on Ironman.

Bonus – Ghostface’s deleted scene from Ironman movie:

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38 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The biggest difference between ghosts albums and Nas’s is exactly what you pointed out, the songs that aren’t classics but still solid. Nas goes from great to horrible on most albums, and with ghost you can listen to most of ghost’s albums straight through without any problem.

Comment by ICE MILK A.K.A Trilla Cather 03.23.10 @

word up.ghost will always get some rotation in my crib.god mc alone for quotin sir ibu.btw.fuck epic for messin up the bulletproof album.did’nt felt the last one too much but the next project will balance that.

Comment by swordfish 03.23.10 @

I’m liking these catalog posts. I’ve never seen that Ironman scene either. Dope work as usual.

Comment by LEX 03.23.10 @

That’s what’s up. Ironman was ill just for the simple fact that it was the last joint from that classic first cycle of Wu albums. I think we can all agree that after Wu-Tang Forever, it just wasn’t the same. “The Dust Album”, a/k/a Supreme Clientele, made the world realize that Starks is that dude. I would include “The Grain” and “Stroke of Death” (“… Meet the black Boy George, dusted on my honeymoon…”, priceless.) If the original Bulletproof Wallets was the official version, it would be right there with SC. The Pretty Toney album was bangin’. My only knock on Fishscale was “Back Like That”, “Momma” and “Three Bricks” (every time I hear that joint, all I can think about is the “Shark Niggas” skit) didn’t belong there. More Fish was better than I thought I thought it would be (esp. the Sheek Louch joint.) Emerald City? Haven’t heard it. Maybe I’ll youtube it. The only cat that can match Ghost in consistency is Redman, who should be next in this series, or at least after Hov.

Comment by oskamadison 03.23.10 @

Oh yeah, the sleeper fom Ironman? “Soul Controller”.

Comment by oskamadison 03.23.10 @

As a whole, I will take a Ghostface album over a Nas album pretty much all the time. It’s a more consistent product and Ghost still maintains that ‘hunger” after all these years. That’s rare! Great post. PEace GOD BLESS

Comment by Chris (Divided Souls Ent) 03.23.10 @

the issue here is that you haven’t really defined what makes for a classic song, and that leaves you open for these “stans” to get their panties in a bunch. but i guess that’s sort of the point with these sorts of lists.

Comment by tak4prez 03.23.10 @

Somebody’s gotta start the how could you leave X of posts, right?…

Most glaring omission, IMO, is Apollo Kids!

Ghost-Deni actually have even more ill unreleased material than Nas does. The vault of unreleased Wu material is seemingly endless. Ill throw out only a few gems to add to the non-album list: Box in Hand Remix, Who’s the Champion, Cobra Clutch, Real Live Shit. I could go on for days, plus tons of great collabs, and not just with sure shot co-stars like Jada or Cormega, but dude straight-up makes a banger out of a Charli Baltimore pairing!

And then, of course, you have all his quality contributions to Wu projects, the whole clan and subsets. Not to mention his Theodore stuff. I can listen to an entire album of GFK and Trife Disel – one of the most underrated cats around, BTW.

Fearlessly original, unapologetically genuine, impassioned, and indomitably charismatic, Ghost is in every way what is right with hip hop, and proof that you never really know where transcendent talent may be hiding.

In certain ways, I actually see a strong parallel between Ghost and Nas. One thing that always helped cushion the blows of Nas’s failures, in my mind, was that he often failed in the process of experimenting, which I always think is more forgivable than failing while being formulaic. Nas had his own vision for himself that was different than what his fanbase envisioned for him and he pursued it. GFK actually realized that kind of artistic freedom better than anybody – even Andre 300 or Kool Keith – where his listeners will willing journey anywhere Ghost wants to take them without pre-judging the trip.

Toney for Mayor? Abso-fucking-lutely!

Comment by digglahhh 03.23.10 @

Apollo Kids??? That could never be left out, plus someone mentioned Soul Controller from the Ironman Album. I’ve always been a GhostFan (I’m a Nas fan too), and I’m glad to see him still going strong!

