25. GHOSTFACE KILLAH - 12 REASONS TO DIE
Starting the first annual b&hh Holiday Countdown with a record that got unfairly maligned this year. Sure, Ghost has lately sounded like he gained a bit of dad-weight, trying to reclaim the breakneck lay-the-fuck-down-and-enjoy-the-moment intensity of his Wu-era output with mixed success. But Starks still actually raps with a focus and skill level far above what most blog-rap A$AP-trend-jockers will ever be able to offer. The album may not consistently deliver lyrically on its cinematic promises (Ghostface has penned a dozen songs that were more threatening declarations of war than “I Declare War”), but Ghost can still weave syllables together in a way that make Eminem’s rap-crobatics seem a bit less exciting, even in a year when lyricism made steps toward a tentative revival. No matter how dusty Ghostface’s threats sound at times, he continues to perpetuate the impressively Dickens-ian push for syllable count and winding sentence structure. He rarely swims upstream against the beat, but the album maintains a smooth lushness for that very reason. Adrian Younge’s beats subtly recall RZA’s kung-fu aesthetic while pushing the whole atmosphere toward horror film dread.
Is there still room for the aging Wu in 2013? How can you say that when Wu Tang is forever?
Apologies for the lack of content lately my gawds and gawdesses; it’s been a busy time of “career development” juuuheard. Stay tuned for b&hh’s Top 25 Tapes of 2013 which we will be counting down starting tomorrow Dec. 5th, culminating in the Top 50 Joints of 2013 which will be available in a handy zip file for your piratey thieving ass consumption. Stay thirsty, stay thotful.
Doughboyz Cashout’s great asset has never been their own talent (a couple mid-level spitters without too much original content) but their ability to draw talent to their tracks. This year’s Boss Yo’ Life Up Gang featured DJ Mustard who is Midas-touching the shit out of 2013, and Jeezy who has taken Mustard’s “fuck up the club so hard somebody might get murderated” vibe and revitalized his increasingly dry trap talk.
On “Pure White,” not only do we get Jeezy again and Big K.R.I.T. on hook duty (a perfectly acceptable place for the dude’s skill set), but King Push himself joins the snowstorm. As long as Doughboyz can keep getting these all-star line-up tracklistings, they’ll be earning their place in rap.
although we’ve pretty recently covered the appreciation we have for bonsolino in some depth, the recent release of the hotly anticipated Blue Chips 2 required revisiting Queens’ latest contribution to the rap game. after listening to the tape basically non-stop since i downloaded it last week, it’s hitting me that bam bam is following a trajectory not unlike that of curren$y depending on how you look at it. while nobody (with the exception of gucci so far in 2013) is going to match the sheer amount of output spitta has graced us with over the past 4-5 years, bronson leaves me with the same feeling i get after listening to an early spitta release. from his split with young money until covert coup, spitta rapped about getting high, driving fast cars, and fucking other nigga’s bitches with impunity. but almost more importantly for me as a listener, spitta was talking about doing the same shit i would do in his situation. bronson is no different. action brags about “you see me in the green velour, facial conquistador/then i order up a feast for four/if you see me in leather, you know it’s reaching the floor/linen flapping in the wind cause of the breezy shore” it’s the kind of brag and boast rap that you can listen to for hours because it’s crafty as fuck and shit you fuck with. lines like “hipster bitches pussy taste like seitan/good thing i ate lamb” exemplify bronson’s ability to continue to change it up while talking about the same shit thanks to creative wordplay and rhyme schemes.
he might have summed it up best himself when he said, “i’m just a white man excelling in a black sport, like i’m pistol pete.”
The internet is so over cloud rap that we’re not even saying cloud rap anymore, but Green Ova isn’t really skressed—their output for 2013 is nearing Gucci’s, and even for an entire collective, that’s huge. Shady Blaze brings a much-needed urgency to a crew that’s become so blissfully faded that the recent Main Attrakionz release with tynethys almost edges on annoying: the hooks aren’t funny anymore, my dudes. The hardness with which the dude spits right here is the not the kick in the ass the Green Ova boys need; this is the kick in the ass the Green Ova boys deserve.
instrumentals from the savant behind “Vans.” worth it for the first track alone: somewhere between Clams and a Main Attrakionz vibe turned sinister as fuck. download here.