Comment by Sublime 03.23.10 @

Sooo many guest appearances on classic albums too. I still think you fucked up this list and you should probably stop doing them and acting like your the best judge of a classic song. No “Malcolm”? No “Be Easy”?

C’mon Son

Comment by TheR879 03.23.10 @

Care to share how you determined that all of these songs fall under the category of classic? The gulf that separates the best and worst songs here is so enormous it practically renders your assessment invalid, in my opinion.

Comment by Thun 03.23.10 @

Robbie, you failed again. Just like Nas, Ghostface’s career cannot be summed up in one post. Honestly, you could dedicate an entire week worth of posts breaking down Supreme Clientele. If you’re not going to do it right, don’t do it at all. No doubt that Ghost is one of the best to ever do it though.

Comment by hl 03.23.10 @

Real talk, G.face killa kept the wu ship from sinking! Nobody is rockin the mic like him. I cant wait for starks next shit!

Comment by mercedes1010 03.23.10 @

@digglahhh:
Co-sign your enire post especially:
“Fearlessly original, unapologetically genuine, impassioned and imdomitably charasmatic, Ghost is in every way what is right with Hip-Hop, and proof that you never really know where transcendent talent may be hiding.”

When The Wu bogarted the game in ’93, everyone was on Meth’s nuts off of “Method Man”. If you would have asked who out of that 9 would end up bein’ the one holdin’ it down the most consistently, NO ONE would have guessed the dude with the stocking cap over his face. Ghost quite simply doesn’t give anything even vaguely resembling a fuck when it comes to his music. Drop an entire album of cryptic bars over old school breakbeats that no one’s touched in over a decade? Sure, why not. Take the Delfonics’ La La Means I Love You and not just sample it but rhyme over the actual song, vocals and all? Makes sense to me. Make a joint talking to your watch? That’s what’s up. Drop a Hip-Hop album with more R&B on it than most R&B albums? What the hell, go in. Ghost is in a lane that no MC can even come near.

Comment by oskamadison 03.23.10 @

…Also, what other MC do you know, past or present, that would allow himself to be filmed borrowng jewels from Slick Rick for a performance with Beyonce in Fade to Black and not lose not ONE iota of respect?….

Comment by oskamadison 03.23.10 @

My definition of ‘classic’ in the context of these posts = Anything I would put on a mixtape or compilation. Shit like ‘Apollo Kids’ and ‘Be Easy’ don’t make it because I don’t like the beats as much as these other joints.
Not an exact science by any means, but it’ll do for now.

Comment by Robbie 03.23.10 @

hahaha “nas stans”

Comment by filthy ritch 03.23.10 @

The Watch is possibly one of the best concept records ever done.

Comment by rakimfan 03.23.10 @

Ummm….Malcom from Supreme Clientele should be on tha classic list most definetly.

Comment by J-LAJIKAL 03.23.10 @

Faster Blade was my shyt on Ironman but it was a rae solo lol..
On Supreme Clientele u missed “Malcolm” “Stay True” “Cherchezla ghost”

On Bulletproof u missed “Theodore” and “Strawberry”.. highly slept on album IMO

u nailed it on Pretty Toney which to me was disappointing

Fishscale I liked the Doom produced joint “jellyfish” also “Barbershop” which was more like a skit + the joints you mentioned

U nailed it on Fishcale and Big Doe…

Good POst.. honorable mention to Wisdom Body off of OB4CL

Comment by dolo 03.23.10 @

Sorry, but if “We Celebrate” and “Daytona 500″ fall into the same tier for quality then your conclusion lacks credibility. Nas has plenty of songs per album whose quality equals or exceeds that of “We Celebrate,” far more than you’ve acknowledged. Cool write up and breakdown of a discography, but as a piece of analysis this definitely falls short. And no, I’m as far from a Nas stan as it gets.

Comment by Thunny Thun Thun 03.24.10 @

I like this one and agree that Ghost is much more consistent then Nas…but I think Nas’s best songs are better then Ghost’s…of course its all opinion.
Robbie I would love to see an L.L breakdown…dude is more hit and miss then Nas is.

Comment by Johnny Hardcore 03.24.10 @


This is a nice concept but even then the definition of classic you gave is pretty contextual. This is a very difficult piece of analysis to do and probably, as on poster mentioned, would need album for album breakdown. Personally, as an example, on SC about the only track i dont really consider classic outright is stay true, other than that the album is labeled a “classic” to me for a reason.

But yeah, cool drops.

Comment by Victor 03.24.10 @

We have a problem here. Actually, we have 2 problems :

1. Winter Warz is the most overrated song of the late 90s.

2. You didn’t mention Iron Maiden, which is a top 3 song on Iron Man and features a Cappadonna verse which is much better than the Winter Warz one.

Comment by MF 03.24.10 @

Robbie,

you forgot to add the album with Trife Da God: Put It On The Line. Shit was fire, came with a free fucking full concert DVD in good quality. How awesome is that? Fucking uber awesome.

Trife & Ghost put out a pretty good album, I liked it a lot.

Comment by .... 03.24.10 @

^ agreed

Comment by Johnny Hardcore 03.24.10 @

Thanks, oskamadison, and right back at ya.

While talking about shit only Ghost could do, or dudes under the guidance of Ghost would, what about “The Sun.” Song is totally crazy. But, I tell you this, anybody who has smoke dust even once can listen to a joint like that and say, “word, I can see what might inspire Ghost to do this.” I mean, every time I hear that song, I just figure that GFH, Chef, RZA, and for some reason Slick Rick, were just chilling in the studio, smoking dust, when somebody made an innocent comment about the sun (or maybe they saw some crazy shit on TV) and dudes started wylin until they were like, fuck that, we should make fucking song about the sun.

…Right, is there any other way that song could possibly have happened? Of course not!

Comment by digglahhh 03.24.10 @

Cosign Iron Maiden.

Comment by turtle 03.24.10 @

The other way to interpret this is that Ghost only has two classic albums out of eight attempts. That’s not a good ratio.

Comment by PM 03.24.10 @

Ghost entire catalog is impeccable, I think everybody can agree on that…

u should do Busta next Robbie, he falls in the same vein…

*My playlist:
Block Rock
Hollow bones
Wise
10 bricks
Triumph
Living out our dreams (ant acid mix & RZA mix)
Box in hand remix
Wisdom Body
Impossible
daytona 500
MGM
knuckleheadz
Verbal Intercourse
Ice
poisonous dartz
Ghostdeni OG
Nutmeg
The Monument
Paisly darts
Da Mystery of chessboxin
Wu gambinos
House of flying daggers

Comment by QUNYC 03.25.10 @

And let me add…
when u got a shit load of bangers who cares about “classic albums” truthfully!!
Ghost is that nigga…go head…say it lol…
WU TANG.

Comment by QUNYC 03.25.10 @

gfk is that dude from wu-tang that just gets better with age. a lot of the wu artists fall off over time, see method man, rza and gza as examples. And gfk has a little less hit and miss tracks than Nas, however that is neither here nor there, because this post is not a gfk vs nas dispute. The two emcees are being critiqued as individual artists.

Oh and @TheR879, “be easy” is not really winning in the dope song department, that shit is like one big chorus, shit could be an easy cheese/ebay commercial for all we know

Comment by gstatty 03.25.10 @

The only thing I disagree with is, that The Hilton is a classic record.

Comment by Web Conn 03.25.10 @

There’s one classic you forgot: Apollo Kids. That joint bangs so hard it ain’t even funny.

Comment by D-square 03.26.10 @

The Champ > Kilo + R.A.G.U.

Comment by EJaz 03.29.10 @

Every song on Ironman is a classic.

Comment by dockevoc 03.31.10 @

Dogs of War is actually my fav cut on Fishscale btu in general I would consider it Ghost’s best album since Supreme Clientele. Not That Pretty Tony or Bulletproof are wack or anything but in comparison to Supreme they don’t really live up to it.

Comment by boogs 06.03.10 @



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